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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 Columbus, Ohio and Surrounding Areas

    Columbus, the state capital and largest city in the state, is located in central Ohio on the Scioto River. Originally settled by Native Americans, the area that became Columbus (named after Christopher Columbus) was settled by white explorers in the 1700s and made the state capital in 1816. Roads, railroads and the Ohio Canal energized the city; during World War II, aircraft manufacturing brought additional growth. Today, Columbus is a fast-growing, major American city with a population of more than 700,000 and a strong economy that is not dependent on any one industry. Its leading employers include government agencies and manufacturers of transportation equipment, textiles, metals and consumer goods.

    Columbus Culture

    Columbus Symphony Orchestra, BalletMet, and Opera Columbus brighten the arts scene. Popular museums include the Columbus Museum of Art, the Center of Science and Industry, and the home of satirist/cartoonist James Thurber, all located downtown. Upper Arlington has the Wexner Center for the Arts (a work of art unto itself) and the Ohio Craft Museum. On the east side of the city is the Martin Luther King Arts Complex, which offers exhibits and performances showcasing the talents of Columbus's African-American community. The Jack Nicklaus Museum, in the Ohio State University sports complex, chronicles the career of the great golfer from Columbus. On the north side, the Ohio Historical Center houses a museum focussed on Ohio history, along with a library and archive helpful for genealogical research projects. An hour away in Wilmington, Williams Memorial Park hosts an annual festival saluting the birthplace of the banana split.

    Columbus Sports and Leisure

    Columbus is home to the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, who play at 18,500-seat Nationwide Arena. The lack of a league franchise in football, baseball and basketball is more than made up for by the Ohio State Buckeyes, whose nationally-ranked programs in football and basketball have rabid local support. During the football season, legendary Ohio Stadium seats more than 101,000 fans. In baseball's minor leagues, the Columbus Clippers are the triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Other Columbus teams include the Crew (Major League Soccer) and the Destroyers (Arena Football). For major league sports, Cincinnati (baseball's Reds, NFL's Bengals) and Cleveland (baseball's Indians, NFL's Browns, NBA's Cavaliers) are both less than a 2-hour drive away.

    Columbus Outdoors

    There's plenty of outdoor recreation available in the central Ohio area. Columbus has world-class golfing, with three courses within a 1/2-hour drive ranking among the top 100 according to Golfweek Magazine: the Golf Club (ranked #7) in New Albany, Muirfield Village Golf Club (#8) in Dublin and Double Eagle Club (#28) in Galena. In the winter, skiing is popular and accessible. Mad River Mountain, 41 miles away in Zanesfield, has a 1,460-foot mountain elevation with a 300-foot vertical drop, with over 20 trails for skiing or snowboarding, and a terrain park and a tubing park. The Seymour Woods State Nature Preserve has more than 100 acres of wildflowers, oaks, sycamores, elms, and other trees with hikable trails. Blendon Woods in Dublin offers activities and solitude in a 650-acre park with forests, 11-acre Thoreau Lake, and a 1.2-mile trail specifically designed for walking dogs.

    Columbus at Night

    Columbus has an energetic nightlife, with the most popular bars and dance clubs scattered downtown, along High Street and in the Brewery District.

    Discovering Columbus

    America is discovering Columbus: the city ranked #8 by BestJobsUSA.com on their 2002 list of the Best Places to Live and Work in America; #21 by Forbes on their 2004 list of the Best Cities For Singles; #15 by Ladies Home Journal on their list of the Best Cities for Women.