What Is a Retirement Community?

A retirement community is a specific facility for older adults/aging communities. All retirement communities aim to provide older adults with a better, safer, and less stressful environment to live in. There are also several types of retirement communities to choose from, including 55+, independent, assisted living, and memory care. This article will cover every kind of community in detail to help you make better decisions for yourself or a loved one.

55+ & Other Age-Restricted Communities

As the name suggests, a 55+ community is designed for individuals who are over the age of 55. These communities often provide a wide range of amenities, including 24/7 security, car storage, private apartments, housekeeping services, social/common areas, and convenient access to parks, grocery stores, retail stores, and general shopping centers.

You would likely want to move into this type of community if you: a) don’t need or have the desire or budget to maintain your home and b) do not require routine medical care. A 55+ or similar age-restricted community removes all the stresses of owning a home and replaces them with a quiet, convenient experience that allows you to live out your retirement years in comfort.

55+ Community Myth: Many people believe that these communities won’t allow them to have guests or pets. Private apartments in 55+ communities are just like any standard apartment—the only difference is that they’re designed for and restricted to individuals ages 55 and up. If you live in a 55+ community, you are absolutely allowed to have guests in your home, no matter the time or day. Depending on the community, there may be pet restrictions, but most communities will allow you to have at least one pet. 

Independent Senior Living Communities

Similar to a 55+ community, an independent senior living community is a retirement community for older adults; the difference is that there is no 55+ age restriction. Some independent living communities may offer more community-oriented activities, events, and amenities than 55+ communities, including movie nights, field trips, or clubs.

Additionally, as opposed to what most people think of when they hear the term “retirement home,” independent living communities are more like apartment complexes. 

Independent Community Myth: Some older adults may think that aging in place is a better option because independent living communities are for those who have “given up.” This couldn’t be further from the truth—independent living communities are for individuals who want to focus on their hobbies and interests rather than worrying about housekeeping, meal prep, and other daily tasks. Residents in a community have privacy within their apartments but also have the option to talk to other residents in the community. Lastly, an individual may choose to move to an independent living community to be in a safer space—most communities have 24/7 security, so residents don’t have to worry about theft and other crimes. 

Assisted Living, Memory Care, & Nursing Homes

Assisted living and/or memory care facilities are designed for people who need additional help to maintain their desired independence. Traditional assisted living facilities offer a wide range of care, from housekeeping and meal prep to medication reminders and hygiene assistance (bathing and dressing). 

Memory Care facilities are for individuals with early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Typically, residents of these facilities are responsible for handling most daily tasks but may receive additional assistance from a caregiver. These facilities also provide activities designed to support cognitive health.

Lastly, nursing homes are for individuals who need around-the-clock medical care. While assisted living homes usually have caregivers, nursing homes will employ licensed practical nurses to provide advanced medical care, including rehabilitation services, medication administration, and some dietary/nutrition assistance. 

The primary difference between these facilities and independent living communities/age-restricted communities is that they are specifically for individuals who need medical care. If you do not need medical care, an independent or age-restricted community is the best option. If you are a family caregiver, consider what type of medical care your loved one needs. If they only need help with household tasks and some hygiene care, an assisted living facility is the best option, but if they need advanced medical care/supervision from a nurse, a nursing home is likely the best option. 

Assisted Living/Nursing Home Myth: Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not at all similar to hospitals. While the individuals in these communities do require some degree of assistance to maintain independence, they are not required to stay in bed all day. Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer field trips and other activities. 

What Shelby Park Manor Offers

Shelby Park Manor is a retirement community for individuals ages 55 and up. Our affordable complex features peaceful, private apartments, 24/7 security, beautiful walking grounds, and convenient transportation to the city. Inside every private apartment, our residents enjoy individually controlled heating and cooling, a private patio or balcony, in-unit laundry, and newly updated kitchens. 

Tour Our Community Today

Are you interested in relocating to a 55+ retirement community? Shelby Park Manor would love to be your new home! Contact us today to learn more about our available one- or two-bedroom apartments or to schedule a tour of our community. We can’t wait to meet you!

Related posts



From our picturesque forested surroundings to our dramatic exterior architecture, you’ll feel right at home.

Contact Us
Home Apartments Contact