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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 Wilmington, North Carolina and Surrounding Areas

Wilmington is located between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Hanover County. The city contains a large seaport and is home to the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. It features a prominent historic district and is close to superb beaches. The city was the childhood residence of basketball star Michael Jordan.

History

The area was established during the 1720's by English settlers. In 1739 the city was incorporated. Lumber produced from the nearby forest as well as naval stores were major factors for the economy during the 18th and 19th Centuries. During the Civil War, the local port was a primary base for Confederate blockade runners. The city was named in tribute to Spencer Compton who was the Earl of Wilmington and held the position of Primer Minister during the reign of George II.

Wilmington was the scene of the notorious "Massacre of 1898," a violent assault by a group of Caucasians which began with the destruction of a printing press of the African-American newspaper called the Daily Record. They proceeded to set the building on fire. The mob then entered an African-American neighborhood and lynched numerous residents and forced hundreds of African-Americans to leave town. The primary factor for the attack was an editorial in the Daily Record which was interpreted by some of the white citizens as being insulting to white womanhood. After the violent attack, the mayor along with the city council was pushed out of office and the leader of the white gang became the mayor.

Transportation

The city is home to the Wilmington International Airport.

Attractions

  • USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial.
  • Cape Fear Museum.
  • Bellamy Mansion features antebellum architecture.
  • Airlie Gardens incudes lakes and the Historic Airlie Oak.
  • Burgwin-Wright House.
  • The Cape Fear Serpentarium features a vast number of snakes from all over the world.
  • Latimer House Museum.
  • Wilmington Railroad Museum.
  • North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
  • Sunset Park Historic District.

Activities

  • Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Cultural Arts Building at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington contains a music recital hall, two theaters as well as an art gallery.
  • The EUE Screen Gems Studio offers tours to the public.
  • Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.
  • Wilmington Exchange Festival.
  • North Carolina Jazz Festival is host to world famous jazz musicians.
  • Wrightsville Beach.
  • Carolina Beach.
  • Kure Beach.
  • Marrz Theatre.
  • Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington.

Wilmington Public Libraries

New Hanover County Public Library
201 CHESTNUT STREET
Wilmington, North Carolina
(910) 772-7859
Library Web Site

Wilmington Hospitals

NEW HANOVER REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Government - Local)
2131 S 17TH ST BOX 9000
(910) 343-7000
Emergency Service: Yes