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Can Someone Under 55 Live in a Senior Community?

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Living alone as an older adult can be lonely business. This is especially true if a person isn’t in the greatest health and can’t get out and do things. We’re wired to have friendships with other people, but this often gets harder and harder to do as we age.

Depression is a relatively common thing among the aging adults. And one of many contributing factors is the loneliness that often accompanies growing old. This is where senior communities and other things designed for the aging adults are a benefit. 

What Is a Senior Living Community?

Many people assume that a community and a facility are the same things when it comes to senior living. In a way, they are similar, but there is a pretty substantial difference.

A senior living or assisted living home has a much higher focus on special care. This is where older adults can live when they can no longer care for themselves or live independently.

On the other hand, a senior living community focuses most on the “community” aspect. These communities are generally for people aged 55 and older, typically for people who are still relatively independent. 

That being said, there are usually still different assisted living services like bathing assistance or medication reminders available in a senior community. But there is more emphasis on social and relationship building with games rooms or special events hosted by the community’s staff. 

Do You Have to be Over 55 to Live in a Senior Community?

There isn’t really a cut-and-dry answer to whether you have to be over 55. Generally, most senior living communities require residents to be 55 or older. But this isn’t typically a problem because many seniors choose a senior living community between 75 and 84.

In some states, there are laws that allow people younger than 55 to live in a senior community, provided there is someone over the required age living in the home with them.

If this is a concern in your situation, the best thing to do is ask the director of the communities that you are considering.

Two senior couples sitting together while they drink coffee

Senior Living Options

When considering where you or your loved one will spend their golden years, there are several options based on needs and desired comforts.

Independent Living Condos or Apartments

Taking care of a big house is a bigger task. Even if the individual can still care for themselves, moving to an apartment or condo can make life easier.

Typically moving to an independent living apartment or condo complex offers a simpler way of living. And also, most of these types of complexes provide many different amenities to enable and encourage socialization and relationship building between residents.

Some things you can expect to find are:

  • Salons
  • Movie rooms
  • Gyms
  • Game rooms
  • One or more meals included with the rent
  • Outdoor recreational activities
  • Planned events

Independent Living Communities

Apartment or condo life isn’t for everyone. There are also independent living options where you’re part of a senior community. But you have your own small home or villa to live in. This offers a little more privacy than an apartment building.

The community employs staff to take care of all maintenance and care of the home, so you don’t have to worry about that.

This type of senior community will often have similar or the same amenities. In addition, there is usually some access to various day-to-day services that you’d expect in an assisted living community. Things like medical services or transportation to go grocery shopping are common.

Assisted Living

In an assisted living home, there is still a community mindset. However, the emphasis is on taking care of seniors who can no longer successfully and safely care for themselves on a daily basis.

Some things you can expect to find in an assisted living home are:

  • Meal preparation
  • Assistance with the daily activities like eating or bathing
  • Medication reminders or administration
  • Medical services
  • Laundry and housekeeping

Still Have Questions About Senior Living?

Whether you’re considering this for yourself or helping a loved one make the move, this isn’t a small decision. The community you choose must meet your needs and provide the comforts you or your loved one desires. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’re happy to answer any questions or book you a tour of the community.

Written by Lucy Townsend

Lucy is the executive director at The Villages at the River Club. Since she was a young girl, she has had a great interest in helping others, especially her elderly neighbors. Graduating from Austin Peay with a healthcare management degree, she worked in a skilled nursing home, receiving her nursing home administrator license in 2002.

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