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Why Choose an Independent Living Apartment vs. an Age-Restricted Apartment?

Stylish interior of a senior living apartment at Atlantic Shores.

Retirement is a time for fewer responsibilities and more possibilities, and that’s exactly why seniors start looking for maintenance-free senior living options. Where you decide to call home in your retirement years is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, because it sets the tone for the next chapter of your life. If you’re just starting your search, you may have questions about two popular senior living options: independent living apartments in a full-service retirement community and senior apartments in age-restricted communities.

Understanding the key differences between these types of senior housing can help you figure out which choice will best fit your lifestyle and plans for the future. Let’s discuss the features of independent living apartments in full-service retirement communities and age-restricted apartments so you’re prepared to make an informed decision.

Independent Living Apartment Homes

A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is designed to meet all your needs in retirement, including the services and amenities you want today and the senior care you might need in the future. This type of community is ideal if you’re in good health and want to make the most of today while having a smart plan for the future.

An independent living community like Atlantic Shores is a great option for older adults who want the choice of equity ownership or rental within a high-quality and vibrant community. Your monthly fee covers a wide variety of services, amenities, wellness programs, indoor and outdoor maintenance, a calendar full of activities, and dining. You’ll never be at a loss for things to do, with plenty of special events, daytrips, and outings with friends and neighbors who share your interests.

If the unexpected happens and you or your spouse suddenly needs long-term care, you’ll have access to assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care, all on the same campus. This is one of the biggest selling points of this type of community, because you won’t have to make another move and you’ll be close to people you know and care about.

Age-Restricted Senior Apartments

Age-restricted residential neighborhoods are designed for adults over 55. These communities typically attract active adults who want to downsize from a bigger home and simplify their life in retirement. When you move to an age restricted community, you’ll be around people of a similar age and stage of life.

Some outdoor maintenance may be provided as part of your monthly fees, but you may be responsible for paying for services like garbage collection, inside maintenance, appliances and utilities. These communities may have amenities like a pool, tennis courts, community room, and walking trails, but they typically don’t offer a robust schedule of community activities and daytrips for residents.

Unlike Atlantic Shores, age-restricted communities don’t offer health care — which means your plans could change if life throws you a curveball. If you or your spouse needs a higher level of care, you could have to move again to access assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing care.

Choose a Community that Keeps Up with You

Moving into senior living isn’t a sign of slowing down or giving up the lifestyle you have. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Today’s older adults are moving to communities because they have so much to gain. Rather than aging in place at home, seniors can stay connected with interesting people, intriguing places and favorite pastimes, all while pursuing their passions in a senior living community. Whatever you decide, you want to be in a place where you’re free to be yourself and spend time on what matters most to you. For many seniors, Atlantic Shores is the perfect place to do that.
Atlantic Shores is Virginia Beach’s only resident-governed cooperative community, offering independent living with a vibrant lifestyle and a full continuum of senior care. You can choose an independent living apartment or villa that fits your lifestyle and a financial arrangement that benefits you most, with the choice of equity ownership or lease options. Check out a range of spacious apartment homes to suit your style, as well as resort-style amenities to enhance your life. We invite you to schedule your personal visit and see for yourself what makes Atlantic Shores such a remarkable place to live.