← Back to Blog

How Are Life Plan Communities Different from Other Senior Living Communities?

A group of older adults pose for a fun photo outside

If you’re thinking of moving to a maintenance-free community for older adults (and yes, this description is purposefully vague) you’ve probably learned this type of lifestyle has a bunch of different names: 55+, independent living, Life Plan Community, Continuing Care Retirement Community, senior living, retirement community, active adult living, Life Care community, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and more.

With all these different terms, how do you know which one is right for you? To help, here are some definitions and descriptions of the most common senior living communities.

An Overview of Communities for Older Adults


Active adult living: This is a general term used to describe any type of retirement community that features a variety of social activities, outings, clubs and amenities designed to help residents stay active and engaged.

55 plus communities: These age-restricted communities are designed for people 55 and better. They may include housing options like single-family homes, apartments and townhouses. They don’t typically provide medical care or similar services for residents. Costs vary widely depending on location, residence type and floor plan size. Most 55 plus communities require residents to purchase a home rather than rent or lease space. In addition to the cost of the home, residents are typically required to pay homeowner’s association dues that cover maintenance of the community grounds, as well as any community amenities offered.

Independent living: Independent living communities are for active older adults looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle where they can build or expand their social networks. These communities plan recreational, social and physical activities, feature a variety of helpful services and thoughtful amenities and typically include meal plans and/or on-site dining options.

Assisted living: Assisted living communities are designed for people who enjoy living independently but need support with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals, taking medications and housekeeping.

Memory care: Memory care communities are designed to provide care for older adults with cognitive health issues typically from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. With highly trained staff, these communities provide needed care and appropriate activities and social opportunities.

Skilled nursing care: Skilled nursing care is an option for older adults with chronic health conditions who may benefit from or need readily available medical care but don’t require hospitalization. These communities work with health care professionals to provide care for their residents, which includes ensuring they take their medications regularly, monitoring their responses to recommended treatments and discussing any health concerns with their care team.

Life Plan Communities: Also called Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), this option is ideal for those who want an active maintenance-free lifestyle that can support their changing health, well-being and social needs under one roof. These communities feature independent living and at least one higher level of care including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Residents in Life Plan Communities have access to recreation and fitness facilities, housekeeping and laundry services, dining venues as well as health care professionals and medical services.

Life Care: First, the term Life Care is used to describe a type of senior living contract. Second, while all communities that offer a Life Care contract are also Life Plan Communities, not all Life Plan Communities offer Life Care. Choosing a Life Care contract is a more predictable way to cover potential long-term care expenses while saving you tens of thousands of dollars. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, seven out of 10 adults will need long-term care for an average of three years. A Life Care contract offers a practical plan to combat the constantly raising costs of care.

What Type of Community is The Village at Gleannloch Farms?

The Village at Gleannloch Farms is a Life Plan Community featuring the peace of mind of access to a full continuum of on-site care including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, if ever needed. We also offer a Life Care contact and have a Flex Your Future program that lets you embrace the freedom of independent living by adjusting your senior living costs to suit your budget. You can customize your entrance fee by selecting your residence now with less out of pocket, then pay the remainder of it on a flexible timeline.

Explore What’s Possible at The Village at Gleannloch Farms

If you’re just starting your senior living search, you may find choosing a community like The Village at Gleannloch Farms is more affordable than you think. In fact, it might actually help you save time and money. To learn more about the benefits of our community, use our Community Assistant chat feature or contact us here.