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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 Durham, North Carolina and Surrounding Areas

    Durham, North Carolina has an active and vibrant community that results in the city consistently being ranked as one of the top places to live in the country. It has been rated number one out of 274 other counties of similar size on the Creativity Index from Carnegie Mellon University. The area is home to Research Triangle Park, Duke University, North Carolina Central, as well as historic homes, tree-lined streets, and a number of notable golf courses. Money Magazine has voted Durham one of the Best Places to Live in the South. Durham's history is rich and its future is progressive, with an emphasis on high technology, education, and medicine. The city is known as the City of Medicine.

    Durham Culture

    There is quite a range of cultural activities and resources in Durham. The city has numerous jazz festivals, blues festivals, symphony concerts, and art exhibitions to choose from. The American Dance Festival and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival happen here every year. The Carolina Theatre resides at the center of Durham's cultural scene, with live performances and films from around the world. The city is host to an annual Gay and Lesbian film festival, drawing people from across the country. The culinary offerings of the city are plentiful and delicious, including restaurants in the Ninth Street, Brightleaf, and University Drive areas of town.

    Durham Sports and Leisure

    For baseball fans, Durham has the Duke University Blue Devils, which play from February to May. The Durham Bulls baseball club is a popular minor league team that plays in Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which was designed by the architects of Baltimore's Camden Yards. Durham Bulls Athletic Park is also home to the USA Olympic Baseball Team and other national teams. For Basketball, there's the Duke University Blue Devils and the North Carolina Central University Eagles team, which play in Division I and Division II, respectively. For football fans, the Blue Devils and the Eagles both deliver, and football can be seen at both O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium and Wallace Wade Stadium. The city also has Duke University LaCrosse, Crystal Downs Polo, and soccer at Kosken Stadium and Wallace Wade Stadium.

    Durham Outdoors

    There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in and around the city of Durham. The American Tobacco Trail has 12 miles of trails from downtown to the county line that offer residents good access for biking, hiking, walking, or jogging. At Eno River State Park, visitors can enjoy bird-watching, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and hiking. Crane Creek Ranch has English and western horseback riding lessons, as well as leased horses, pasture boarding, and acres of riding trails. Boating, sailing, fishing, hiking, and rock hounding can be enjoyed at the Flat River.

    Durham at Night

    There is an abundance and variety of nightlife in the city of Durham to satisfy just about anyone. There's the All People's Grill that features live blues every Saturday night. Arnie's Place has billiards, a bar and grill, darts, and karaoke. The Blayloc Café is a martini bar serving pizza, soups, salads, and sandwiches and featuring artwork and photography on the walls. The Broad Street Café has cozy chairs that patrons can curl up in and drink a steamy latte or have a slice of cheesecake.