Active Adult Communities

4/26/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

It’s not uncommon for older adults to arrive at a time in their lives where living in a house is no longer appealing or even possible. They wish to downsize and leave behind all those responsibilities – mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, weeding the flower beds, etc. – that accompany homeownership.

However, instead of selling their single-family home and using the proceeds to purchase a condo or move into a seniors housing facility, they opt for apartment living – specifically, senior apartment living. But – what are senior apartments? These are not traditional apartments; instead, they’re designed with seniors in mind.

What are senior apartments?

Senior apartments are age-restricted to people 55 or 62 years old and older. Apartments targeted toward older adults might be called 55+ apartments, 62+ apartments, age-restricted apartments, or active adult apartments. Still, they all refer to senior apartments, and they all have benefits and features that cater to those approaching retirement or are already there.

Senior apartment complexes typically offer one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and the occasional studio options. They are often near bus or other public transportation lines and close to medical centers. Some even provide transportation services.

The apartments come in a range of rates, with the senior luxury apartments having the highest monthly rents and those designated for low-income renters having the most affordable. Most of those in the middle price range are at or below market rates.

What are the advantages of living in a senior apartment?

While senior apartments offer several advantages over apartments for all ages, the primary one is living around others in your age range. Qualifying for seniors-only status means the apartment complex must restrict at least 80 percent of its units for households with at least one person over age 55. So, you won’t have to contend with young children running around or young adults throwing noisy parties.

But what are senior apartments’ other advantages?

Increased security: Living in proximity of several neighbors allows them to keep an eye on your unit when you’re away. Many apartments offer several locked doors and security systems. And gates and building guards provide additional security at some apartment complexes.

Camaraderie: Senior apartment living can offer the opportunity to build a support network with those who enjoy the same activities as you.

Lower maintenance cost: Maintenance issues can be frustrating at any age. As an older adult, fewer maintenance costs translate into less stress and more time to do what you enjoy.

Less expensive housing: Renting an apartment typically costs less than a home with a mortgage, taxes, and substantial maintenance expenses.

Potential for financial freedom: Living in an apartment can allow you to free up the considerable home equity you’ve accumulated over the years, resulting in financial freedom.

Many senior apartment complexes also offer various amenities that include:

  • Fitness centers
  • Swimming pools
  • Clubhouse facilities
  • Tennis courts
  • Walking paths
  • Outdoor areas for barbecues and picnics
  • Laundry facilities or in-unit washers and dryers
  • Walk-in and lighted closets
  • Step-in showers
  • Elevators
  • Emergency call systems
  • Gated or controlled access
  • Salons and barbershops

Are there any drawbacks to senior apartment living?

Although these can be an excellent living arrangement for older adults, there are a few disadvantages to consider:

Less space: Even the largest apartments are quite a bit smaller than a house. Downsizing means discarding, selling, or donating many of your possessions and mementos to fit into a smaller space.

Leaving good memories behind: If the house you are leaving is filled with many years of fond memories and good times, the new apartment may feel uninviting at first.

Navigating stairs: If there is no elevator or apartments available on the first floor, climbing the stairs could pose some risk.

Home assistance: Seniors with health issues should understand that apartment complexes usually do not provide in-home health care. You will have to arrange for that separately.

Do your homework

What are senior apartments’ advantages for you? Before settling on a specific senior apartment complex, investigate the amenities to ensure they meet your preferences. Keep in mind that the more amenities a complex offers, the more expensive the rent will be. If you know you won’t be using all the amenities, find a facility that doesn’t offer as many and save some money.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff