Senior living is a term used to describe various housing and care options for older adults.
Today, adults 65 years of age and older have a 70% chance of eventually requiring long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Family Services. Senior living communities are a solution to this growing need, as they can provide elderly adults with supervision, socialization, and on-site care and assistance.
There are many different types of senior living facilities — from maintenance-free, 55+ communities for active seniors, to secure, fully staffed communities for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This guide details the wide range of senior living options to help you find the best senior living communities near you.Back to top
Senior living enhances quality of life for older adults while also giving caregivers peace of mind. For example, older adults living in a senior community were 20% more likely to report feelings of happiness and contentment than seniors living on their own, according to a 2019 study.
It’s not unusual to hear residents describe their senior living community as a cruise ship on land, while others compare their lifestyle to a vacation. They’re often referring to luxurious amenities offered within communities like spas, arts and crafts studios, cocktail lounges, coffee shops, and multiple types of restaurant-style dining halls.
Although community features vary based on care type and the individual facility, benefits can include:
Senior living communities fit a diverse range of care needs. If you’re unsure what type of care your loved one needs, consider these common senior living options and senior care options:
The cost of senior living depends on several factors, including location, care type, and services and amenities offered.
Some senior living options, like senior apartments and independent living, mirror more typical apartment or rental home prices. Others, like assisted living, memory care, and nursing homes, are generally more expensive due to the costs of care.
The figures below represent the monthly median senior living costs across the nation as of January 2022, based on data from A Place for Mom and Genworth.
|Care type||Median monthly cost|
Whereas some options — independent living and senior apartments, in particular — are quite similar to paying for rent on an apartment, other care types may require families to use a variety of funding sources and strategies. It can be helpful to understand:
To find the right senior living community for yourself or a relative, evaluate your budget and priorities. For example, is your family member highly social, making activities and outings a deciding factor? Do they require a high level of care, meaning employee training and staff-to-resident ratio are most important?
Above all, touring is the best way to choose a senior living facility. In fact, 97% of families took a tour before making a decision, according to A Place for Mom’s family survey. This experience allows you to meet community staff, see the unit your family member would live in, and ask important questions.
Learn what to look for in a community
A Place for Mom’s touring guide helps you keep your notes, observations, and questions all in one place. Compare different options with this downloadable resource.Back to top
Start by exploring top-rated senior care near you A Place for Mom’s 2022 Best of Senior Living Awards identify the most highly rated communities and home care agencies in your area, based on real family reviews.
Use our service to help you find housing and care options. Our local advisors will work with you to better understand your budget, concerns, and questions. From there, you’ll receive a personalized list of the three best senior living communities for you.
Genworth. (2021). Cost of Care Survey. Genworth Financial, Inc.
A Place for Mom. (2022). A Place for Mom Senior Living Price Index.
A Place for Mom. (2022). A Place for Mom Family Survey.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2020, Feb. 18). How Much Care Will You Need?LongTermCare.gov.
Associated Retirement Community Operators. (2019). Housing, health, and care: The health and wellbeing benefits of retirement communities.Back to top
Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
The score shown is the overall experience rating which is an average of the reviews submitted for those communities. The overall experience rating is a star rating that ranges from 1 being the lowest to 5 being the highest.
Below are the 51 largest cities grouped by their metropolitan area.
Top states for Assisted Living