As baby boomers are nearing the retirement age, they find themselves contemplating all kinds of living options. In fact, today they have a wider range of options than their parents had. 

If you can relate to a situation where you or someone you love is discussing different senior living options during retirement, this post is for you. It talks about the most popular senior assisted living homes and facilities you can pick from.

Assisted Living Communities

In this type of facility, you get some level of care. Assisted living communities are ideal for seniors that want to live in their own home. They can choose from condos, apartments, and single-family dwellings. The residents do, however, receive assistance for vital and basic needs such as meal preparation, transportation, taking meds, getting dressed, etc.

Some of the communities also offer specialized care in certain diseases such as diabetes, dementia, heart diseases, depression, etc. The facilities do not provide these services directly but in coordination with other health care providers. They work in collaboration with podiatrists, physical therapists, counselors, hospice nurses, dentists, etc. 

In this way, the residents are able to enjoy specialized healthcare while living in their own homes without having to move to a nursing home or a hospice. Alzheimer's care facilities for seniors are a classic example of an assisted living community.
Independent Living Retirement Communities

This type of community is for active, healthy seniors who can live independently. The seniors get options like a motorhome, mobile home, townhouse, and condos. There's the freedom to both own or rent out the living space.

It’s almost like living in any other neighborhood except that senior living communities allow residents of over a certain age like 55 or 60. Typical amenities offered include gyms, housekeeping, security, clubhouses, yard maintenance, etc.

Additional services include laundry, group meals, transportation, cultural, and social activities. There are also some luxury senior living communities available, that go above and beyond what you would see at a typical senior community.
Age-Restricted Retirement Communities

The age restriction for these communities is usually 55 or 60+. These communities require at least 1 person who is above the required age limit in the household. Age-restricted communities are regulated by the U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The communities also don’t allow permanent residents who are below 19 years of age.

Lifestyle Retirement Communities
These communities are designed to serve special lifestyle requirements a senior may have. Some of the classic examples of such communities are:

Faith-based retirement communities
RV retirement parks
Gay & Lesbian retirement communities
Golf retirement communities
Artist retirement communities
Boating retirement communities
Modular home communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities 

CCRC - Continuing Care Retirement Communities are a slightly different form of arrangement for retired seniors. It’s different in that the facility offers full-spectrum healthcare and lifestyle options to the residents. It offers independent and assisted living with nursing care to all residing on the campus. 

Based on the type of contract with the family, the resident may get a spectrum of services. 

Which Option is Right for You?

You have to understand that each person is different. Therefore, their individual requirements are also different. To find out which option is right for you, you will have to start with evaluating your needs and accordingly see which option fits the puzzle. 

If you are just entering old age, you probably don’t need too much assistance or attention as many retirees do. In such a case, an independent living option might be the best for you. But, if you prefer some extra support, then go for assisted living.

The best way to ascertain your option is to start by evaluating your ADLs - Activities of Daily Living. These activities are related to basic self-care. Tasks related to dressing, personal hygiene, bathing, and feeding are all part of ADLs.

If you can perform these activities on your own, you’ll do easily with independent arrangement without much need of extra or intensive support. But, if you think that your ADLs or that of your spouse are getting more difficult to handle, then you may want to consider retirement options that offer intensive care. 
Steps for Deciding the Best Senior Living Option
1. Do your research - Even reading this article is part of our research. Knowing what all your options are, the selection process gets easier. 
2. Think in terms of community - Do you prefer spending time with people your own age? Or, do you prefer the presence of a broader community?
3. Think Financing - Healthcare is expensive. It’s good to talk to a financial advisor to understand the financial ramifications related to pensions or retirement accounts, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. 
4. Speak with your Doctor - Before modifying your home, investing in a retirement community, or purchasing a new home for retirement needs, talk to a doctor regarding the resident’s health and mobility.
5. Pay a visit to multiple facilities - Visit as many facilities as you can. This will help you get a feel of the housing option as well as a sense of community. See what the activity schedule looks like.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right retirement living should not have to be this daunting process. When you’re equipped with the right kind of knowledge, you can select the best option that fits your needs like a dream.