Senior Housing

Types of Senior Housing

This is information derived from the New York State Office for the Aging.  Types of housing and their definitions will vary from state to state.

Accessory Apartment: A single family home is modified to include a complete private apartment using the garage, basement or other section. No licensure required.

Active Adult Community: Apartments, homes, condominiums, or cooperatives, restricted to senior citizens. May include amenities and recreational or social activities, but does not include supportive assistance, personal care or health care. No licensure required.

Adult Home: Units consist of private or shared rooms, and private or shared bathrooms. The operator provides meals, housekeeping, socialization activities, supportive services, supervision and personal care. Both rent and services are included in the monthly charge that might be paid with private resources or subsidized through SSI for those eligible. Licensed by the NYS Department of Health.

Assisted Living:  Provides housing, supportive services, case management, medication management, monitoring, supervision, personal care, and health related care to adult residents. There are four levels of assisted living, depending on the special needs of the individual. Services and care might be paid for with private resources or subsidized through SSI for those eligible. Requires licensure for enriched housing or adult homes operators.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC): Multiple-level complexes restricted to senior citizens. They include independent living units, social activities, dining program, supportive assistance, personal care and health related care, all in one campus (nursing home care might be included). Most complexes are built in suburban areas with various levels of housing and care. Residents pay a one-time entrance fee and monthly charges. In this setting, residents are guaranteed housing, supportive assistance, and an amount of nursing home care for life, under a single contract. Regulated by NYS CCRC Council.

Dementia Care Facility/Wing/Unit: Private rooms, studio apartments or full apartments, where all residents have some type of dementia condition. Increasingly, senior housing, supportive senior housing, and enriched housing, are converting a floor, unit or wing to accommodate seniors with dementia. Monthly charges might be paid with private resources or subsidized through SSI for those eligible. Licensed by the NYS Department of Health.

Elder Cottage (ECHO): Small home that is temporarily placed in the private lot that contains the main residence of another family member, utilizing services (water, electricity, etc) from the main home. No licensure required.

Enriched Housing: Independent apartments where a program operator provides meals, helps with shopping and homemaking, transportation, social activities, supervision, and personal care. Service can be provided at a family apartment building or at a senior housing building. Both rent and services are included in monthly charge that might be paid with private resources or subsidized through SSI for those eligible. Some operators may be licensed, which allows them to provide additional personal care and health-related services to residents.

Family Type Home: In this type of residence the homeowner provides supportive services, socialization, meals, supervision, and personal care to 4 or less adults. Rent and care are included in monthly charge that might be paid with private resources or subsidized through SSI program for those eligible. Requires operating certificate from NYS Office of Children and Family Services.

Housing and Care Complex: Multiple-level complexes restricted to senior citizens. They include independent living units, social activities, supportive assistance, congregate meals, personal care, health related care, and nursing home care, all in one campus. Each level of care is individually regulated by the NYS Health Department and residents are covered by separate agreements or contracts for each level and services.

Match-Up Home Sharing: In this type of residence the homeowner or renter with an extra room shares his home with the senior citizen in exchange for rent and/or assistance.  This type of residence is often operated by a community agency.  No licensure required.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC): Buildings or geographic areas that over time have evolved to include a significant proportion of senior citizens. There are two types of NORC: Building-based services programs and neighborhood-based services programs. In both cases, services may include meals, supportive assistance, recreation and social activities, and facilitated access to personal and health related services. Charges for these services are not included in rent, but may be financed through annual membership fees, discounted fees or publicly financed programs.  No licensure required.

Nursing Home: Skilled nursing services and chronic custodial care to people of all ages. May include private or shared rooms, and private/shared baths. Monthly charges can be covered with private resources or through Medicaid for those eligible. Requires licensure by the NYS Department of Health.

Senior Housing: Apartments, homes, condominiums, or cooperatives, restricted to senior citizens. Does not provide activities, supportive assistance, health care or personal care, or staff trained in aging issues, however, many have  added amenities. This is an alternative for seniors who need a supportive environment. Monthly charges do not include supportive, personal or health services. No licensure required.

Shared Living Residence: Home or apartment shared by a small group of unrelated persons, who share living expenses and housekeeping tasks. Residents have private bedrooms and share common areas. This type of residence is usually owned or sponsored by a community organization, and seniors pay monthly charges to cover for rent, utilities, food and upkeep.  No licensure required.

Supportive Senior Housing: Buildings or cottages restricted to senior citizens. Units are purposely built to include the provision of amenities, recreational and socialization activities, and supportive assistance (such as housekeeping, laundry, meals, transportation). Monthly charges typically include the package of supportive services. No licensure required.