6 Different Types of Senior Living

6 Different Types of Senior Living

Approaching the idea of senior living can be intimidating for some. There are so many types of senior living. It can be hard to parse through them all and figure out which one is best for you or a loved one.

What are the different types of senior living? Do I value independence? Are the meals good? What about medical care? These are questions you should be asking. However, the answer largely depends on the type of senior living you choose and what facility you select.

While the types of senior living come in many forms, they can be broken down into general categories that simplify the options. 

Here at Saint Ann Retirement Center, we’ve identified the different types of senior living available, which needs and values these types can satisfy, and their pros and cons.

Did you know there are Different Types of Senior Living

What are the different types of senior living?

1. 55+ Communities

A 55+ community is the gateway to a senior living community. This option resembles the living you or a loved one has experienced thus far.

A 55+ community, for example, can be a neighborhood of homes where all the residents are at least 55 years old or older. There may be some community amenities, like a swimming pool, fitness center, or in some cases, a golf course!

A 55+ community can also be an apartment complex with similar amenities that you may see in other apartments, like a fitness center, lobby, media room, etc.

You don’t have to worry about noisy families or rowdy teenagers in a 55+ community. Everyone is on the same wavelength. 

Who are 55 communities ideal for?

55+ communities are ideal for active seniors above 55 who want to live around like-aged people while maintaining a daily lifestyle similar to what they’re used to.

  • Sometimes gated
  • Community amenities
  • Like-aged neighbors
  • Well-kept landscapes
  • Your own home or apartment
  • Traditional home upkeep is up to you
  • No medical or memory care staff
  • HOA fees

2. Independent Living

Independent living is the next tier of senior living. Independent living communities resemble a 55+ community, but independent living is almost exclusively in apartment-style residences.

You’re around similarly aged people, but independent living residents tend to be older on average than 55+ community residents.

Independence is a critical component of independent living. Of course, you do not have to participate in anything, but it is encouraged!

Independent living residences offer meals, daily activities, and social events to engage you. In addition, some independent living residences offer a nursing staff that can assist when needed, though they are often not specialized.

Who is independent living for?

Independent living is for someone who wants to be in a community of similar people with the option to participate in community activities while having closer access to living assistance when needed.

  • Social activities
  • Meals
  • Nurses-on-demand
  • You may be paying for things you don’t want/need
  • Not a comprehensive medical care environment

3. Assisted Living

Of all the types of senior living, assisted living could be the right one for you. Assisted living resembles independent living but focuses much more on hands-on assistance. 

Nurses at an assisted living community are usually skilled, and there is typically an on-call or visiting physician. Daily living is more structured to fit your medical and personal wellness needs. 

For example, you may have planned-out physical therapy sessions. In addition, a medical worker may monitor your diet to fulfill nutrition requirements. You can also have a nurse who assists you with medication management.

6 Different Types of Senior Living

Is assisted living for me?

Assisted living is for someone who needs some medical and regular wellness attention from professionals while wanting a caring community of people to socialize with.

  • Better medical attention
  • Activities and social events
  • Many daily chores are taken care of for you
  • Less independence
  • Required activities

4. Memory Care

Memory care is a step up from assisted living. This is an advanced form of care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Memory care provides 24-hour medical assistance from licensed nurses. Many memory care facilities will have an in-house physician. A room in a memory care facility will more closely resemble a hospital room than an apartment.

Memory care facilities offer meals and social activities to stimulate brain function and social interaction. 

While medical attention is the main priority, a memory care facility can still offer a fulfilling and joyful resident experience.

Is memory care for me?

Memory care is for someone with, or in the development of, dementia or Alzheimer’s. Memory care residents need 24-hour medical assistance and access to a physician at a moment’s notice.

  • Expert medical care
  • A safe, nurturing environment
  • Provides ways to improve functionality
  • Little independence
  • Fewer activities and amenities
  • Saint Ann Retirement Center does not offer memory care

5. Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing is a facility with advanced medical care treatment that doesn’t specialize in memory care. A skilled nursing facility is an excellent option for older residents who need access to 24-hour medical attention but don’t have memory issues.

Is skilled nursing for me?

Like memory care, medical attention is the primary priority in skilled nursing homes. However, you can still have a fulfilling and joyful resident experience.

  • Expert medical care
  • A safe, nurturing environment
  • Provides ways to improve functionality
  • Less independence
  • Less diversity in activities and amenities


6. In-Home Nursing

In-home nursing is excellent for people who are well enough to not be in a hospital but would like some assistance adjusting to home life. 

This isn’t a long-term treatment plan but rather a short-term one to help you after a visit to the hospital, say after surgery or emergencies like a heart attack or stroke.


  • Convenient
  • Provides a safety net in case an emergency happens


  • Not a long-term option
  • Expensive

Types of senior living, senior living options for seniors 55 and up infographic.

In conclusion

We hope to have simplified the types of senior living options for you. However, entering this phase of your life is a big step. Therefore, Saint Ann recommends you make this decision for yourself while you still can.

If you have any questions or are interested in our services, give Saint Ann Retirement Center a call. We’ll be happy to help you determine which types of senior living could be right for you.

Saint Ann Retirement Center offers the best senior living options for retirement in Oklahoma City. Assisted living and independent living accommodations that enhance the life of individuals looking for support and comfortability as well as a variety of amenities to keep the community active and engaged. Saint Ann is owned and operated by The Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, a not-for-profit Christian organization.

How you choose the best retirement community is important to the next step you take in your life. Should you choose assisted living or independent living? Read our blog to figure out how to find the right fit for you!

How to Choose the Best Retirement Community for You: 8 Tips

Assisted living senior living independent living in oklahoma city Transparent Clean St. Ann Assisted Independent Living BLK

Are you looking for the best retirement community for you or a loved one? Not sure where to start? Here at Saint Ann Retirement Center, we’ve identified some things to consider and questions to ask when looking to move into a new retirement community.


Choosing the right retirement community for you can be a tough process. read more about how to choose the right place for you.

How to Know What Retirement Community Is Best For Me?

Here’s what you need to consider when choosing the retirement community for you.

1. Dining

You’ll be eating the food for nearly every meal, so you better like it! When you or a loved one visits, pay close attention to the dining aspects.

What kind of meals are available? Who is preparing it? Are the ingredients of excellent quality? Can they accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences with ease?

2. Social Activities

It would help if you wanted to move into a retirement community to be around folks your age that whom you can socialize with. Ask for a calendar of monthly events when you tour.

Do the activities interest you? Are you physically able to participate? Activities are what get you moving and interacting in a retirement community. You should enjoy them!

3. Personal Care

Every person interested in a retirement center has different medical and personal needs. Some retirement communities focus on medical care also known as assisted living care, while others prioritize independence or independent living.

Evaluate your situation and decide if you value getting to live on your own or being in a place where specialty care is provided. Do you need help with your meds? Do you need assistance with dining? Do you still do chores?

How you choose the right retirement community is important to the next step you take in your life. Should you choose assisted living or independent living? Read our blog to figure out how to find the right fit for you!

4. General Disposition

Do the residents and staff seem happy when you visit? Or do they seem bored or dismissive? Pay attention to the state of the residents.

You’re likely to feel similar to how they do. You should spend your years in a retirement center happily!

5. Amenities

Amenities are the shared spaces in retirement centers for residents to enjoy. Amenities vary from religious spaces, exercise rooms, game centers, and more!

If most of the amenities don’t interest you, consider if the cost of living there is worth it if you don’t like the amenities.

6. Community

When you visit, take some time to mingle with a current resident. It could be insightful to the retirement experience. Still, it gives you a chance to gauge if you see yourself getting along with those who live there.

If you use the center’s amenities and participate in social activities, you should do it with friends!

7. Transportation

Transportation is an often-overlooked aspect of retirement communities.
A community’s transportation allows you to get out and about. While it varies from place to place, Saint Ann is proud to offer a robust transportation service.

We have a scheduled driver who can take you to medical appointments, the grocery store, movie theaters, and more!
Transportation is key to living with independence.

8. Independent Living or Assisted Living

You’ll be faced with these two living options when looking to move into a senior retirement community. Independent Living Vs. Assisted Living.

In short, independent living focuses on:
– The social needs of the resident
– Aid with daily activities when asked
– General independence

Assisted living focuses on:
– Medical and personal care
– Continuing care support
– Nursing care
– Help with daily activities

Some senior living communities specialize in one or the other. Saint Ann provides both in one location.

In Conclusion…

Moving into a retirement center is a big decision with many factors.
Here at Saint Ann, we hope to have alleviated some stress and given you some peace of mind on how to best make this decision.

Are you interested in a senior living community? Visit Saint Ann today! We are an all-encompassing facility with the people and resources to accommodate independent and assisted living residents.

Stop by and see our wide array of amenities, happy residents, and welcoming staff and see if we are best for you.

Saint Ann Retirement Center

  • Oklahoma City
  • Edmond
  • Mustang 
  • Midwest City