Differences in a Senior Community and a 55 Plus Community

senior community

What is the difference in a senior community and a 55 plus community?

Both are age qualified, have amenities and activities and have seniors living there.

So what are the differences? 

55 Plus Community - Many of the 55 plus communities have a sub-set called Active Adult Communities, like those of Del Webb, Cresswind and Trilogy to name a few.

These types communities have many amenities and facitities that can be used to keep you active. For example pickleball, bocce, and tennis courts. Softball fields and plenty of walking trails.  Large gym and aerobic room in the clubhouse. Some 55 plus communities are not active adult and may be more like a senior community. 

There are also many clubs and groups of residents that are active in the community. The numbers of these clubs can be 100 or more in some communities.

Many times individual homes, villas or condos are owned by the resident, not leased. There usually is an association fee to keep up the community grounds, clubhouse and even to mow homeowner lawns sometimes.

The age of the residents in a 55 plus community tend to be somewhat younger than in senior communities, but not necessarly always.  I live in an active adult community and we have many 80 to 90 year olds living here. They probably moved here when younger and stayed, to age in place, which I think is a great plan.

Senior Community - These are age qualified too but sometimes the minimun age is 62 rather than 55. In general the average age in a senior community is a little older.

A senior community most times has activities too, just not as active. More libraries, reading rooms, suffleboards, and day trips but also could have a pool, smaller gym. 

Many times resdients would be renting in a senior living community, so the units may be rental rather than buying your home.

Senior communities are changing and getting nicer, offering more since the baby boomer are getting up in their 70s. They are demanding changes in senior communities to meet their needs.

A senior community many times has on-site dining with 2 meals a day, something 55 plus communities usually do not have. These can be quite nice dining arrangments with gourmet meals and while tablecloths. A senior community may have other services for seniors including home care services, transporation to doctor appointments and even an on call nurse or attendant.

Many of the senior communities are located closer in town, as opposed to the 55 plus communities, especially the active adult type that needs more land and is usually on the outskirts of town.

Some residents of 55 plus communities will later move to a senior community as they get older to get the services offered for older folks.

Senior communities may have an attached or nearby dementia facility as well.

So there are a lot of similarities in both type communties but differences also.

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29 Nov 2018

By Robert Fowler