Q:  What are the different options for living situations as I age?

A: That is a great question, because there’s so much to choose from! When I meet with families about this, I always ask,  “What would be your ideal living situation as you age?” I hear many different answers. Florida is a popular retirement destination, so it comes as no surprise that 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 retirement communities and 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 to residents in this type of community unless they are brought in privately.

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

Assisted living facilities provide a special combination of residential housing and supportive health care services. Residents of assisted living facilities typically need additional help with some activities for daily living, enabling them to maintain as much independence as possible.

Memory care facilities can be attached to assisted living communities or may stand alone. These communities specialize in caring for those diagnosed with some type of memory impairment. The buildings are usually designed with special features, while 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 are options that provide 24/7 nursing, for those in need of a higher level of care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are a type of retirement community that provides 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. CCRC contracts vary, but most will provide an inclusive life care guarantee of healthcare to residents.

We have all of these options in Central Florida! To learn more about what we have to offer in Brevard County, join me at the Center for Collaboration in Rockledge on Friday, February 10th for Senior Living Options Day, hosted by One Senior Place Brevard/Space Coast. 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. Alternatively, if you’re in Greater Orlando and are looking for more information about senior living options, call 407-949-6733 to schedule a consultation with Brenda.

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.