Senior Living
Exploring 55 and Older Apartments: How They Differ from Senior Living

Exploring 55 and Older Apartments: How They Differ from Senior Living

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55 and older apartments

Senior living, senior housing, and senior apartments; are they different?

When I started working in this industry, I always thought the above terms meant the same thing. But the deeper I went down the rabbit hole, I came to know these terms are interchangeable and are often mistaken as being the same. There are differences!

So today, I will break the misconception surrounding these terms and detail what exactly is a 55 and older apartment and how it differs from senior living!

What are 55 and older apartments exactly?

If I sum it up in a nutshell, 55 and older apartments are designed with seniors in mind. Simple, yes. So where does it get confusing? Terms like senior housing and 55 and over apartments are used interchangeably today. But there are differences.

An apartment for 55+ adult

Apartments for 55 and older are usually restricted to adults who are 55 years of age or older. This means that there will be no children or young adults living in the building. Specific amenities are available, but it is solely for older individuals who like to live independently.

Senior apartments

Senior apartments, on the other hand, are not strictly age-restricted. But they are designed to meet the needs of seniors. Such apartments have wider doorways, ramps, and elevators to make mobility convenient.

Benefits of apartments for 55 and older

We have a great section on everything related to senior living communities. From every kind of home care service to the benefits of other senior care types! Now let us add what the five main benefits these apartments for 55+ seniors bring and why they are worth looking into!

  1. For starters, these apartments have an age-restricted community. Meaning they are typically restricted to adults who are 55 years of age or older. That means no kids or young adults; in other words, a relaxing, peaceful living.
  2. These senior apartments have specific valuable amenities, like fitness centers, pools, elevators, etc.
  3. Security is essential in a 55 and older adult apartment. They are located in secure buildings with controlled access.
  4. 55+ older apartments can offer you maintenance-free living. This means that the landlord or property management company will handle all the repairs and maintenance. So you sit back and relax!
  5. Senior or 55+ apartments can be more affordable than retirement communities. This is because seniors may qualify for government assistance or discounts that are not applicable in assisted or independent living facilities.

So while you ponder the benefits of such apartment living, see what other things you can do to keep yourself entertained!

Senior apartment vs. senior housing: Which is better?

Time for the ultimate question; which is better: a senior apartment for 55+ adults or senior housing? Before we come to the three main things determining your decision for your next home, let’s look at the difference to clear any confusion!

Senior apartments are leased by individuals or couples aged 55 or older. These apartments are designed exclusively for 55+ older adults, generally with the following features:

  • Ground-floor units.
  • Wide doorways.
  • Grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Elevators.
  • On-site laundry.
  • Other amenities and services include transportation, social activities, and meals.

On the other hand, senior housing is a broader term that can refer to independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. You know, retirement communities. They usually have services like:

So at the end of the day, we come back to the three main factors that decide which is suitable for you:
• Your budget range
• Your specific needs and preferences
• The type of lifestyle you prefer

Remember, senior apartments or homes for 55 and older are generally for seniors who can live independently. Retirement communities offer a more communal living with trained professionals to help and assist with your daily task.

Finding 55 and older apartments for rent

For renting purposes, just go on Google and type out ‘affordable 55 and older apartments for rent near me’. You will be gifted with the correct platforms offering such apartments for seniors. But, before you consider exploring apartments 55 and older, designed with senior needs in mind, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Research by using online platforms (social media, search engines), local listings, and real estate websites to classify apartment communities for older adults.
  2. Visit local communities after researching. This means scheduling visits to potential apartments to measure the atmosphere, amenities, and overall fitness.
  3. Ask the right questions. Inquire about the community’s policies, fees, and any specific amenities that align with your preferences.
  4. Consider the location and if it is right for you. Check to see if essential services, medical facilities, and even family members are nearby.
  5. Budget is always important. Try to evaluate the costs associated with the apartment (rent, utilities, and any additional fees).

Read this article for a better understanding of senior housing in the US.

Cost of a 55 and older apartment for seniors

When considering the cost of senior housing or retirement facility options, you must explore available options, especially apartments for those 55 and over. As with any real estate or living scenario, the price depends primarily on size and location. For instance, a one-bed 55+ apartment can start from $1,600. Two-bed apartments will go over $2,000.

Other factors aside from location and size determining the price will be the amenities and the demand for 55+ senior apartments. Those on Social Security or who have a reverse mortgage can benefit greatly when it comes to finding a senior apartment for a living!

Financing your retirement

An understanding that has become universal is no matter what kind of living arrangement you are pursuing, be it assisted living, nursing homes, or even senior apartments, having a solid financial plan will stretch the time you live in your new home!

That’s why we advise you to read the following articles for a more robust understanding of financing your golden living!

Final thoughts

We hope you better understand what a 55+ apartment for seniors represents, how it differs from senior housing, and why it can be a beneficial option if you are looking outside retirement communities.

These apartments are an excellent option for seniors looking for a safe, convenient place to live independently. Ultimately, the choice will come down to the type of housing and lifestyle you prefer!

But at least now you know the difference between the two to make an informed decision!


What is the lowest age of spouse for senior housing?

The lowest age for a spouse to qualify for senior housing can differ depending on the community or complex. It is generally 55 or older. This is because senior housing is designed to meet the needs of older adults.

What state is best for low-income seniors?

Choosing a state for low-income seniors involves considering living costs, healthcare accessibility, and senior assistance programs in the specific region. However, states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona are appealing options because of certain tax friendliness. Furthermore, there are several programs to assist seniors, be it for housing, or medical requirements, that is government funded.

What is senior housing?

Senior housing is the different housing options or living choices that are presented to adults who are 55+. Senior housing can range from assisted living to independent living scenarios, depending on the care and requirement of the aged person.

What’s bad about senior citizen housing?

One of the problems of senior housing is that it can present limitations such as space constraints. Carefully deliberate the pros and cons before deciding on senior housing. There are advantages if a senior finds a luxurious senior housing accommodation, but budget becomes a concern.

Can non-seniors live in senior apartments?

In most cases, no. Senior apartments usually accommodate those aged 55 and above. However, specific communities may permit younger individuals to reside with a qualifying senior resident (for example, a senior’s son or daughter). In such cases, this is subject to specific duration limits, like a 6-month or 1-year stay.

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