A 55+ community, also known as an active adult community, is a neighborhood that caters to independent people aged 55 years and older. Residents in these communities do not generally need help with daily living such as those in an assisted living community. These communities are designed to give maximum freedom to older adults, affording them the luxury of a calm neighborhood surrounded by individuals at a similar stage in life. Most older adults purchase homes in 55+ communities to avoid the noise and bustle common in communities with children and adolescents.

Many 55+ communities offer residents different housing options to cater to different preferences. These communities also feature shared amenities that help homeowners maintain an active lifestyle and develop social connections with their neighbors. Despite the target market for these communities being older adults, some 55+ communities may open home ownership to a younger demographic to fill the available housing units. In many cases, 55+ communities also allow people who don’t meet the age criteria to move in with older adults, such as a younger spouse or an adult child of an older homeowner.

Senior Living Communities

In most 55+ communities, seniors can choose from different housing types, including bungalows, condos and townhouses. Seniors can also move to communities that cater to specific interests. Some 55+ senior living communities are designed exclusively for single seniors, while others are more suited for active older adults who want to pursue sports such as tennis, football and basketball. Resort-style communities offer residents a range of luxury amenities, including golf courses, spas and equestrian facilities.

Senior living communities are suitable for active adults who can independently cook and handle daily chores. However, these communities often offer amenities that cater to an aging demographic. For example, most communities handle yardwork and general outdoor cleanliness. A community may have shopping centers and restaurants to reduce the need for seniors to travel long distances to access basic services. Many 55+ communities provide van or bus transportation for residents who don’t drive. They may also organize social activities such as game nights, parties and group outings to help residents nurture social ties with their neighbors.

Senior Apartments

Senior apartments are another form of 55+ communities whereby older adults live in age-restricted buildings. Senior apartments can be smaller than the houses residents previously lived in, making them ideal for people who want to downsize during retirement. Such apartments offer amenities such as elevators and wheelchair ramps. Seniors can also benefit from shared social spaces like gyms, swimming pools and bars. Senior apartments may be located within towns, making it easier for residents to access restaurants, shopping centers and health care facilities.

Since buildings offering senior apartments are located in regular neighborhoods, residents can expect to pay market rates for rent or mortgage. Residents of such apartments are fully responsible for house chores and personal care. However, unlike with regular house ownership, residents of senior apartments don’t have to handle routine maintenance for the building’s interior and exterior. They may also opt to pay extra to have people take care of the housekeeping, laundry and cooking. Residents of senior apartments lead active lives and aren’t restricted by the schedules found in other types of senior living communities. However, some buildings with senior apartments have initiatives to improve socialization among neighbors, including holiday parties, exercise classes and shared activity rooms for art and music.