For seniors looking for a low-maintenance, lower cost lifestyle, an apartment may be the ideal community. Apartments for seniors provide amenities such as housekeeping, dining, and activities that make life easier and more enjoyable.
Senior citizens who are looking for a place to live have different expectations and requirements than younger adults or families with children. As a result, the search for senior apartments varies according to these needs. Instead of somewhere with a playground, seniors are interested in quiet, calm outdoor spaces. Rather than an apartment with several floors and lots of stairs, seniors are more apt to ground-level accommodations. These are just some of the conditions expected of senior apartments. Read on to learn more about what you should look for when choosing the best senior apartments near you.
What are Senior Apartments?
A senior living apartment offers two main features—accessibility and a sense of community. Senior apartments are designed with the needs of aging in mind to accommodate the typical needs of elderly residents. For example, an apartment building may have no or limited stairs, handicap accessible units for wheelchairs, and handrails in the bathroom. These apartment buildings also restrict residents according to age. Most senior apartments require residents to be at least 55 years old.
Senior apartments vary in size and setup. The smaller apartments consist of studio apartments that are a large open room with a bedroom, living room, and kitchen in one space. The bathroom is typically the only room behind a closed door. Some apartments are suite-style, meaning that each senior has their own bedroom while sharing a common living space, kitchen, and bathroom with other residents.
Apartments can also be multi-room arrangements typical to single-family apartments. Townhomes, condos, duplexes, and triplexes are also available in some communities for senior apartment complexes. Each of these types of senior apartments offers the most personal, private space. In addition, multi-room, townhome, and duplex/triplex apartments are more like single-family apartments. This can help seniors in transition feel more like they are in their own home, in comparison to studio or suite apartments that are more communal.
Who Lives in Senior Apartments?
The profile of those residing in assisted living apartments varies. Some have been renters all their lives. Others have sold their homes looking for a place that requires little effort. Here’s a sampling of what you may find:
- Those looking for no home and yard maintenance.
- The recently divorced
- Those wanting the freedom to travel without having to worry about the property back home.
- Those relocating to be closer to friends and family
- Those widows or widowers needing to downsize
- Those looking for a lower cost situation (no property taxes, no maintenance, upkeep, etc.)
- Those who want to be around their peers
Can Children or Spouses Live in Senior Apartments?
In general, the only people who can live in senior apartments are seniors who are at least 55 years old. As a result, children and grandchildren cannot live in these apartments. This helps to maintain the senior community that is free of loud noise, lots of activity, and the stress of raising children. However, according to Spruce, there can be exceptions to the rule.
According to HUD guidelines, seniors living in HUD-sponsored apartments for residents who are 55 and older may be able to have children living with them. This rule states that only 80 percent of these apartments must go to seniors, while 20 percent can be rented to residents regardless of age. Therefore, by this exception, you may be able to have your child or grandchild live with you in low-income senior apartments. For senior apartments that are set aside for adults over 62, there is no way that children can live in these units with seniors. These senior apartments have a strict age policy and offer no exceptions to the rule.
If you have a spouse and they are over age 55, then they are able to live with you in senior apartments. However, they will need to apply for senior housing just as you do in order to move in if you live in low-income senior apartments.
Senior Apartment Qualifications
These communities are usually age-restricted for those 55 or 62-years-old and older. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Housing for Older Persons Act says that housing must include at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, regulates these communities. This means one spouse can be under the required age.
HUD makes exceptions for those under the minimum age if the person is handicapped. Also, those under 19 cannot be permanent residents. These communities are usually noted as “age-qualified” in their marketing brochures.
Senior Apartment Care Options
In general, a senior living apartment is for individuals with a low level of care. These apartments do not offer medical care, housekeeping, food preparation, or senior activities. Some senior apartments offer the bare minimum in additional services, but this is not the norm. There are two other types of senior living apartments that offer more amenities and services for seniors.
For seniors who need more services, such as assistance with laundry or personal transportation, there are independent living senior apartments. These apartments are for seniors with a greater level of care, but whom are still active and independent. Seniors who need medical care on a regular basis, someone to help them get dressed, or assistance with eating should check with assisted living senior apartments.