7 Types of Retirement Homes+ How To Choose Senior Living Community

When it comes to retirement homes, there are so many questions that come to your mind. When you or your loved ones age into the golden years, it is crucial to find a place that provides health care, senior assisted living or semi assisted living, comfort, and care. 

it is essential to plan in advance. By thinking ahead of time, you can ensure that your lifestyle remains as comfortable and smooth as always, along with ensuring that you sign up for the best respite care when it is time to move to the best retirement community.

Today, there are so many options for senior living communities and types of retirement homes that it is natural to feel overwhelmed and confused. It is crucial to know your options and make an informed decision.

We are going to make the decision easier for you by discussing the styles of senior living communities and types of retirement homes along with many frequently asked questions about retirement living choices.


Types of Retirement Homes

Two women smiling

When you start to look for senior living options for yourself or help to find senior living for family members, there are so many options to choose from and compare. By knowing what suits your requirements the best, you can make a good selection.

The retirement homes or senior living options can broadly be divided into 7 categories. Here is a list of types of retirements homes with complete details to help you pick a perfect one for you or your loved ones.


Respite Care

Jane, a full-time working mom of two, has an aging father. He just crossed 90. Although he is in relatively great health for his age yet it is not possible for him to join Jane for the family vacation.

They decided to go for Respite care for a month. The center provided all necessary care and had a great community of elders. Jane could go for the vacation knowing that her father was in good hands and rather enjoyed his stay there.

Respite care is a community-led care home that allows elders to opt for assisted or semi assisted living. You can stay in the care home for a week, month, or more depending on your situation.

It is a perfect solution for elders and primary caregivers alike. While elders get professional services for a comfortable living,

Respite care is a great way to get acquainted with new people and be a part of a community with similar ages and goals. It is surprising to know that most residents enjoyed their stay and were willing to move in after their first stay.

Also Known as: 

  • Adult daycare
  • Short-term stay programs

Mode of Payment:

  • Private Pay
  • Medicaid

Average Price: $75 to $150 daily depending on services.


Residential Care Home

David and Linda sold their huge 5 bedroom house once their kids moved out. They were looking for a place where they could feel at home, have interesting activities, and meet people of their age. The residential care home was a great fit for their need.

Residential care homes are community-based living options where residents feel comfortable in their homes with a live-in caretaker. These types of retirement homes are more of a community than a care home. It is especially a great option for those who wish to live in a thriving neighborhood yet prefer their privacy.

The caretaker and other facilities may vary depending on your preference and needs. You will get assistance in your daily activities like bathing, dressing, or others. We recommend you check the available services and specify your requirements.

Also called as:

  • Board and care home
  • Group home
  • Adult family home

Mode of Payment: 

  • Medicaid
  • Private pay

Average Price: $1500 to $3000 monthly depending on care level and services


Assisted Living

Assisted living is perfect for seniors who are not capable of doing their regular activities on their own but do not require nursing homes. They need assistance with bathing, dressing up. walking, housekeeping, and other daily chores.

In Assisted living homes, elders get to live in their private homes with assistance from staff who take care of their daily needs and keep the house running.

Most assisted living apartments or homes are equipped with a working kitchen, dining & living space. Meals will be provided according to your dietary needs and preferences.

The staff of assisted living homes is often from licensed nursing services or trained professionals to take care of senior people.

Unlike nursing homes. you will get to have an active social life. There are many activities organized to keep you physically and socially active.

You may want to check their services and activity schedule when you visit.

Also called as:

  • Assisted care community
  • Personal care home

Mode of Payment:

  • Medicaid
  • private pay

Average Price:

  • $2500 to $4000 monthly depending on services, assistance level, and apartment size
  • $2800 to $4500 for Alzheimer’s care unit (Check if available)


Home Care

Sometimes seniors do not want to move to a new house as there as so many memories, family, and friends in their present home. Home care is a perfect senior living option for them. You live in your own home and get all the assistance you need.

It is a popular living arrangement for the elderly where you live in the comfort of their house, family members can visit them and they still can be close to their friends and neighbors. It is also ideal for primary caregivers as it provides comfort, care, and emotional support to seniors.

Home care services are pretty flexible and one of the best types of retirement homes option. Depending on your condition and requirements, you may choose from daily assistance to once a week. It is also economical compared to other options for eldercare.

Also called as:

  • Home care aide
  • In-home personal care
  • Home health care

Mode of Payment:

  • Medicaid
  • Medicare via certified home health agencies
  • Private Pay

Average Price: 

  • $30 to $50 per hour depending on the services


Independent Living Communities

There are thriving senior living communities with all amenities for socially active and comfortable living. It is ideal for seniors who do not have a chronic illness and still can manage to do a part of their daily chores with some assistance.

Independent Living Communities have independent senior living single-family homes catering to your needs, clubs, restaurants, and cafes. You can choose customized meals as per your dietary requirements. 

Independent Living Communities are just like regular communities with assisted living condos and added safety to ensure good quality of life and comfort.

Also called as: 

  • Senior apartments
  • Congregate care
  • Retirement communities
  • Continuing care retirement community
  • 55+ Communities
  • Retirement villages

Mode of Payment:

  • Private Pay
  • Some government funding through Section 202

Average Price:

  • $1500 to $3500 monthly depending on the services.


Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are for seniors who need 24/7 medical assistance for their health and safety. They need to be monitored by health professionals and assisted by licensed nurses.

The stay depends on the severity of the health condition. It may range from a few weeks or long term stay. Seniors with recent surgeries, chronic ailments, injury, or other age-related issues may choose to stay in a nursing home for better care and assistance.

The activities, food, and daily routines are monitored by the medical staff according to your individual needs. Residents stay in the shared or semi-private rooms depending on their health condition.

Also called:

  • Convalescent care
  • Skilled nursing center
  • Long term care facility
  • Nursing center

Mode of Payment:

  • Medicaid
  • Medicare via certified home health agencies
  • Private Pay

Average Price:

  • $4000 to $8000 monthly depending on the services


Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s or dementia patients need contact care and assistance. There are many facilities that take care of seniors with memory impairment. They ensure safety, care, and comfort for seniors.

Although, families prefer to keep their elderly at home with Alzheimer’s or dementia it becomes a little difficult as they need round-the-clock assistance and professional care. They also need to have activities to keep them active and safe.

Alzheimer’s Care can be done in other types of retirement homes too like nursing homes, personal care homes, and assisted living as mentioned earlier. You need to check all the details when you visit the care home.

Also called:

  • Dementia Care
  • Memory Care

Mode of Payment:

  • Medicaid
  • private pay

Average Price:

  • $3000 to $7000 monthly depending on the services


FAQ’s about Retirement Homes

What questions should you ask yourself before making a retirement decision?

There are several aspects that you have to consider while exploring your retirement option, including the following:

  1. Do I want to indulge in social activities?
  2. Do I want to interact with people of the same age group as mine?
  3. Do I feel lonely and alienated while living on my own?
  4. Do I feel lethargic after doing my daily chores and prepping food?
  5. Do I feel difficulties, such as body aches while doing my daily chores or moving around the house?
  6. Do I feel lonelier than before?
  7. Do I worry about what I would do if I were to fall ill?

If you answered in the affirmative to any of the above-mentioned questions, it might be a tell-tale sign that it is time to explore your potential retirement home options. Like any important life decision, you will have to invest time and energy in selecting the best retirement home option.


Why It Is Crucial to Plan Ahead for Your Retirement Home?

Many seniors make the mistake of delaying the planning process while leaving it for later when they start to experience difficulties and are forced to consider the best retirement options. The downfall of waiting for a difficult time to arrive is that it greatly reduces the options that you have, and you are forced to settle for something that you wouldn’t have chosen otherwise.

Despite the fact that the average retirement age of the general population of elderly people is 80 to 85 years, it is considered wise if you would explore and assess your retirement options once you cross the age of 70. Your health and other factors also play a significant role in making a retirement decision.


 What to look for in a retirement community?

You could initiate your research by learning more about the retirement communities in your area and even remote areas. You could consult with your family, assess your finances, and see which options would serve you best and would attend to your requirements and needs.


How to find the right retirement community for you?

While selecting the best retirement community for you, you will have many questions in your mind. Make a list of your potential options, and call them to explore the different types of amenities, services, and community activities offered.

If you like a few options, make it a point to visit them – preferably with your family and friends to have a better look at what is being offered. During the tour, make sure to ask all sorts of questions, including the inclusion of a 24/7 healthcare system.

We also recommend that you stay for dinner or lunch during your tour, depending on when you conduct the tours. See how the staff interacts with the elderly residents. Don’t shy away from asking questions to the elderly people who are residing in the communities. For a better experience, we recommend that you ask the retirement community manager to arrange a night stay, so you can fully understand and experience what your living experience will be.

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Types of Retirement homes


Parting words

You could explore a bit more about the essential differences between the various types of retirement homes and what kind of retirement community would work best for you. You need to have an honest and open conversation with yourself while thinking about what kind of retirement life you want to live and what you expect from a retirement community.

Team Sweet Sharing
Sweet Sharing is a Travel & lifestyle site founded by Garima Nag that covers Travel, Food, Fashion, Beauty, Health, and parenting.

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