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10 Different Types of Senior Housing

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

When it’s time for seniors to make a change in their living situation, they have a wide variety of choices for how they spend their retirement years. Depending on their needs, seniors could choose from several Independent Living or Assisted Living options. From the assistance you need to your favorite lifestyles, choosing the right option requires some research & deciding what is best for you or your loved one. So, what are the options & what are the differences?

Here we discuss the Different Types of Senior Housing to help you get started.

10 Different Types of Senior Housing - Independent Living

Independent Living Housing Options

Aging in Place

Aging in place is a term that describes seniors who have decided to live at home or with other family members. Seniors will often modify their homes to address mobility issues & work with home health care experts for assistance. If they are comfortable with the day-to-day tasks, seniors will often choose to Age in Place because it gives them independence & it is typically more affordable than an Assisted Living Facility.

55+ Retirement Communities

55+ Retirement Communities are age-restricted & can be single-family homes, condos, a townhouse, or an apartment. Whether the home is for rent or owned by the resident will vary by the specific community. Some communities will also cater to people with certain interests by providing different amenities and activities for the residents. The biggest benefits for Retirement Communities are that they are typically designed for assisting with mobility issues & allow seniors to enjoy a lifestyle with people their age.

Continuing-Care Retirement Communities

These types of communities are slightly different than the 55+ Communities. Continuing-Care Retirement Communities often have several types of housing options available so residents can easily move to another home that fits their needs as they change. Seniors who wish to enjoy a social lifestyle, prepare for the long-term, & couples who need different levels of care should consider Continuing-Care Retirement Communities.

Senior Cohousing Communities

While Senior Cohousing Communities aren’t the most common type of Independent Living options, the goal is to build a tight-knit community with amenities & independence like other types of communities. The difference is that a group of seniors combine their resources to design and/or purchase the housing complex & typically do not utilize a developer. The biggest benefits of Senior Cohousing Communities are that they are designed to keep the owners’ costs down & they typically offer more freedom for family & friends to visit the community.

Senior Home-Sharing

Senior Home-Sharing is another uncommon option for seniors in that it is an agreement to share a common living space with another person. These can vary from two seniors purchasing a home to a senior that rents out a part of their home to another adult. Seniors who currently own a home & wish for some companionship or those that would like to reduce costs on a single-family home or apartment can find a lot of benefits in Senior Home-Sharing.

Assisted Living Housing Options

Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes are facilities that provide a high level of medical care to seniors. Like other Assisted Living options, these facilities help with everyday tasks & provide a variety of amenities for seniors to enjoy. Nursing Homes have additional licensing & state regulations so seniors can have a better peace of mind with their health & medical conditions. Seniors who need a lot of long-term medical assistance should consider moving to a Nursing Home.

Respite Care

Respite Care can describe a variety of assisted living or nursing homes that cater to people who need short-term care. Seniors who are recovering from a serious illness or surgery are likely to consider a Respite Care Facility. These facilities also have the benefit of giving full-time caregivers a much-needed break.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are options that aid with day-to-day tasks like cooking & bathing. While these options don’t necessarily provide a lot of medical assistance, they often provide transportation to medical appointments. Seniors who live in these communities are provided with meals, housekeeping, laundry, & have access to recreational & exercise activities. Residents of Assisted Living Facilities can continue to enjoy a lifestyle while still having access to everyday assistance.

Memory Care Facilities

Memory Care facilities are typically a part of an Assisted Living or Nursing Home facility that focuses on people with dementia. Typically, these units have a larger staff of caregivers & special security features to prevent seniors from getting lost. The biggest benefit of Memory Care facilities is that the amenities & training for staff are designed to help dementia patients feel more at ease & live a better life.


Hospice is a type of care for those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. These caregivers focus on pain management to make the patient as comfortable as possible & can be provided at home or in an Assisted Living facility. Hospice is intended to care for the symptoms rather than the disease but ultimately the goal is for the patient to enjoy the time they have left with family & friends.

Choosing the Best Housing Option for You or Your Loved One

Your situation and needs are unique to you. Only you can choose what is best for you or your loved one. There are however some important questions to explore to make sure you’re making the best available choice. Questions like: Why am I considering senior housing? Does the family member need assistance with any daily living routines? What services do they need? What level of activity do they want where they will live? What area of town do they want to or need to be in? What is their budget? We will go into more detail with these items in an upcoming blog post, so come back soon and find that post.

Talk with a Real Estate & Finance Expert

With a wide variety of choices for spending retirement years, seniors & their loved ones can plan for the option that best suits their needs. We recommend talking with your doctor & financial advisor so they can help you make an informed decision. Seniors can decide which facilities best suit their medical needs & their lifestyle when choosing between the Different Types of Senior Housing.

Senior Housing Options Sources:

Consumer Affairs: Senior Living Options

Daily Caring: Senior Housing Options


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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. Grimm Realty Group may update this information periodically.

Grimm Realty Group may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. All statistics & information are subject to change with market conditions.

Grimm Realty Group is a MN-licensed real estate Broker and does not represent you as your agent unless a representation agreement is mutually signed.

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