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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 Richmond, Virginia and Surrounding Areas

    Incorporated as a city in 1782, Richmond is the capital of Virginia. The city is home to about 200,000 inhabitants. The metropolitan area has a population of around 1.1 million. Richmond is located in eastern Virginia, 60 miles west of the Chesapeake Bay, and 100 miles south of Washington, DC.

    In 1607, Captain James Smith and 120 men were the first Europeans to visit the falls on the James River where present day Richmond stands. The first settlement to survive began in 1644, with the construction of Fort Charles. Its inhabitants traded with the Powhatan Indians for pelts and tobacco. The settlement became a town in 1742.

    In 2004, the Richmond-Petersburg area was named one of the "Top 25 Cities for Doing Business In" by Inc. Magazine. Also in 2004 Richmond was named one of "The Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities" by Partners for Livable Communities.

    Precipitation is about 43.9 inches per year. Snowfalls average 12.5 inches annually. Temperatures reach 90 degrees an average of 34 days each summer. July average daily high and low temperatures are 87.5 and 68.3 degrees Fahrenheit. January average daily highs and lows are 45.3 and 27.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Richmond, and their lines of business are:

    • Dominion Resources - utilities
    • Genworth Financial - insurance
    • Performance Food Group - wholesale food and grocery
    • The Brink's Company - security
    • CSX - railroad
    • LandAmerica Financial - real estate transaction services
    • Circuit City Group - electronics retailer
    • CarMax - used car retailer

    Arts and Leisure

    Cultural, Historical and Leisure attractions include:

    • The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
    • The Hand Workshop Art Center
    • The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
    • The Pine Camp Arts & Community Center Gallery
    • The Elegba Folklore Society
    • The Richmond Symphony
    • The Richmond Philharmonic
    • The Richmond Ballet
    • The Virginia Opera
    • The Barksdale Theatre
    • The Firehouse Theater
    • The Landmark Theater
    • The Ethyl Imax Dome and Planetarium
    • The Science Museum of Virginia
    • The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Sports Teams in Richmond include:

    • The Richmond Braves, a Triple A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves
    • The Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League's Second Division
    • The Richmond Bandits of the American Indoor Football League