Independent Living

Independent Living is for residents that can live without much support, but want to begin to start thinking and looking at there future. The average age of people entering into an Independent living facility is late seventies to early eighties. Facilities are for thoseIndependent Living - Health Architecture who need/want to downsize and in return the facility usually takes care of upkeep and maintenance.

One of the options of independent living is congregate living which is a traditional living option with services. This was the first model that arose apart from complete self-sufficiency and complete dependency. Congregate care offers services which allow for the changing needs of a resident. These facilities can offer service like: a meal a day, housekeeping, transportation, and social activities. The facility usually does not provide health care, however some facilities may offer a licensed health-care provider a la carte. Units are typically: apartments, duplex or cottages.

There are 3 settings that independent living is found. Freestanding is usually an apartment building with services. Blended service/living options is usually a apartment or cottage which may be in a complex with another level of care. Retirement community is usually a multi-level of care facilities, which includes: independent, assisted living and long-term care.

One of the large planning issues of independent living is planning for aging in place.

Units may be rentals or ownerships or an upfront entry fee with a monthly rent
The buildings use a range of forms for multifamily apartment projects but in many regions simple forms are used.

Typical Units

One-bedroom: 660-700 sq ft with full kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.

One-bedroom with den: apartment unit that adds about 90-120 sq ft to a one bedroom. Some may include a 1/2 bath.

Two-bedroom: 750--950 sq ft like the one bedroom but with and added bedroom. Units usually include 1 1/2 baths or 2 bathrooms.

Two bedroom/double master: A two bedroom unit that provides bathrooms off of each bedroom.

Two bedroom with den: 2 bedroom unit with a 90-120 sq ft den.

Deluxe unit: variations of all the units but may include a dining alcove, eat in kitchen, dinning room or larger living room


  • sponsors are looking to combine apartment-style living with a range of services and programs to allow people to age in place.
  • development of new long term beds that cost less
  • sponsors are looking at naturally occurring retirement communities (NORC's) to see if there is a way to add services like: meals, home health care, housekeeping, transportation, so that seniors can stay in there apartments

"Assisted Living Sacramento - Regency Place Senior Living - Sacramento, CA 95823." Assisted Living Sacramento - Regency Place Senior Living - Sacramento, CA 95823. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2010. <>.
Perkins, Braford, J. David Hoglund, Douglas King, and Eric Cohen. Building Type Basics for senior living. Ed. Stephen A. Kilment. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2004. Print.
Regnier, Victor. Design for Assisted Living. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Print.