Other common names for independent living include:
• Retirement communities
• Retirement homes
• Congregate care
• 55+ or 62+ communities
• Active adult communities
• Senior apartments or senior housing
• Continuing Care Retirement Community

Independent living is simply any housing arrangement designed exclusively for seniors, generally those aged 55 and over. Housing varies widely, from apartment-style living to freestanding homes. In general, the housing is friendlier to older adults, often being more compact, with easier navigation and no maintenance or yard work to worry about.

While residents live independently, most communities offer amenities, activities, and services. Often, recreational centers or clubhouses are available on site to give seniors the opportunity to connect with peers and participate in community activities, such as arts and crafts, holiday gatherings, continuing education classes, or movie nights. Independent living facilities may also offer facilities such as a fitness center and other clubs and interest groups. Other services offered in independent living may include onsite spas, beauty and barber salons, daily meals, and basic housekeeping and laundry services.