A Guide to Understanding Senior Independent Living Apartments

Until it comes time to consider senior independent living, most people haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this new chapter of their lives.

For most, this is unfamiliar territory. It can be overwhelming if you do not know where to start or what you’re even looking for in a senior living community.

Maybe you’ve asked yourself questions like:

What should I look for in senior independent living apartments? How do I know if independent senior living is right for me? Can I select a facility that is appropriate for my needs? Can one benefit from community living?

According to Statista, nearly 22% of the population will be 65 or older by 2050. This influx translates to an increased demand for housing for the 55+ crowd. And independent senior living facilities offer almost as much variety as the individuals seeking to live in them.

There are many independent senior living housing options on the market right now. So to make an informed decision on which type of facility is right for you, let’s start with the basics.

Table of Contents

What Is an Independent Senior Living Community?

Independent senior living communities are just like they sound—places where you can live independently and come and go as you please while still enjoying the various amenities these types of communities provide.

There is one significant difference: a minimum age requirement is usually 55+. This provision ensures that most residents have similar lifestyles and are in the same stage of life as their neighbors.

In addition, it enables every resident to maximize the amenities offered to them through their community.

Available Housing Options

Single Bedroom Apartment at The Harbor- Living RoomSenior independent living facilities put a lot of thought into their communities, which is valid for the housing types they provide.

Much forethought goes into the design of units, allowing for maximum enjoyment.

Depending on the facility, a wide range of floor plans is available to suit your individual needs and priorities.

For example, maybe you don’t need a lot of space, but you want an in-unit washer and dryer. Alternatively, you’d like that extra bedroom for when guests come to visit.

Or maybe it’s always been your dream to drink coffee each morning on your outdoor patio.

One of the significant benefits of independent senior living is that you can have your cake and eat it too—you don’t have to settle for one type of cookie-cutter unit; you can choose from various designs.

Schedule A Tour


The Harbor offers three types of floor plans.

The Vineyard

A 670 square foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom retirement apartment includes a huge bedroom and a separate dining and living area.

All had are a kitchen, walk-in closet, washer-dryer hook-up, massive bathroom with shower, and terrace or balcony.

[take a virtual tour below]

The Cape

The retirement apartment named after Cape Albeon has a full kitchen, walk-in closet, washer-dryer hook-up, and a massive bathroom with a shower.

The concept includes a 745-square-foot premium one-bedroom, one-bathroom retirement apartment. This layout also has more storage space and a larger eating area.

[take a virtual tour below]

The Rockport

The Rockport is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom retirement apartment with 940 square feet.

This retirement apartment includes a full kitchen, walk-in closets in each bedroom, washer-dryer hook-up, large bathrooms with a shower and a tub, and a patio or balcony.

[take a virtual tour below]

Retirement communities also offer stand-alone cottages, frequently with an attached garage. These are often condo-like buildings that provide an attached or detached garage and a small yard or patio.

Many people are looking to downsize and want the feel of home to choose this type of cottage.

One appealing aspect is that individuals will get the feel of a home without all of the lawn and pesky home maintenance that goes along with it.

Future-Minded Housing

Independent living apartments are generally part of larger communities, including senior living apartments, assisted living apartments, and memory support housing.

Something that people find comforting is the fact that they can age in place. They don’t have to worry about moving as they age and require more support in their day-to-day lives.

Many communities, such as The Harbor, even offer preferred access to Assisted Living Apartments.

What Is the Difference Between Independent Living & Senior Apartments?

Independent living is designed for healthy seniors who want to live independently and reap the benefits of community living.

The offered services are prepared meals, planned social activities (such as happy hours and community outings), health and wellness programming (such as water aerobics and golfing), transportation, maintenance, and access to on-site medical care. Amenities vary from community to community.

Senior Apartments are an excellent option for men and women in the early years of their retirement.

These apartments are designed with ease of movement in mind. For example, most have limited stairs, an in-unit washer and dyers (or a laundry service), and meal plans.

What Does an Independent Living Facility Provide?

  • Maintenance Free Living – Let’s face it: landscaping, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and snow removal are some of the minor fun things about owning a home. Retirement facilities do these chores for you, leaving you with more time to enjoy life!  Many communities also provide on-site maintenance who respond if something inside your home needs repair.
  • Transportation – You’ll likely have your car while living in an independent living facility. Still, if you’d rather not deal with the hassle of driving, finding parking, etc., transportation is often provided to/from appointments and various local shopping complexes.
  • Meal Plans – Some people enjoy cooking, while others find it burdensome and stressful. Independent senior communities often provide chef-prepared and well-balanced meals. Think of all the time you’ll save on grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up!
  • Social Activities – One of the most enjoyable aspects of retirement is a new pace of life – one that leaves plenty of time for leisurely activities and socializing with new friends. Most communities host several happy hours, community outings, and clubs.
  • Health and Wellness Programming – By now, we know that staying active and fit is a great way to keep your body healthy and your mind nimble. Senior living apartment communities offer on-site classes ranging in everything from water aerobics to pickleball.  One bonus to living in this type of community is the exclusive facilities. Examples include golf courses, swimming pools, and walking trails.
  • On-Site Medical Care – Of course, we often need more frequent access to medical care as we age. Senior living communities have access to nurses and medical care 24/7.

This type of attention is not only a significant convenience, but it also gives residents peace of mind that assistance is nearby.

The Harbor even offers medical specialists like audiologists, podiatrists, and massage therapists.

Are Senior Communities Cheaper?

The Harbor The cost of living in a senior community varies, but senior independent living apartments are often more affordable.

There is a smaller pool of buyers, and the units are generally smaller.

Those living in a senior independent living apartment do not utilize any support services.

Therefore, you aren’t paying for extra nursing and medical attention as you would in an assisted living or memory care apartment (though insurance will often cover portions of these costs).

Retirement apartments at The Harbor offer affordable month-to-month rent, with no expensive buy-in.

Schedule A Tour

Senior Independent Living at The Harbor

If independent senior apartments sound like something you might be interested in, schedule a tour at The Harbor.

While you’re visiting, you can talk to the staff, grab a meal, and take in the culture and environment at The Harbor.

Our experienced staff at Cape Albeon would be happy to show you everything our vibrant retirement community has to offer.

See what possibilities await!

Schedule a tour

Or take our virtual tour below!