Independent senior living communities (also known as retirement communities, senior living communities or independent retirement communities) are housing communities designed for seniors 55 and older. They offer a variety of apartments, cottages, townhouses, condominiums, and single-family homes. Typical residents are seniors who are active and healthy but can also benefit from less home maintenance, convenient services, nutritious meals, physical and mental stimulation, senior-friendly surroundings, and increased opportunities to congregate with other older adults.

Many independent senior living communities offer dining services, security, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, transportation to appointments and errands, cultural and recreational activities, social programs, and fitness rooms. Some also offer emergency alert systems, live-in managers, and amenities such as pools, spas, clubhouses, chapels, concierge service, travel programs, and on-site beauty and barber salons.

Independent retirement communities do not provide health care or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as medication, bathing, dressing, or eating. Residents who need assistance with ADLs can obtain third-party home health care services on their own.

Independent Senior Living vs. Assisted Living

For an older adult, the choice between independent living and assisted living typically depends on how well an individual can manage ADLs without extra assistance. Examples include preparing meals, personal hygiene, managing medications, completing household chores, driving/coordinating transportation, and maintaining personal finances.

Independent living communities are ideal for seniors who are ready to move out of their family home because they may feel it is too big for them or might want to live among other active seniors. Independent living represents a perfect alternative because it provides independent seniors with a comfortable, home-like atmosphere designed to keep them interactive, healthy and safe.

Assisted living communities, on the other hand, are good for seniors who are mostly independent but have special needs and cannot live alone. These older adults do not need the extensive care of a nursing home facility, yet they do require some assistance. Assisted living facilities either have nurses or other well-trained staff onsite at all times to provide housekeeping, meal preparation, medication administration and other caregiving services.

Sometimes, when a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, or has health issues that need constant attention, the best senior living option is either full-time professional in-home care or a nursing home. Whether it is memory care, respite care or other form of mental or physical care, having a full-time caregiver around is necessary in order to ensure a comfortable and safe environment.

It should be noted that many independent living communities also offer assisted living and nursing home facility options. This is called a continuum of care retirement community, which is an integrated system of care that monitors and tracks residents over time through an all-inclusive range of services. If an individual is living independently in a continuum of care retirement community but develops dementia over time, they can be moved into the assisted living facility, which is still part of the overall community.

Independent Senior Living in Central Florida

Several independent living communities exist across Central Florida, which is an ideal location to retire, spend more time with your grandchildren, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Florida has 260 independent living facilities with an average cost of $2,545 per month. At One Senior Place Greater Orlando, you can visit Florida’s only Living Options Showroom, get information about dozens of area senior living opportunities and discover which option is right for you. Get a one-on-one consultation with someone who can help you understand the process, determine the level of care you need, and put you in touch directly with the appropriate resources. Call 866-751-6771 for more information or to schedule your free consultation.


Senior Partner In-Home Care is locally owned and operated and has helped thousands of Central Florida seniors live safely and independently at home for over 16 years. Care is available wherever the client is residing 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is surprisingly affordable, with no extra charge for nights or weekends. It is licensed by the state of Florida and has been providing a better quality of life for seniors in Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole Counties since 1998. Call 800.878.1928 for more information.