woman pouring water glass to senior in an independent living center

55 + Communities vs Independent Living

You’re nearing retirement. Maybe you’ve decided to do away with the stresses and responsibilities of home ownership and live in a retirement community with those of a similar age group. Now all that’s left to do is decide one thing: Should you live in a 55-plus community or an independent living facility? 

These two retirement choices can seem pretty similar… But there are differences. 

In today’s post, Ivy Knoll in Covington, Kentucky explains what separates 55+ communities from independent living facilities. 

The #1 Difference: The Level of Patient Medical Care 

In stark contrast to independent living centers, 55-plus communities offer little to no available on-site medical staff to help with dispensing medications or assisting with daily living activities

Independent living facilities often give limited medical assistance in the form of personal care options (which vary depending on your location). These services can become more tailored and extensive depending on the resident’s unique health needs. 

How Are These Two Retirement Options Similar? 

  • Independent lifestyle 
  • Carefree living (yard work, waste, and housekeeping services provided) 
  • On-site fitness center, beauty salon, and other amenities 
  • Socializing opportunities and events to help residents make connections 

What’s the Cost Difference Between 55 + & Independent Living Centers?

Are 55+ communities worth it? Well, that depends on many factors. The most important being the high cost. The average cost of a 55+ community ranges between $1,500 – $4,000 per month. Whereas the average cost for an independent living facility is $2,435 per month, depending on location. 

Why are they so expensive? The high prices have a lot to do with the rising cost of living, a nationwide affordable housing crisis, and numerous budgetary restrictions on social programs that would financially benefit seniors. 

Both independent living facilities and 55-plus retirement communities often take private payments, not medicare or Medicaid. 

Benefits of Living in a 55+ Retirement Community 

So many of the benefits that come with living in an age-restricted retirement community are shared with independent living facilities:

  • Lively and fun lifestyle
  • Low property tax 
  • Amenities and low-maintenance
  • Community location 

Benefits of Living in an Independent Living Facility

  • You choose your accommodations (floor plan and type) 
  • Worry-free living (no maintenance or housekeeping)
  • Convenient location (near shops, restaurants, parks, and more)
  • Peace of mind (some personal care available)
  • Some personal care and medical assistance while maintaining independence

Cons of Living in a 55+ Community

The drawbacks of a 55-plus community ultimately depend on your personal preferences and values. Here are just a few: 

  • They can be expensive 
  • Smaller living spaces 
  • Excessive or restrictive house rules
  • Cliques and small groups 
  • Lack of diversity 

Cons of Independent Living Facilities

  • Most do not provide long-term, in-depth healthcare treatment 
  • Depending on your location and amenities it can be costly 
  • The stress of downsizing (selling your things and moving homes) 
  • Keeping up with monthly rental agreements 

Enjoy an Independent, Quality Retirement at Ivy Knoll Today

If you or a loved one need a little help but still want to experience autonomy, dignity, and independence, you’ll love our retirement home. Contact one of our friendly office coordinators to schedule your in-person tour of an open-concept floor plan:  (859) 547-3342.