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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 Raleigh, North Carolina and Surrounding Areas

    Raleigh, North Carolina is the capital of North Carolina and the county seat of Wake County. Due to the prevalence of oak trees in the area, the city is widely known as the "City of Oaks". Its population of 27,000 makes it the second largest city in North Carolina, after Charlotte. Raleigh is part of The Triangle, which also includes Durham, and Chapel Hill. The Triangle is named for the Research Triangle Park, created in 1959, that is located between Durham and Raleigh. Raleigh is also one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

    Raleigh Culture

    Raleigh is often referred to as the Smithsonian of the South because it has 20 free attractions. Its museums are of the highest caliber, from the interactive world museum, to the world's largest natural history museum, to the most comprehensive European art collection in the South. The arts are a big part of life in Raleigh and The Triangle. There is a wide range of cultural activities, including The BTI Center for the Performing Arts and the North Carolina Symphony. There are also many smaller community-oriented events, such as summer outdoor theater, parks, and gardens. Raleigh is also home to the Carolina Ballet, the North Carolina Theatre, and the Broadway Series South.

    Raleigh Sports and Leisure

    In the realm of professional sports, Raleigh has a lot of hockey to offer. The National Hockey League Carolina Hurricanes moved to the city in 1999 and play at the RBC Center. College sports are also prevalent here, such as NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference member North Carolina State University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University. St. Augustine College and Shaw University also provide great competition and viewing. Bike routes such as the NC-DOT Mountains to Sea and the US Maine to Florida routes go through Raleigh. Amateur sports like soccer, softball, flab football, basketball, and dodgeball leagues are offered throughout the city. Golf is also a popular activity in Raleigh, with quality public golf courses across the metropolitan area.

    Raleigh Outdoors

    Outdoor opportunities in Raleigh revolve around the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Coast, both of which are located relatively close to the city. These two geographic features provide an endless range of outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding at one of the area's ski resorts. Warm, sunny beaches await visitors along the coast, with breezes coming up from the Gulf Stream. The city has award-winning parks, greenway systems, and open spaces across the metropolitan area. The Mountains of North Carolina provide many opportunities to hike to the tops of towering peaks, fish in pristine trout streams, or camp under a blanket of stars.

    Raleigh at Night

    Raleigh has excellent nightlife, being rated near the top of America's Best Place for Singles, Cities that Rock, and Best Small Concert Venues. The area combines big city vibrancy with small-town charm. With five different entertainment districts, Raleigh offers a wide variety of small live music venues and large performing arts facilities. There's fun and entertainment for everyone in the city of Raleigh. For example, the Greenshields Brewery and Pub is known for brewing its own beer. The Hiberian features hearty soups and plenty of wine and beer.