Alternative Housing Options for Seniors: Exploring Communities, Assisted Living, and Continuing Care Retirement

Mallory J Greene
Mallory J Greene
May 18th 2024 - 6 minute read
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As we age, our housing needs and preferences may change. In this blog post, we will explore senior housing options, including senior communities, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), to help you make an informed decision about future living arrangements.

As we age, our housing needs and preferences may change. Many seniors find themselves seeking alternative living arrangements that better suit their lifestyle, health requirements, and social desires. In this blog post, we will explore various senior housing options, including senior communities, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), to help you make an informed decision about your future living arrangements.

Senior Communities

Senior communities, also known as age-restricted communities or 55+ communities, are designed specifically for older adults who are looking for a vibrant, active lifestyle among their peers. These communities often offer a wide range of amenities and activities tailored to the interests and needs of seniors.

Benefits of Senior Communities:

1. Social engagement: Senior communities provide ample opportunities for social interaction, allowing residents to build friendships and participate in group activities.

2. Maintenance-free living: Many senior communities offer exterior home maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal services, allowing residents to enjoy a hassle-free lifestyle.

3. Amenities: Senior communities often feature amenities such as fitness centers, swimming pools, golf courses, clubhouses, and walking trails, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.

4. Security: Gated entries, neighborhood watch programs, and well-lit common areas contribute to a heightened sense of security within senior communities.


1. Age restrictions: Most senior communities have age restrictions, typically requiring at least one resident per household to be 55 or older.

2. Location: Consider the proximity to family, friends, healthcare facilities, and local amenities when choosing a senior community.

3. Homeownership: Senior communities may offer various housing options, such as single-family homes, townhouses, or condominiums, which can be purchased or rented.

4. HOA fees: Many senior communities have homeowners' association (HOA) fees that cover the cost of maintaining common areas and amenities.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are designed for seniors who require some level of assistance with daily activities but do not need the extensive medical care provided by nursing homes. These facilities offer a combination of housing, personal care services, and healthcare support in a residential setting.

Benefits of Assisted Living:

1. Personalized care: Assisted living facilities provide tailored care plans based on each resident's individual needs, ensuring they receive the appropriate level of support.

2. 24/7 assistance: Staff members are available around the clock to assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and medication management.

3. Social engagement: Assisted living facilities offer a variety of social activities and events, encouraging residents to interact with their peers and maintain an active lifestyle.

4. Dining services: Most assisted living facilities provide nutritious meals in a communal dining setting, accommodating special dietary needs.


1. Cost: Assisted living can be expensive, with costs varying based on location, amenities, and the level of care required.

2. Privacy: While assisted living facilities offer private apartments or rooms, residents may have to share common areas and amenities.

3. Autonomy: Some seniors may feel that assisted living facilities limit their independence and autonomy, as they rely on staff for certain aspects of their daily lives.

4. Transition: Moving from a private home to an assisted living facility can be emotionally challenging for some seniors and their families.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

CCRCs offer a continuum of care, allowing seniors to age in place as their needs change over time. These communities typically provide independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care on a single campus, ensuring that residents can transition seamlessly between levels of care as needed.

Benefits of CCRCs:

1. Continuum of care: CCRCs offer a full range of care options, from independent living to skilled nursing, allowing residents to remain within the same community as their needs evolve.

2. Predictable costs: Many CCRCs offer life care contracts, which provide a predictable monthly fee that covers housing, amenities, and healthcare services, reducing the financial uncertainty associated with long-term care.

3. Amenities and activities: CCRCs often feature extensive amenities and a wide range of social, educational, and recreational activities, promoting an engaging and fulfilling lifestyle.

4. Peace of mind: Knowing that future care needs will be met within the same community can provide a sense of security and peace of mind for both residents and their families.


1. Entrance fees: Many CCRCs require a substantial entrance fee, which can be partially or fully refundable, depending on the contract type.

2. Contract types: CCRCs offer various contract types, such as life care, modified, and fee-for-service, each with different financial implications and levels of care coverage.

3. Financial stability: It is essential to research the financial stability of a CCRC before making a commitment, as the community's long-term viability can impact residents' well-being.

4. Lifestyle fit: Prospective residents should ensure that the CCRC's culture, amenities, and activities align with their personal preferences and interests.

Choosing the Right Option

When deciding on the best alternative housing option for your needs and preferences, consider the following factors:

1. Health and mobility: Assess your current and anticipated health needs to determine the level of care and support you may require.

2. Financial resources: Evaluate your financial situation, including income, assets, and long-term care insurance, to determine which options are feasible.

3. Social preferences: Consider your desired level of social interaction and engagement when choosing a housing option.

4. Location: Think about the importance of proximity to family, friends, healthcare providers, and local amenities.

5. Lifestyle: Reflect on your personal interests, hobbies, and values to find a housing option that aligns with your desired lifestyle.

Making the decision to transition to an alternative housing option can be challenging, but it is essential to plan ahead and explore your options thoroughly. By understanding the benefits and considerations of senior communities, assisted living facilities, and CCRCs, you can make an informed choice that promotes your well-being, independence, and quality of life in your golden years.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to senior housing. Take the time to visit different communities, ask questions, and involve your family and trusted advisors in the decision-making process. By doing so, you can find the perfect home that meets your unique needs and allows you to thrive in this new chapter of your life.

At Eirene Cremations, we understand that planning for the future involves more than just end-of-life arrangements. We are committed to providing resources and information to help seniors and their families navigate the various aspects of aging, including housing options. If you have any questions or would like further guidance on alternative housing options for seniors, please don't hesitate to reach out to our compassionate team.