Senior housing and apartments have a number of advantages. Public senior housing bases rent on a percentage of your income. Many senior communities offer residents activities and trips, and have advisers on site to assist with Social Security and Medicare questions. Senior apartments and housing are designed to be accessible; even if you have difficulties with mobility, there are often rails in hallways, walk-in showers and wide doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
Decide on what you can afford to pay for rent. Make sure you have enough money left in your budget for medicine, doctor visits, groceries, personal care and other miscellaneous expenses.
Decide on what type of apartment or house you need and what amenities you'd like. If you don't drive, for example, you should look for housing near public transportation or with several stores within walking distance. If you live alone, decide if you want an extra bedroom for guests, or if you'd prefer to save the money.
Gather information on local senior housing and apartments. Search online at 55communityguide.com or Alternativesforseniors.com. Visit your local senior center for recommendations from staff and other seniors. If your income and assets are limited, visit your local public housing office for information on public senior apartments and assistance programs.
Choose two or three places to visit. Stop by each and ask for a tour. Get a price list for the apartments and what the required deposit is. Request a copy of their activities calendar. If you see residents in the halls or lobby, ask them if they would recommend moving there.
Decide on an apartment and complete a rental application. Once you're approved, set a move-in date. If it's a multilevel building, make certain an elevator will be available for moving your things into your new apartment.
Follow your instincts when choosing an apartment. If you don't feel comfortable there, the lobby is dirty or the management seems unpleasant when you visit, cross it off your list.
Don't let a leasing agent talk you into filling out a rental application if you're not ready to. There's often a rental application fee and a credit check, and you should limit both to apartments you're definitely interested in.