Definitions of Community Types
Active Adult Communities
Active Adult Communities include single-family homes, town homes, cluster homes, multifamily housing and manufactured housing. There are two types: age-restricted and age-targeted.
Age-Restricted Communities are specifically aimed at persons age 55 and older. Under rules set down by the US. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in the Fair Housing Act, the housing must include at least one person who is age 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units. Anyone under the age of 19 is restricted from being a permanent resident. Residents typically lead an independent, active lifestyle in a country club setting where they can take advantage of amenities such as a clubhouse, a golf course, walking trails, hobby centers, computer labs, and other recreational spaces. These communities are not equipped to provide increased care or health related services. Outdoor maintenance normally is included in a monthly homeowner’s association or condominium fee.
Age-Targeted Communities offer single-family homes, town homes, cluster homes, manufactured housing and multi-family housing. Their marketing targets adults age 55 or older but they are not explicitly age-restricted. Residents lead an independent, active lifestyle where amenities may include a clubhouse, golf course, walking trails, and other recreational spaces. The communities do not provide health care or health-related services. Outdoor maintenance is typically included in a monthly homeowner’s association or condominium fee.
Homes in leisure communities are designed for empty nesters. There are no age restrictions. The environments often include amenities such as clubhouses, golf courses and community pools in resort-like settings. These communities offer predominately two and three bedroom homes and are perfect for those whose children have grown and moved away although children are welcome. They offer an array of finely appointed homes that typically include features designed for your changing lifestyle.
Independent Living Communities
Age-restricted multi-family rental or ownership (condo) housing with central dining facilities that provide residents, as part of a monthly fee, meals and other services such as housekeeping, linen service, transportation, and social and recreational activities. The buildings may be designed with a few more features than non age-restricted housing that increase accessibility, such as wide doors. They sometimes have more common areas for meetings or special events. But the real appeal of the age restriction, most everyone agrees, comes down to noise.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer an independent living lifestyle for individuals who do not need constant physician or nursing supervision. In some cases, assisted living and nursing home facilities may be on the same or adjacent property of the complex. This type of community is different from other housing and care options for older people because it offers a longer term contract that provides for housing, services and nursing care, usually all in one location. At the same time, CCRCs offer some distinct advantages, including physical and financial security, independence and access to health care, companionship of friends and neighbors of similar age and access to community facilities and privacy. The CCRCs emphasis on the individual, coupled with a supportive environment, allows residents to pursue their lifelong interests.
Today’s CCRCs are available in all types and sizes. All provide residential living in an apartment-style building with services and dining usually on the main level. In addition, those in a campus-like setting of several acres may offer individual homes – cottages, villas and patio homes – and have amenities that may be similar to those found in an active adult community.