How Do I Choose The Right Senior Community?

by: Lisa Conway, RN

Great question! Here’s mine: “What is your ideal living situation?” In Florida, retirement living options abound. There are active senior communities, 55+ communities, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities and some with a combination of attributes.  Let’s take a closer look at these senior living options.

Age restricted communities usually require at least one resident to be of a certain age –typically 55. Health care services are not typically provided, unless brought in privately.

Independent living communities are designed with recreational, social and educational opportunities for healthy, independent older adults. These communities are often age restricted also and typically don’t provide health care services, unless brought in privately.

Assisted living facilities combine residential housing and supportive health care services. Residents typically need help with some activities for daily living, so as to maintain as much independence as possible.

Memory care facilities can be attached to assisted living communities or stand alone. These communities specialize in caring for those diagnosed with memory impairment. The buildings are usually designed with special features. The staff receives training for coping with safety and behavioral issues, in addition to providing assistance with activities for daily living.

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities provide 24/7 nursing, for those in need of a higher level of care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) provide seniors with a full spectrum of lifestyle and health care options. You can expect to find independent and assisted living — all the way to skilled nursing care, provided on one campus.

All of these are in Brevard! To learn more, join me at the Center for Collaboration in Rockledge on Friday, February 10th for Senior Living Options Day, hosted by One Senior Place. You can compare local communities, browse vendors and enjoy the chef competition for best appetizers and desserts! RSVP online at or call 321-751-6771.

One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera. Ms. Conway hosts a monthly seminar, ‘Senior Health Friday with Nurse Lisa.’