Active Adult. Senior Living. Assisted Living. What’s the Difference?

Active Adult. Senior Living. Assisted Living. What’s the Difference?

When it comes to understanding the different senior living options, it can get confusing. But the differences between living in an active adult community and an assisted or independent living community are substantial. Understanding these differences can help you make the right decision when deciding where to call home. 


What is an active adult community? 

In an active adult community, residents design the lifestyle they want, while maintaining their freedom to come and go as they please. These communities generally have an age requirement and offer amenities, events, and activities for residents. They don’t, however, offer assistance to residents for everyday tasks and generally don’t provide meals. Residents live independently while enjoying everything these communities have to offer, like fitness centers, pools, dog parks, game rooms, craft studios, and more.


Benefits to living in an Active Adult Community (like Affinity) include: 

  • Maintenance free living – No yardwork, snow shoveling or homeownership hassles.
  • Private apartment homes – amenity spaces are the only areas our residents share – which they love to gather with their friends!
  • Fully equipped kitchens & spacious floor plans 
  • Resort style amenities – Intentionally curated to allow residents to pursue passions and plan their own day. 
  • Rental rates are ALL-INCLUSIVE , which makes budgeting a pinch! Includes Wi-Fi, cable, utilities, and more! Residents don’t overpay for services they don’t need!
  • Residents come and go as they please – Maintaining a flexible schedule or inviting friends over is easy!
  • Age in place – Bring services in. It’s more affordable and allows residents to
  • select the care that makes sense for them!
  • Resident driven social scene – Live among active peers. We let our residents plan the events and create the culture that works best for them!


What is Independent Senior Living? 

Independent living, provides a higher level of care compared to active adult communities. While residents maintain some independence, they have help with certain tasks such as laundry and housekeeping, and meals are often provided to residents. There is generally a social center or organized activities for residents as well. Homes vary from private to semi-private based on budget, and typically have a higher price tag. Average age in an independent living community is 80 years young.


What is assisted living? 

At an assisted living facility, many day-to-day tasks are taken care of for residents, with round the clock full-time staff, including medical professionals, to check on residents. Meals are provided to residents and can either be included in the price or charged separately to the resident’s account. Guests likely have to check in at a front desk, and if the resident wants to leave, they may be required to check out and have help to do so. These facilities are for people who need help with their day-to-day living and offer a much lower level of independence. Average age in assisted living is 85 years young.


Common Misconceptions in Senior Living:

Often residents think they need independent or assisted living as the explore senior living options. For some that is the right answer, but others find starting in an active adult community, allows them to live among their peers, and still enjoy the benefits community can offer. With more services, comes a higher price point. If you don’t need the services today, save money, by not purchasing services you don’t need until you need them! Plus, we find that residents enjoy designing a care plan that makes sense for them. Many of our residents bring in only the services they need, not only is it more cost effective, it allows them to change their plan as they age, while remaining among their friends and neighbors.  


What’s the best option for me? 

The best option for you depends on what you’re looking for and the level of assistance you need with day-to-day tasks. If you are independent and looking to enhance your life by joining a community, an active adult community is for you. But if you need a little extra assistance, a senior or assisted living community may better meet your needs.