Every family eventually gets to that point when they have to decide what is best for the older members of their family. It is a tug of war deciding whether to care for them at home or have them join a 55+ senior community where they will receive more dedicated care. The other point of contention with the issue is that some retirees do not want to move to senior apartments or their families do not feel like it is their best option.
It all stems from a lack of proper understanding about 55 and over apartments near you and how they operate. Just as the name implies, apartments for seniors provide housing in the form of studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments to their residents. Retirees also often enjoy the benefit of living in a gated community with peers while enjoying days filled with fun activities. However, there is much more to senior housing than merely providing accommodation, and that is why we’ve created this senior living guide to solve your questions about 55+ living.
Finding Senior Living Near Me
It almost sounds like a straightforward process looking for senior living near you. However, several intricacies involved in the process go a long way in ensuring that you settle for the best possible 55+ apartment option for you or your loved one. Go through the following checklist to kick off your search for "55+ apartments near me":
- Location of senior housing
Sometimes the closest senior housing complex to you might not be as near as you would like. Every family wants the comfort of having their older loved one close enough so that they can visit them as frequently as possible. If it is not possible to find senior apartments near you, then there has to be a compromise with distance.
Surprisingly, a majority of older adults do not mind moving to warmer states to take up residence at the best senior living complexes. Often, this can make the process both more comfortable and also a complicated process because some families just do not want their loved ones to move so far away.
- Criteria for residency in senior citizen apartments
Going back to the issue of over 55 housing rules and principles for residency, each community has their individual regulations. For the sake of this guide, the 55+ senior apartment units have a standard requirement that their residents must at least be 55 years old to take up units with them.
There are numerous senior housing complexes geared explicitly towards fixed-income or low-income seniors. Such communities often have a maximum income requirement as one of their criteria to take up residence within their communities. Several of these housing developments are also government funded and provide an affordable senior living option for the retired and disabled.
However, it is imperative to fully understand the income restrictions of low-income senior housing options near you when looking into this option.
- Features/amenities in senior apartments
Most retirees who decide to take up residency at over 55 apartment rentals also do so for social reasons. These developments provide a comfortable lifestyle for older adults as well as safety and security. Naturally, the amenities and facilities an individual senior housing complex offers have a vital role in the selection process.
Different apartment developments for seniors provide various features and benefits to attract retirees. Some of the standard amenities often include low-or-no maintenance living, gated entrances, private grounds, and both indoor/outdoor activities. To enhance an active lifestyle for their senior citizen occupants, the residences also provide:
- In-house clubhouses with community-based amenities such as party rooms
- Swimming pools
- On-site convenience stores
- Fitness centers, and classes
- On-site grooming centers
- Tennis/basketball courts
- Outdoor picnic areas
- On-site laundry facilities
There are also the luxurious resort-type senior apartment complexes that go a step further and customize amenities to suit the individualized needs of their senior citizen residents. Regular social events also form an integral part of these developments, and they often include sporting events, tours, and educational lectures.
- Type of care in 55 and over apartments
Going back to the definition of apartments for senior citizens, these complexes by design specifically cater to healthy older adults who are still very mobile and independent. Most 55+ apartment complexes do offer residence to older adults with disabilities, but they do not go to the extent of providing health care or other assisted living care like nursing homes or assisted living communities near you.
It is essential to have this in mind when searching for senior apartments near you because you want to make sure that the level of service they provide is sufficient.
What are senior citizen apartments?
Senior living developments are also often referred to as age-restricted communities, retirement homes, and independent living senior housing. You are probably wondering: “how do I find senior housing near me?” You are likely seeking to find out more about the available local senior living options and what they offer. Senior living apartments are housing developments that specifically cater to older adults, usually 55 and over.
They might be independent buildings or a sprawling 55+ community near you that has senior apartment blocks or freestanding condominiums. Some also resemble the layout of resorts and offer most of the amenities you would find in these luxurious establishments. They often also have a centrally located clubhouse or common area for their residents.
Some of the other typical amenities these retirement apartments offer include single-story buildings (to limit stairs), full wheelchair accessible entryways, walk-in showers, and fitness centers. A few of the luxury senior living communities catering to seniors might also have onsite pharmacies, 24-hour emergency call systems and round-the-clock emergency staff.
Who Can Move Into 55+ Apartments?
Senior citizen housing complexes usually operate independently, but of course under state guidelines. That also means that they have differences regarding their internal policies including the amenities and services they offer. In general, they offer residency to 55 and over adults who are still in good health and very mobile.
There are some of senior rental apartments which have an older age restriction and may only cater to older adults above 62. To go in depth, under the Fair Housing Act, a 55 and over housing communities have the right to restrict residency under two conditions. The first being that they must have at least one 55+ resident and the second being that 80% of their residents must be 55 or older. In the case of 62+ housing, the only condition is that their residents must be at least 62 years of age.
The Benefits of Living In 55+ Housing
One of the other reasons why the 55+ age group finds it beneficial to move into senior apartment residences is because it takes a load off of some of the responsibilities of daily living. Elderly apartment complexes differ from regular ones because they provide value-added services including catered meals served in a central dining room, housekeeping, transportation services and community enrichment programs.
Senior living apartments also give the option of buying or renting both furnished and unfurnished units. Several low-income housing options for seniors also exist, allowing senior citizens on fixed incomes to find a place to call home as they enjoy their retirement.
Apartments for older adults work as the best option for couples who want to take up residence at retirement homes near them. The reality is most of the housing developments for older adults have more female occupants because women have a generally longer life expectancy than men. However, there are also couples who want to grow old together and when the time comes would prefer to take up residence at apartments specifically created for senior citizens.
Many senior living apartments welcome pets because their companionship is recognized as being beneficial for the aging community. It also eases the mind of pet owners because they can move to their new environment with their trusted and beloved companions.
Residents of senior living developments benefit from having neighbors who are their peers and can relate to their experiences and goals. That means forming new friendships and having a listening ear whenever a problem arises. It is also reassuring knowing that you are not alone at that critical point in life.
However, worth noting is that a majority of 55 plus apartments do not provide medical and personal care options like your local skilled nursing facilities or assisted living homes. They are also not the ideal option if you or your loved one has dementia - if that is the case, you are better off looking for dementia care homes near you. With that said, it is not impossible to find a much larger residential establishment for older adults that caters to seniors at various stages of life, and they may provide extended care options. These services are also still accessible by residents from visiting health care providers contracted separately.
Why Should I Take Up Residency at Senior Living Apartments?
55+ housing developments for baby boomers do provide an abundance of attractive benefits and features. However, the reality is that the type of living they offer is not for everyone. You should go through the following questions structured to help you figure out whether 55 plus apartments are the best choice for you or a loved one.
- Are You Looking To Downsize?
Every one of us does come from a different walk of life, and while some might have spent most of their lives living in apartments, some have never had such an experience. For some, going into a no-maintenance apartment is a welcomed change, but some seniors might have difficulty with the transition. It may mean leaving a large home they have lived in for years and changing to a considerably smaller apartment. In many cases, it also means getting rid of furniture and other treasured belongings accumulated over the years. This is not something to dismiss, because most of us have sentimental attachments to our belongings and having to give them up can cause some form of emotional trauma.
- The Lifestyle Change
While moving to a senior apartment complex means living close to peers and benefiting from increased social interaction, this might not be something everyone wants. It might seem invasive and intrusive for some, but often it turns out to be comforting to have peers that you can relate with nearby.
There are also rules that outline how senior citizens apartments operate, and in most part, it works for the benefit of the residents. It means living in a peaceful and calming environment with few if any incidents. On the other hand, some of the rules might seem a bit prohibitive particularly when it comes to hosting guests and access to communal facilities.
- What Facilities and Amenities Are Nearby?
It is a given that the rental apartments for older adults cannot offer all the amenities and facilities all their occupants want or even need. That means striking a compromise by choosing one of the senior apartment living complexes that are located within a walking or short driving distance to the facilities you would need.
It could mean choosing one near a shopping mall, public library, health center, museum, or even a movie theater. Most of 55 and older senior housing developments also do provide transport facilities for their residents, but if they do not, it also helps to settle for a location that is close to everything and is accessible by public transportation.
- What Form of Health Care Can I Receive in Senior Living Apartments?
Everyone has days when they feel under the weather and health issues become more frequent for the elderly. When taking up residence at an apartment for older citizens, it is vital to make sure that immediate health services are always within reach when needed. That could mean going for a 55 and over apartment that has emergency call systems working round-the-clock or emergency staff on duty.
It also helps to look into the option of having health care professionals make calls to monitor a pre-existing condition, and whether the senior living facility can make those arrangements or if it falls on you. People living with disabilities also have to make sure that the senior housing development is wheelchair-friendly, with broad enough entryways, ramps and elevators where they are necessary to make movement easier.
- Lease Terms For Senior Citizen Rental Apartments
Just like regular apartments, you have to sign a lease before taking up residency at a senior apartment complex. It also wise to go over the fine print to make sure that the lease terms sound agreeable and does not have any hidden fees hidden in writing. Like with any other document, it does not hurt to have a legal professional go over the paperwork and break it down in an understandable way.
There are often issues such as hosting guests, keeping pets, and even living independently within senior apartment developments that might raise problems depending on the lease. The availability of services and use of communal facilities are also other important factors not to overlook when looking over senior apartment lease documents.
Senior Independent Living Apartment Costs
Finances always guide the final decision when choosing a suitable apartment for senior citizens. Again, the costs vary from one housing development to the next and factors such as geographic location.
In general, a unit at a senior citizen complex can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per month. The average range is between $1,500 and $3,500 monthly for a standard senior apartment at these complexes. Certain states are more affordable when it comes to senior housing while others are less affordable. Certain amenities may be a part of the cost or might bump up the charges for senior housing. They include meal plans, medical care provided by off-site staff and a la carte service options.
In comparison, the cost of assisted living is much higher than that of senior living apartments. Residents staying at an assisted living facility often pay anywhere from $3,400 to $5,000 monthly for housing and care. However, apartment complexes for the older adults often do charge a one-time entry fee, and often these are the developments that also double as continuing care retirement communities. The cost can range from $100,000 to $500,000 or even higher dependant on the level of luxury the housing complex provides.
Low Income Apartments for Senior Citizens
In most countries, the aging population keeps rising in numbers, and they fall on the low-income or very-low income percentage. It raises concern about finding suitable, affordable housing for this older adult group. The US Housing Urban Development (HUD) describes affordable housing as costing about 30% or less of a senior citizen's gross monthly income.
In the case of seniors on a fixed income, it might still prove costly to find senior housing, so HUD initiated low-income as well as very-low income programs to assist this group. Older adults on a fixed income can find appropriate senior living accommodation at reduced rents through HUD privately-owned subsidized housing, the Housing Choice Voucher Program under Section 8, and public housing.
Section 202 of the HUD program details supportive housing for senior citizens, and it aims at providing private and nonprofit sponsors with interest-free capital advances for financing senior housing developments.
Looking Through Senior Apartment Listings
At this point, you might want to have a look at some of the listings that came up when you searched for senior housing near you. Using the guidelines outlined above it makes the process less strenuous. At Senior Living Help, we enable seniors to locate rental homes and apartments and help locate suitable housing for seniors in different states.
It is also beneficial to look at 55+ senior apartment options in different states to see how much you can expect to pay because the costs vary from one state to the other. There is also absolutely no shame in seeking help from agencies that specialize in finding appropriate senior apartments based on your particular needs. The bottom line is that 55+ apartments provide an ideal living solution for seniors in need of low-maintenance and inexpensive housing and we hope you find the perfect senior apartment near you.
Find Senior Housing, Apartments & Senior Living Communities by State:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
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