Senior Apartments: An Overview

Senior apartments are age-restricted, multi-unit residences designed for 55+ adults with good health and mobility who want to live independently near other seniors. The designation “senior apartments” requires that one member of the household be at least 55. Senior apartments come at all price points, from luxury to market rate to affordable housing, and appeal to all sorts of lifestyles.

What Amenities and Services Will I Find in a Senior Apartment?

Usually, they offer no medical or personal care assistance, but additional services, such as meals, transportation, laundry and housekeeping, can be purchased at an extra cost. Most senior apartment complexes offer security from the street through a senior-apartmentsgated or keyed entry, security guard and amply lit parking and sidewalk areas, and at individual units via an intercom or front desk.

Amenities and services range widely, so personal lifestyle and interests are serious considerations. How important to you are a pool, spa, exercise equipment, common dining room, clubhouse, library or media room? Additional amenities to consider include:

  • On-site or in-unit laundry facilities
  • Pet- and child-friendliness
  • Elevators and stairs
  • Non-slip floors and grab bars in bathrooms
  • Accessible light switches and electrical outlets
  • Additional storage
  • Garage or covered parking
  • Satellite or cable TV
  • Internet connection

Some communities offer recreational, educational or social activities. Many senior apartments are close to shopping, public transportation, medical facilities, walking and bicycle trails, airports and metropolitan areas.

Why Rent a Senior Apartment When I Already Own a Home?

Unless you have been renting all your life, why would you want to leave your home to rent? One big advantage is to free up equity from the sale of a home for travel and investment. Senior apartments usually require no entrance fee, and many offer move-in bonuses, such as gift cards and rent discounts.

Senior apartments appeal to older adults who want to trade home maintenance chores and yard work for leisure activities. Residents come and go without worrying about their homes. Other pluses are downsizing, living closer to other seniors and to shopping, recreational, and cultural activities. For some people, living in a large complex of all seniors also affords a greater sense of security than living in a private home.

Because senior apartments are not regulated by state or federal agencies, rules are established by the management company that runs the community, and managers may be on- or off-site. Most important, the “senior” in senior apartments means that you can expect communities to consider and cater to the needs of older adults.

As with retirement communities, senior apartments provide convenient and secure settings where residents can keep busy without the burden of home maintenance. Activities appeal to a broad range of interests, with a focus on socializing and continuing education.

Find Senior Apartments

Senior apartments are a great alternative in retirement housing. The trick to finding the right place is to evaluate each site with your needs in mind, make your plus/minus list, and talk with residents about their experience. Browse our nationwide directory to Find Independent Living apartments near you.

Written by senior housing writer Lisa Logan, PhD.