What Is the Difference Between Senior Living and Senior Housing?

What Is the Difference Between Senior Living and Senior Housing?

When you’re determining where to live during your retirement years, whether you would like additional assistance or not, it can be confusing when turning to the internet for help. The senior living industry is one full of terms that unless you work in senior living or have lived in a community, you might not know. For example, senior living and senior housing are terms that can often be used interchangeably, but they mean two entirely different things.

So, what is the difference between senior living and senior housing? Knowing these key differences will help you make your best decision.

What Is Senior Housing?

Senior housing is a term used for apartments designated for seniors to live in. These apartment buildings might be high or low rises, and residents live in an apartment.

What Is Senior Living?

Senior living is a term used to describe a community built to serve seniors. There are different types of senior living communities including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Residents live in an apartment or single-family home and enjoy access to amenities and services offered onsite.

How Are the Two Options Different?

While both senior housing and senior living are places for older adults to live, the difference is the experience of living there.

Senior housing buildings do offer some shared community spaces, like a lobby or multipurpose room. However, there are not always activities or events offered there, and most events must be planned and implemented by the residents themselves or volunteers.

In contrast, senior living communities offer a variety of shared community spaces that can include a swimming pool, fitness center, walking paths, woodworking shop, and more. There are planned events and excursions offered daily, and there is a specific department that plans events based on resident interest.

Senior housing buildings do not offer a comprehensive dining plan. There might be some catered special events, but in general, residents must cook in their homes for meals, use meal delivery services, or sign up for Meals on Wheels.

Senior living communities offer dining experiences for residents daily. Most communities feature chef-prepared meals three times per day as well as a bistro or other area where convenience foods are available for purchase.

When it comes to care or assistance, residents in a senior housing building must find and vet a home care agency to come into their apartment and provide support as needed.

Senior living communities offer access to in-home support and caregivers based on the type of care offered there.

Which Is Best for Me?

If you are simply looking for an apartment among others your age, but aren’t looking for any additional perks or amenities, senior housing might be the best choice for you. However, if you want to experience a maintenance-free lifestyle paired with amenities and services designed to help you meet your wellness goals, senior living is likely your best choice. 

At The Glen, we offer residents an exceptional resident experience highlighted by our beautiful grounds, outstanding dining, friendly neighbors, and luxury amenities. Contact us to schedule your tour so that you can see what life is like here for yourself.


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