Independent and Active Adult Living Definitions


Some apartment complexes are designated specifically for older adults; others have sections reserved for those over a certain age. Security systems are often provided and residents may have access to common areas for recreation. The apartment complex itself does not provide other services, although community agencies may offer meals or transportation. Often there are long waiting lists.

Subsidized Housing

There are several rent subsidy programs for older adults with low to moderate incomes. Waiting lists are usually very long, sometimes several years. It is important to contact the Housing Authority, the Public Housing Office, or in some cases the apartment manager before the need becomes critical.

Retirement Communities

Retirement communities offer housing and other services specifically for older adults. The housing community may be a freestanding facility with private rooms or may have several acres of land with cottages and/or condominiums. Typical services may include meals, linen services, planned activities and security.

Retirement communities with rental units include some services in the monthly rent. Communities where residents buy their own units charge a monthly service fee. If a deposit is required, find out under what circumstances the deposit is refundable.

Nursing services may be available in the retirement community. Some may have a nurse on duty, whereas others may have an infirmary. A few have licensed nursing home beds and residents are given priority access to them. Other communities include licensed Adult Care Home beds for those who cannot live independently, but who do not need continuous (24 hour medical/nursing) care.

Source: Centralina Area Agency on Aging