This housing option for aging adults can address individual needs, but costs and restrictions vary considerably.
55+ independent living communities offer independent, relatively maintenance-free living, often with services and amenities specific to the needs of engaged, older adults. The “age restriction” or “age target” is typically age 55 or older, but may vary by community
There is great variability in the cost to purchase a home in a 55+ independent living retirement community. The cost to buy is often comparable to local real estate values, depending on what type of home you want and where you are buying. There are also monthly resident fees that vary depending on the types of services offered by the community. Some people choose to rent versus buy a home after reviewing their budget and assessing the cost of ownership net of taxes and the unplanned costs associated with home ownership. For detailed costs by state, please visit www.seniorhomes.com. In 2015, the average cost of renting in an independent living community was $2,417/month (representing an average range of $1,399 to $4,002 per month), plus application fees.
Family members, including grandchildren, may visit and stay in the home with the residents. Some communities have restrictions on how long visitors under age 55 may stay. In a situation where one spouse becomes a caregiver for the other, the couple may live together in the residence while bringing in home health aides to assist in care.
These communities offer residents a simplified lifestyle, built-in social outlets and recreational facilities. Neighbors often share a common lifestyle and a common stage of life. It is important to ask about the demographics of the community to see if it is the right fit for you.
Doctors’ offices are often located close to these communities. Policies vary, but residents may bring in medical or non-medical care, but usually not skilled nursing care.