Independent Living: Alternative Living Arrangements

Most of us think that living independently means living in our family home, the home in which we raised our children, launched our careers, and celebrated family holidays. While this option remains optimal for some seniors, many older adults also maintain their independence by taking advantage of alternative living arrangements, which encourage autonomy but also offer services to support an enjoyable, easier and more social life-style. One size does not always fit all.

Aging in Place

Seniors who age in place continue to live either in their original family home or in a newer residence like a townhouse or apartment, none of which have specific amenities, assistance or supports to address seniors’ special needs. None-the-less, with the right help:

  • Studies show that seniors living in their own homes, even those suffering with a disability or chronic illness, thrive better at home than in an institutional setting.
  • Seniors can determine their own lifestyle and life-path.
  • Seniors can live in their own, familiar surroundings and community.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer a tiered approach to senior living to accommodate residents’ changing needs. Upon entering a CCRC, healthy adults can live in their own apartment, condominium or even single-family home. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, residents can move to an Assisted Living or even a Long-Term Care facility or Memory Care unit, all within their same community. Research shows that:

  • Individuals who choose to live in CCRCs are more likely to be happier and healthier than contemporaries who remain in their family home.
  • Residents who live in CCRCs live longer than contemporaries who do not and also have less risk of disease and disability.
  • CCRCs have been found to promote:
    – Active lifestyles
    – Social involvement
    – Proper medical care
    – Good nutrition
    – Overall wellness

Assisted Living

Assisted Living is an arrangement where residents live independently in their own small apartments but also receive varying degrees of support depending on their individual needs. Assisted Living facilities provide personal care services such as meals, housekeeping, transportation and assistance with activities of daily living in addition to meaningful activities, security, and opportunities for socialization. Benefits of Assisted Living include:

  • Offering an independent life-style while also providing options for support that adapt to a seniors’ changing needs.
  • Creating a safe environment, designed to minimize hazards.
  • Ensuring a rapid response to emergency medical situations.


Despite the many challenges of aging, research overwhelmingly finds that, regardless of the independent living alternative, maintaining the highest possible level of autonomy is in the best interest of most seniors. Creating a safe and secure environment for seniors is, however, frequently complicated and problematic.

As your Seniority Care Navigator, we will work with you and your loved one to find a living situation that best meets their social, healthcare and financial needs. We are committed to finding practical solutions that will support your loved one and encourage them to live life fully and with dignity, respect and self-determination. You are not alone.