Seniors who are in reasonably good health and don't have serious mobility issues may want to look into "senior apartments" as a housing option. These are multi-unit residences specifically designed for adults, age 55 and over, who would like to live in a community of their peers.
At least one person in the household must have attained the age of 55 or older in order to qualify for residency in "senior apartments". Senior apartments can be quite attractive to a wide range of individual lifestyles. They also vary considerably in amenities and price, ranging from luxury apartments to housing that is more affordable for fixed-income retirees.
Typically, senior apartments do not provide assistance with personal or medical care. However, additional services, such as meals, transportation, housekeeping and laundry may be available for an extra charge.
Security for residents is normally included in rental fees. Parking and sidewalk areas are well lit. Entry to the apartment building is secured either through gated or keyed entry, or by the services of a security guard. Further security provisions include either a manned front desk or intercom system.
Since services and amenities that are offered can vary considerably, it is essential that the senior's personal interests and lifestyle be taken into consideration. Are facilities such as a common dining area, common TV room, library, exercise room or swimming pool important? Does the senior need to live in a facility that accept pets? Is it important that elevators, laundry facilities (either on-site or in-unit), storage areas, a garage or covered parking areas are available? How about things such as internet connectivity, availability of satellite or cable TV connections? Is it important that apartments are accessible to handicapped individuals including features such as grab bars and non-slip flooring in the bathroom, wide doorways and ramps to accommodate wheelchairs?
One may wonder, what possible reason would a senior have to leave a comfortable private home, especially one that is completely paid for, in order to rent an apartment? One major benefit might be to have access to equity resulting from the sale of the home in order to travel or make other, more liquid, investments.
Older adults may find it advantageous to no longer have to worry about home or yard maintenance, freeing up time for leisure activities. Some individuals may find that they have a greater sense of personal security living in a larger complex with their peers. They may feel it is time to "downsize" or to take advantage of amenities that would not be available in their private home.
It is important to note that senior apartments are not regulated by federal or state agencies. Rules in the community are established by the company that manages the property. Management representatives may or may not be available on-site to address urgent needs.
For some older adults, senior apartments may be a wonderful solution to their housing needs. When evaluating possible apartment complexes, the senior's individual needs must be carefully considered. Talk with current residents to gain additional insight into what it's like to live there.
As senior apartments vary widely from one property to the next, a good fit can usually be found by exercising due diligence during the planning stage.