Independent living communities, also known as retirement communities, allow able-bodied seniors to live among their peers with numerous amenities beneficial for aging adults. Made for retirees ages 55 and older, these independent living retirement communities offer private residences with services including meals, weekly linen and cleaning assistance and around-the-clock staff support. In addition, the best retirement communities provide local transportation, social events and emergency medical assistance, if needed. While many independent living retirement communities offer facilities for physical therapy, counseling and other health and wellness treatments, the typical independent living community does not include help with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing or the administration of medications. If you’re not sure where to start looking for an independent living community for yourself or a loved one, this article will highlight five highly rated options.

Top 5 Independent Living Retirement Communities:

  • Atria Senior Living
  • Benchmark Senior Living
  • Brookdale Senior Living Solutions
  • Holiday Retirement
  • Leisure Care

Atria Senior Living

Atria’s unique Engage Life program offers residents a wide variety of engaging activities and even volunteer opportunities designed to foster joy, growth, and fulfillment. Each new resident is asked 47 questions designed to help the Engage Life director understand each person’s unique interests. Their active social calendar includes upwards of 200 activities every month. Maintenance of the apartment and grounds, including snow removal, is included in the cost of living at this independent living community. There is an emergency alert system to ensure staff can respond to emergencies quickly.


  • Engage Life Program
  • Energy efficient private apartments
  • Fresh chef-prepared menu with table service

Benchmark Senior Living

Live a more carefree lifestyle without the worries of maintaining a home. With Benchmark’s Live Now, Live Well program, there are activities ranging from book discussions and art classes to games and exercise classes. Residents are encouraged to stay active by teaching their own classes. With independent living, Benchmark tries to maintain a balance between freedom and services designed to help you live the best life possible. This is a great retirement community for active seniors looking for social opportunities on a daily basis.


  • Live Now, Live Well program
  • Fine Dining
  • Exercise program

Brookdale Senior Living

The staff at Brookdale retirement community is warm and caring, and apartments are spacious and may include walk-in closets and full kitchens. Some communities offer comfortable retirement cottages or villas rather than just apartments. You might enjoy walking down a garden path or relaxing in a courtyard. There are emergency pull cords to help keep you safe.


  • Pet-friendly
  • Vacation style amenities
  • Events on-site and off-site

Holiday Retirement

Enjoy all-inclusive retirement living with a holistic wellness program, restaurant-style dining with made from scratch recipes, scheduled transportation, and more. Find social activities that allow you to give back to the community. At Holiday Retirement there are multiple floor plans and cottages available, and you have the freedom to furnish it however you want. Flexible short-term and month-to-month leases are available to make this the ideal independent living retirement community for your needs.


  • Pet-friendly
  • No buy-in fees
  • Layers of Holiday Lifestyle activities

Leisure Care

Enjoy a resort-like senior living retirement community with a fun vibe. Active seniors have their own travel agency to help plan vacations and even cruises when they live in a Leisure Care community. Their PrimeFit program will help you keep your body fit, and you can keep your mind sharp with Rossetta Stone Fit Brain at the Brain Fitness Center. There are opportunities for lifelong learning through local colleges.


  • Concierge Service
  • Fresh, five-star restaurant style dining
  • Full schedule of social programs


Senior independent living retirement communities offer services and social interaction without sacrificing personal autonomy. These are only a few of the best retirement communities out there. Before you decide on an independent living community, consider your options and take a tour of as many as possible to find the right fit for you. Many communities even offer a free meal to prospective residents. Be sure to bring along a list of questions to ask the staff based on what’s important to you.