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Senior housing, at its most general definition, is a spectrum of communities designed specifically for seniors, and each community varies widely. There are communities for independent older adults who simply want house chores taken care of, and then there are communities that provide 24/7 caregiving, something that isn’t necessarily attainable while living at home.

Popular opinion suggests that most seniors would rather age in place, but senior housing communities offer many great benefits that are overlooked. Many residents love the socialization component, as communities often schedule regular programs, from yoga to outings in the city. In addition, communities provide a peace of mind with fine dining and housekeeping, and for seniors that need a little assistance, senior housing communities have many caregivers on staff to help residents at any moment.

There’s little surprise that senior housing is quickly becoming a popular option among seniors. The first step is deciding which type of senior housing you are looking for. Here are some of the most common types:

Independent Living

Also known as active adult communities, independent living communities are communities for seniors aged 55+ that are very independent and don’t require any level of care. Rather, residents of independent living often choose to move in due to the socialization component. These communities usually offer the following: Social scene, fine dining, and housekeeping.

Assisted Living

The most common type of senior housing for seniors that need some care, assisted living provides all the benefits you’d find in an independent living community, in addition to the following: Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), 24-hour supervision, and state-licensing through the Department of Social Services

Memory Care

This is a special type of assisted living designed for seniors with forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s. Staff are specially trained to handle memory issues with care! Memory care communities include: Assisted living features, specialized programs for memory, and secured egress.

Skilled Nursing

Also known as nursing homes, skilled nursing communities today have come a long way from their less-than-stellar reputation of the past. Skilled nursing communities offer state-of-the-art care and have on-site doctors and nurses to handle residents with more critical medical conditions. You’ll find the following at a skilled nursing community: Licensed medical staff, state-licensing through the Department of Health, and acceptance of Medicare/Medical

CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities)

CCRCs are a unique type of community designed for people who prefer to move once and not think about moving ever again! CCRCs are a mashup between the previous four types of senior housing, so any resident can age in place easily because all levels of care are on-site. CCRCs have: Independent living features, assisted living features, memory care features, and skilled nursing features.

After deciding which type of senior community is the best fit, the most important part in the decision-making process is actually touring the communities. There’s no better way to get a sense of a place than visiting it. We recommend you tour at least three communities, and make sure to ask a lot of questions! The more you know about the communities, the better the fit will be. You’ll know when you discover the right home.

For more information, check out to search communities and read articles on finding senior housing the right way.

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