Let’s compare: Active Adult Communities versus Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Senior woman walking her beagle dog in countryside

Finding the right place to settle down in your retirement years is important to your social life, your health and your wellbeing. So, you want to make sure that you choose the perfect place whether it’s an active adult community or a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). To make your decision a bit easier, we’ve looked at each and have pointed out important features.

Active Adult Communities


As a rule, active adult communities are usually geared toward people who are 55 years of age or older. Many of them aren’t even retired yet; they just want to live in a place where they can have common interests with their neighbors. Others may just work part time, or are planning to slow down in a few years.

Expect to see different types of homes in active adult communities. Prices may vary as well. There may also be green spaces in the development or amenities such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, walking trails or even a fitness center.

These active communities are usually always built close to shops, restaurants, entertainment and groceries stores to give residents easy access. Sometimes there will even be scheduled activities for residents such as trips to the theatre, or on-campus lectures.

It’s very important to note that active adult communities do not offer services such as meals or medical facilities on site. You may have to make your own arrangements for any care you may need now or in the future.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Built to accommodate life’s transitions, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is usually made up of several different facilities offering a variety of care on one campus. It’s a good option for those who want to stay in the same community as their life progresses.

Most include a section of housing for independent living where people can choose an apartment or cottage. These often feel like a home with a kitchen, bedrooms and living spaces, and are designed for people who don’t need day-to-day assistance.

There is also a section for assisted living for those who may need help with meals, medication and daily activities such as dressing. Skilled nursing facilities are also part of this type of community and often they will have medical personnel on staff.

Communities also may feature health clinics on-site, fitness centers, community rooms, dining areas, game rooms, gardens and a host of activities. While costs for a CCRC may run high, the peace of mind is valuable to many people.

Making a choice

Visiting a community is a great way to see all that’s offered in an active adult community or a CCRC. Taking a tour, chatting with residents and even arranging an overnight stay can impart a real feeling of how it would be to live in a community you may be considering. Many experts even suggest several visits to either CCRCs or active adult communities at different times of day or even different days of the week to get an accurate picture.


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