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    What Are Senior Apartments?

    Senior apartments are low-maintenance apartments designed for older adults who are totally independent, but want to live in a home that requires little upkeep and is designed for easy living. Senior apartment communities may or may not have minimum age restrictions, and are open to the general public. Senior apartment communities typically offer social activities and amenities that cater to seniors.

    For age-restricted or age-qualified communities usually require that at least one person in each residence meets the minimum age requirement, usually age 55 or 62. In these communities, those under age 19 cannot usually be permanent residents, with exceptions made for handicapped persons.

    Senior apartment living, as described on this page, is not the same as independent living, although independent living communities usually offer apartments as a housing option.

    Elders Riding Bikes

    What Does a Senior Apartment Community Look Like?

    Senior apartments are not only low-maintenance, but are often very luxurious, and designed for ease of living. They typically have one to two bedrooms, and can vary in size from small to over 2,000 square feet.

    You will typically get all the comforts you'd expect in a home, plus community extras like swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness or recreation centers, and more. They can be in one-story or multi-story building, some which feature creatively designed spaces that encourage residents to interact.

    These apartments are often located near shopping centers, hospitals and public transportation so that the things you need are nearby. Like apartments in independent living communities, senior apartment communities typically have features built into the design of the apartments and buildings that are senior-friendly such as:

    • Handicap accessibility
    • Emergency alert systems
    • First floor access to elevators

    As with any apartment, you can come and go as you wish, and be as active as you'd like in the surrounding neighborhood and beyond.

    What's it Like to Live There?

    Seniors Playing Cards

    You'll have the same freedom in a senior apartment as you would have in any private home. There are no restrictions on when you come and go. And if the community has restrictions to persons around your age, you'll be surrounded by people with whom you might find things in common.

    Depending on your own personal preference, you may or may not want to live in a community that only includes those of a certain age.

    If you choose a community that offers social programs, you'll also find lots of things to do to keep you busy.

    Is a Senior Apartment Right for Me?

    Consider these statements below to determine if they describe you:

    Independence

    • I am still relatively healthy.
    • I like having my own living space.
    • I like being independent.
    • I am willing to move to a smaller home, or am unable to stay in my current home.
    • I prefer to live on my own, or do not have a relative or friend with whom I can live.
    • I sometimes feel isolated in my home.
    • I like being around and doing things with people my age.
    Elder in reading room reading a book

    Daily Living

    • I need help getting in and out of the bathtub or taking a bath or shower.
    • I need help getting dressed.
    • I need assistance with personal grooming.
    • I get my medicines mixed up or can't remember when to take them.
    • I can no longer cook or need help preparing meals.
    • I can no longer drive or can only drive very short distances.
    • I do not have family or friends nearby if I need help with daily tasks.
      • If all or most of the Independence statements apply to you, then a senior apartment may be a good option for you, as long as you are not interested in staying in the same community when you need more care. If this is a concern for you, then you might also want to consider these options:
        • Independent living
        • Continuing Care Retirement Communities
      • If most or all of the above Independence and Daily Living statements apply to you, and you do not need regular nursing or medical care, then consider these options:
        • Assisted Living
        • Companion Care
        • Non medical home care
      • If most or all of the above Independence and Daily Living statements apply to you, and you ­also need regular nursing or medical care, then consider these options:
        • Skilled nursing care if you can't stay in your home
        • Medical home health care if you want to stay in your home
    Senior Living

    What to Expect from Senior Apartment Living?

    Lifestyle

    You can expect a fairly carefree lifestyle when living in a senior apartment. It's much like living in any other apartment community, with the added benefit of having some special features built in for seniors. You'll be completely independent, but you won't have to worry about home or lawn maintenance.

    Senior apartments make it easy for you to nurture your relationships with family and friends, while giving you opportunities to make new ones.

    You'll have many chances to socialize with people in your age range, as these communities feature areas where residents can get together. They may also offer organized activities such as:

    • Golf, swimming and other fitness activities
    • Bridge and other games
    • Trips and outings
    • Classes and opportunities to learn new things

    Many senior apartment communities also allow pets.

    Services

    Monthly fees in senior apartment communities often include services like utilities and security, in addition to home maintenance.

    Costs

    The rent for senior apartments is typically in line with local rates for other apartment homes, rental condominiums and townhomes in the area where you are looking. However, rent costs may vary greatly based on the amenities and activities that are included. And as with any home, costs will vary depending on factors such as:

    • Location of the apartment community
    • Location of the apartment within the community
    • Size and layout of the apartment

    Introduction to Charlottesville, Virginia and Surrounding Areas

    The central Virginia city of Charlottesville is nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, approximately 70 miles northwest of Richmond and 100 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Established as a town in 1762 and incorporated as an independent city in 1888, Charlottesville is autonomous and not subservient to any county or other political subdivision. Major highways through Charlottesville are U.S. Route 250, U.S. Route 29, and Interstate 64.

    Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia, which was founded in 1819 by native son Thomas Jefferson. Consistently listed among the top ten public universities nationwide, the university is a strong factor in the city's community life and serves as the area's focal point for cultural and sporting events. Steeped in historic value, the Charlottesville area lays claim to having raised three ex-Presidents (Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and James Madison), whose former homes are now historic sites and architectural wonders which attract thousands of visitors every year.

    Owing largely to the presence of the university, the technology industry is a continuously growing staple of the local economy. More traditional industries like agriculture are also prominent in the region, which embodies nearly 200,000 acres of orchards, vineyards, and cattle farms. The region's fastest growing industry is the grape business. Local wines and vineyards are nationally recognized and the area is highly ranked among the country's wine producers. Another significant local industry is horse farming, as evidenced by the more than 13,000 horses stabled in the city and surrounding county.

    Things to do and see in Charlottesville

    Nearly two million travelers per year visit the Charlottesville area to see the area's historic sites and take in the spectacular scenery of Central Virginia. Perched on a nearby mountain overlooking the city is Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, which offers tours and hosts special events and ceremonies. Only a mile down the road from Monticello is Ash Lawn-Highland, former home of James Monroe. Here visitors can explore beautiful gardens and enjoy the Ash Lawn Opera Festival, which offers six to eight weeks of full-length opera and musical theatre productions. About 45 minutes north of Charlottesville is Montpelier, the former home of James and Dolly Madison. This is a 2,750-acre estate that includes racecourses, a National Landmark Forest, active archaeological sites, and more than 130 buildings.

    Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County are a paradise for nature lovers. Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway offer breathtaking views of valleys and mountains to tourists who don't even need to leave their cars. Hikers can enjoy the many short and long trails which wind through the woods off these roads. Charlottesville is also home to a large number of parks with playgrounds, picnic areas, public tennis courts, and swimming pools. Other popular area activities are hot air balloon rides, golf at world-class resorts, and tours of one of the many local vineyards in the area, a few of which are listed here:

    • Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery
    • DelFosse Vineyards and Winery
    • Jefferson Vineyards
    • Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard

    Charlottesville has an active art, music and theater scene. The Downtown Mall, one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the country, is the location of the Virginia Discovery Museum. A 3,500 seat Charlottesville Pavilion Amphitheater attracts big name acts to the area. The newly renovated Paramount Theater hosts Broadway shows and concerts by nationally-known entertainers. The city also hosts an annual Virginia Festival of the Book, and is home to many prominent writers including John Grisham and Rita Mae Brown, as well as former home to Edgar Alan Poe and William Faulkner.

    Charlottesville has no professional sports teams, but local sports fans are captivated by the University of Virginia Cavaliers, who have a wide fan base across the region. Cavalier football games are played in Scott Stadium, which is also used as a venue for large concerts by such artists as the Rolling Stones and the Dave Matthews Band. The John Paul Jones Arena, which opened in 2006, is where the University of Virginia basketball teams play their games. This new stadium is one of the largest in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Not surprisingly, The University of Virginia has an active athletic rivalry with Virginia Tech. An even older rivalry (often referred to as "The South's Oldest Rivalry") exists between the Cavaliers and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels.

    Horseracing fans can enjoy the exciting world of steeplechase racing, held every fall and spring at The Foxfield Races.

    Charlottesville Public Libraries

    Jefferson-madison Regional Library
    201 EAST MARKET STREET
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    (434) 979-7151
    Library Web Site

    Charlottesville Hospitals

    MARTHA JEFFERSON HOSPITAL
    (Voluntary non-profit - Private)
    459 LOCUST AVE
    (804) 982-7000
    Emergency Service: Yes

    University of Virginia Health System
    (Government - State)
    1215 Lee St, Charlottesville, VA 22908
    (434) 924-0211
    Emergency Service: Yes

    Charlottesville Public Libraries

    Jefferson-madison Regional Library
    201 EAST MARKET STREET
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    (434) 979-7151
    Library Web Site

    Charlottesville Hospitals

    MARTHA JEFFERSON HOSPITAL
    (Voluntary non-profit - Private)
    459 LOCUST AVE
    (804) 982-7000
    Emergency Service: Yes

    University of Virginia Health System
    (Government - State)
    1215 Lee St, Charlottesville, VA 22908
    (434) 924-0211
    Emergency Service: Yes