3 Step Independent Senior Communities Guide


There are many types of Retirement Communities from Independent Living to a spectrum of care that can include Assisted Living and/or Nursing Care. From no frills to a plethora of amenities and services, Retirement Communities can differ greatly. For the educational purposes of this guide, we only include information on the following:

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
  • Rental Retirement Communities


Click on the link below for a questionnaire on Home Care Services. Not all questions will be relevant to your particular situation based on the type of home care needed.

Acquaint yourself with this information for a practical overview of knowledge and use as a checklist for interviewing perspective home care providers.


Once you educate yourself on what type of Home Care services are needed, click on the link below to use our Home Care Directory to search for a Home Care Provider that meets your requirements. Use the Search Filter to narrow down your particular needs.

The key difference between active adult/independent living and other senior housing options is the level of assistance offered for activities of daily living. There are many types of independent living arrangements, from apartment complexes or houses to congregate living, which range in cost and services provided.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A Continuing Care Retirement Community offers a tiered approach to the aging process. Healthy adults reside independently in single-family homes, apartments or condominiums. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, they move into assisted living or nursing care facilities within the same community.

CCRCs Provide:

  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living
  • Nursing Care

Many CCRCs require a one-time entrance fee and monthly payments thereafter. Fees vary from one community to another depending on the type of house and services each offers, and the extent to which long-term care is covered. Some communities operate on a rental basis in which residents make monthly payments, but do not pay an entry fee. While in other communities residents own instead of rent their units in arrangements similar to a condominium or cooperative ownership.

AHCA licenses and inspects the Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Facilities in a CCRC. The Department of Insurance regulates the CCRC contracts.

55 Plus Communities/Independent Living Residences

Senior apartment communities, manufactured home communities and mobile home parks are tailored to the needs of active adults over 55 years of age. Residents live independently and are generally responsible for their own utilities, and personal care. These communities do not offer the type of personal care services that assisted living communities and memory care facilities provide. Some 55 plus communities provide laundry and kitchen services, as well as 24-hour staff and/or concierge to attend to any other needs.

Many communities offer amenities such as:

  • Swimming pools
  • Dance classes
  • Fitness programs
  • Art studios
  • Religious activities
  • Organized Card, Board and Video Games
  • Billiards
  • Putting Greens/Golf Courses

If a community does not offer such opportunities on site, they may supply transportation to off-site locations for these activities. Most community fees include landscaping services and security.

Affordable Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) creates affordable housing through assistive services for seniors and the disabled.

There are three types of affordable rent programs:

  • Public Housing Owned and run by local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).
  • Multifamily Subsidized Housing Privately owned housing that is subsidized by HUD.
  • Housing Vouchers Provide rental assistance to individuals and families for housing in the private market.

Keep in mind that HUD programs are designed primarily for independent seniors and the waiting lists for HUD housing are often long (from two to five years).

Sage Aging ElderCare Guide
Author: Sage Aging ElderCare Guide

Sage Aging ElderCare Guide was created to lead families to good information on senior living and care choices. You will find educational articles, videos, podcasts, worksheets and searchable provider directories on this website to help you make quality decisions. Feel free to contact us at info@ElderCareGuide.com or call us at 863-802-5043 if you need additional assistance.