As a senior citizen, your lifestyle is likely in flux. You may be preparing to retire or already in retirement. While in retirement, you are most likely on a fixed income. At the same time, like most seniors, you probably live alone or with a retired spouse, and you want to downgrade the size of your home. This is often due to the expense of maintaining the house and property, as well as paying for utilities and taxes. If you live alone, you may suffer from loneliness, depression, or empty nest syndrome. One way to overcome this loneliness is to move into a community with other seniors.
A senior apartment is a way for seniors to live among other people their age with similar lifestyles. In addition, a senior apartment can help seniors better afford housing while on a fixed income. If you are considering a senior apartment, learn more about what you can expect with this type of senior housing.
A senior apartment is a type of housing that is available to residents based on their age. Typically, seniors have to be at least 50 to live in a senior apartment. However, apartments for seniors vary in their age restrictions, such as requiring seniors to be over 65 to live in a unit.
In addition, state-governed affordable senior apartments often require only a percentage of all residents in the building to be a senior citizen. For example, with some low-income senior apartment complexes, 80 percent of residents must be over 65. This is due to the demand for housing in low-income areas, along with the lack of seniors to fill all of the residential slots.
As for the housing itself, a senior apartment is on par with any other type of apartment that is rented to residents. There may be handicap accessible features at senior apartments, but this is not a requirement for all apartments for this age group. As a result, seniors living in apartments need to be active seniors without serious health issues or memory care needs.
A senior apartment can vary greatly in the style of housing.
In an apartment or condo for seniors, the units are arranged by floors. This requires residents to walk either using stairways or down hallways. For seniors with mobility concerns, this can be problematic. However, this type of apartment is typically more affordable compared to a stand-alone or single level apartment.
This is a quieter housing arrangement. It is also a more accessible housing setup for seniors who struggle with stairs or walking long distances like hallways. For seniors who are interested in maintaining their privacy and living in an apartment that is more like a single family home, these ground level apartments are the way to go.
Another type of senior apartments is akin to dorm-style living.
These suite-style apartments for seniors offer more of a community feel and are good for social seniors interested in interacting with other residents.
In addition to the style of senior living apartments, you also want to look at the lifestyles associated with different complexes. The two main types include:
In a luxury senior apartment, the focus is on providing services and an atmosphere that is on par with lavishness. An example of a luxury apartment for seniors might offer spa services, gourmet meal delivery, swimming, and golfing within the apartment grounds.
An affordable or low-income senior apartment is just the opposite of luxury living. Here you are provided with the bare basics for an apartment unit. There will not be value-added amenities or activities for seniors at this type of apartment. You may also be living among non-seniors who are low-income, based on the resident requirement rule of the city.
When choosing a senior living apartment, you want to check out what services and amenities they offer to residents. Take notes and get any brochures or literature about the available features so you can compare these to other apartments in the area. Also, inquire about whether these services and amenities are available to all residents, or if they are limited in hours or require an additional fee for services. Here are some of the most common senior apartment services and amenities to look for:
Use this list to help you choose the services and amenities that are at the top of your preferences. Some services may be out of the question, while other services may be available only upon request.
A senior apartment is intended to provide you with services that will help improve your quality of life in your later years. This involves more dedication to services and amenities, as you just discovered in the extensive listing above. Choosing the best senior apartment for you will require additional research compared to someone getting their first apartment in early adulthood. You most likely will live in this apartment for the duration of your retirement, and you need a space that offers amenities based on your lifestyle.
To help you with this important decision, we have created a checklist of questions you can ask before choosing your senior apartment:
You also want to consider the atmosphere of the staff and current residents.
Keep in mind that you will be living here, so you want to find a senior apartment where you feel welcomed and at ease.
If you aren’t sure if a senior apartment is the right choice for you, consider this. A senior apartment is great for individuals who have few mobility issues and a low level of care. If you are active and want to be engaged with the senior community, a senior apartment is a great place to live. You have your privacy, but you are provided with services and amenities, if you can afford it, that will improve your quality of life.
That being said, if you are considered low-income, you will be restricted to the types of senior apartments available to you. This can reduce the quality of the senior living experience. However, for seniors who need somewhere to live, this remains a viable option.
If you are dealing with medical issues, such as early onset dementia, age-related macular degeneration, or lack of mobility, then you may not be eligible for a senior apartment. These apartments do not provide specialized medical services onsite with some exceptions.
It might be possible to have a private nurse whom you hire to provide you with services in your apartment. However, this is the exception and not the rule. If you need specialized health services, then you will likely want to look into other types of senior housing, such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes. These facilities are set up to provide a more advanced level of care without costing a fortune in private services.
You will need to be a senior in order to live in a senior apartment. The age ranges from 50 years on up. If you are in your 30’s or 40’s and want to go ahead and pay for a senior apartment, this will not be an option. However, you can save for your retirement and plan accordingly by understanding how much senior apartments cost.
To determine the cost of senior apartments, first, note that you will be renting an apartment. However, due to the increased services and facilities available with senior living, the cost of these apartments is much more than your standard apartment rental. The typical range for senior apartments is anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 a month.
The lower range is for low-income or affordable senior living, while the upper end will be what it costs for luxury apartments for seniors. On average, however, the cost that most seniors can expect to pay is $3,000 a month. That is still much higher than the cost of a typical apartment for younger adults.
If you want to purchase a senior apartment, you will want to take another route for senior housing. Continuing care retirement communities or CCRCs provide you with the option to buy a private home.
In order to be able to afford a senior living apartment, you will need to prepare in advance. Retirement savings and investment income are the way to go here. If you do not have these but own your own home, the ideal route is to sell the house to be able to pay for an apartment.
Unfortunately, most seniors do not have enough money saved for retirement to cover the costs of a senior apartment. Some seniors may continue to work during their senior years to help cover these costs. Another option is to apply for low-income housing for seniors. This service gives you a stipend and access to affordable apartments.
Senior living apartments are not governed by any one agency. Therefore, you will have to do your research to find apartments near you.
If you are looking for low-income apartments for seniors, you will need to go through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This agency provides HUD apartments for the elderly. To get started with the application process, contact the HUD apartment building nearest you.
While there is almost always a waiting list for HUD housing if you meet certain requirements you can be placed in a housing immediately. According to federal regulations, if you are currently homeless or living in a dangerous or unsanitary home, then you automatically receive assistance.
Considering how much paperwork is involved in getting a low-income apartment for a senior, you will want to get help. Contact a HUD housing counseling agent nearest to you and they will guide you through the process. The agent will also help you determine if a senior apartment is your best option, or if you would be better off in an assisted living center or nursing home.
We have set up a helpline for seniors who need assistance with senior apartments. Our goal is to provide you or your caregivers with accurate and up-to-date senior housing information.
When you call our helpline, we will answer your questions regarding which type of senior apartment is best for your level of care and how to find a senior apartment near you. Our senior helpline is a 100 percent free service that is dedicated to helping you improve your quality of life with the best senior apartment information.