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Retirement Communities v. Assisted Living/Nursing Homes

Guidance   »   Types of Communities   »   Retirement Communities v. Assisted Living/Nursing Homes

It is not uncommon for people to misunderstand the differences between a retirement community and an assisted living community or nursing home. Here are the major differences between them:

Retirement Communities

Age Restriction:  Minimum age of 55 or 62

Health & Mobility Restriction: Must be able to live independently with little to no assistance

Property Type: Ownership with monthly fees or rental

Size of Residence: Studio apartments to large 2+ bedrooms with den in detached home, with full kitchens

Services & Amenities: Geared to an active leisure lifestyle such as pool, tennis courts, golf course

Additional Assistance: None provided by the community. Residents may hire a service on their own

Allows Aging in Place: In most cases, no. However, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) allow aging in place

Assisted Living/Memory Care/Nursing Homes

Age Restriction:  No age minimum

Health & Mobility Restriction: Cannot live independently

Property Type: Rental only with monthly fees depending on level of assistance

Size of Residence: Private room, private suites, shared suites, studios to 2-bedroom apartments with kitchenette

Amenities: Focused on more residential/interior facilities such as library, movie theater, living rooms

Additional Assistance: Care is provided by the community

Allows Aging in Place: Many assisted living facilities allow for aging in place if they have skilled nursing within their community or if they are able to provide/coordinate hospice services


What to Consider When Evaluating a CCRC

Choosing to sign a Life Care contract and move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community is an enormous decision that will  impact the quality and security of your life in retirement. Since it is generally something people only ever do once in their lives, most know nothing about the evaluation process at its outset. To help you navigate your decision-making and give you greater confidence you have...


What is “Aging in Place”?

“Aging in place” is a term used to describe a person’s ability to remain in their home or community of choice for as long as possible, even as their needs for assistance and health care grow and change with age....