Many people are unsure of the types of senior housing that are available. If you don’t know where to start, searching for senior housing can be frustrating and time consuming.  Learning about the types of senior housing can help your decision process. The types of senior housing are Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, Memory Care, Residential Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities.  Some places have multiple types of senior living.  Take a closer look at each housing category to see what each one provides.

Independent Living Community

Independent living is for seniors that are 55 and older (55+) or 62 and older (62+).  They offer amenities such as; a fitness center, swimming pool, library, beauty salon, gathering room, and media rooms.  There are options available to rent an apartment or buy a condo.  Usually, a senior’s income effects the type of housing they choose.  Affordable senior housing includes HUD and Tax Credit (LIHTC) communities, which do have income guidelines.  HUD rent is according to the income.  Tax Credit rent is set lower than the average market rent price.   You can search for “low income” and “HUD” housing at  Some assisted living and continuing care communities also have independent living options available.

Assisted Living Facility (ALF)

An assisted living facility assists with daily needs and activities for a senior. They make life easier and more fun.  They help with laundry, cleaning, providing meals, and social activities.  Some  offer restaurant style meals and happy hours. They usually don’t provide skilled nursing care, such as wound care or rehab after surgery.  Some light medical needs such as medicine dispensing may be available.  They are usually paid directly from the senior, or private pay.  Assisted living facility can help make life easier and more fun for seniors that can afford to pay for services such as laundry, cleaning, meals, and social activities.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

A skilled nursing facility assists with daily needs, meals, activities, and medical needs of a person. Sometimes a senior may go stay at a skilled nursing facility after surgery for rehab before they go home. Some facilities offer long term care when medical care is needed on a long-term basis.  They usually accept Medicare and/or Medicaid.  Usually, the senior has to have limited assets to qualify for a Medicaid bed.  In addition, the senior’s insurance may also help pay for the stay at the skilled nursing facility.  Skilled nursing facilities may be a short term or long-term solution for a senior that needs help with daily needs and medical assistance.

Memory Care

Memory Care is sometimes needed when a loved one has a memory loss disease such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Sometimes it is no longer safe for the senior to live on their own or with a loved one.  Therefore, a memory care unit can help keep them safe.  Generally, a memory care unit is usually part of an assisted living, skilled nursing, or continuing care community.  In a memory care unit, the patient is in a controlled area with other memory care patients.  The controlled and locked area helps keep the memory care patients safe.  A memory care facility can help keep your loved one safe and give you peace of mind.

Residential Care Facility (RCF)

A residential care facility, or a group home, is a non-medical residential setting with under 20 residents.  They provide room, board, housekeeping, supervision, medicine dispensing, and light personal care.  In a residential care setting the senior shares a house with other people.  Also, sometimes a bedroom or bathroom is shared.  In the residential care setting the senior may feel more like home, since they are in a house.  If a senior needs some help and they cannot afford other options, then a residential care facility may be able to help them.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

A continuing care retirement community includes housing options anywhere from independent living to memory care.  They allow the senior to move within the community to different areas of care as they need.  There is a great sense of comfort knowing that a senior can stay at the same community as their aging progresses.

Find The Right Senior Housing

There are many types of senior housing options available.  Above all, finding the right housing option is important.  Because, the right place can increase the quality of life for a senior.  Is it time to sell the house, and find the best option for senior living?  Start searching at to find the right senior housing for you or your loved one.