The average age of a person in a retirement home is between 75 and 84. Retirement communities differ from assisted living communities, as the people who live in these communities are generally independent and active. Those who require help with the activities of daily living are more likely to move into an assisted living community where they receive more day-to-day support.

Retirement communities are usually open to seniors aged 55 and over, although some require residents to be aged 62 or older. These communities usually offer a variety of amenities, including grounds maintenance and concierge service, to help seniors make the most of their retirement years.

Some Communities Offer Aging in Place

Retirement communities usually expect their residents to be self-sufficient, meaning staff does not typically offer meal service, transportation or help with the activities of daily living. Seniors who need assistance with these things can hire their own aides to visit them or book meal deliveries with a local Meals on Wheels service.

There are some independent living communities that have large campuses and offer other living options such as assisted living or dementia care. Seniors living at one of these communities can adjust their care plans as their needs change. They may also relocate from an independent living apartment to a more accessible studio if they struggle to maintain a larger property.

Costs in Retirement Communities

Seniors living in a retirement home will most likely have to cover the costs of their housing, either through their pension or Social Security income. The Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program helps low-income seniors access affordable housing in accessible, independent living apartments designed with seniors in mind. These communities may offer some help with day-to-day tasks and charge only a nominal fee for their services. Those who require more frequent help with the activities of daily living or who need health care can often have that portion of their costs covered by Medicaid programs such as the Home and Community Based Services Waiver.