What is Supportive Living?

As you begin your research into retirement living, you’re bound to come across a variety of different terms that describe the various living choices available to you. There can be a lot of jargon surrounding amenities, health care services and pricing packages – this guide is intended to help if you find yourself unsure of what’s included in each option and which is right for you.

Supportive living describes housing and lifestyle options for adults that are 55 years old or better and includes some support, whether that’s housekeeping services or help with daily living activities.

You may find a website that mentions supportive living and think it’s just another term for assisted living. But even though the two terms sound similar, they may not be the same. It’s essential to note that a supportive living community is much different from a traditional retirement community. Keep reading to learn more about supportive living and the many benefits of a supportive living community.

Definition and Types of Supportive Living

Supportive living describes living options that include some type of support for adults age 55 and better. The most common type of support people think of is health care and assistance with daily living activities, but support can also be in the form of amenities, such as maintenance, housekeeping and wellness programs.

Supportive living is typically offered in a specialized community. Most people are familiar with the four main types of retirement communities: assisted living, independent living, skilled nursing and memory care. Each of these supportive living options offers different types and amounts of assistance.

  • Independent Living – Residents in this type of community are active and healthy, needing little to no support. They live in their own home or apartment and have typically chosen to live in a community not because they can’t live in a private home, but because they want to enjoy the wide variety of services and amenities included in the community.
  • Assisted Living – Residents here are also largely independent. Most live in their own apartment or in a shared room, but may need assistance with common daily activities and chores. Within this type of community, they also have access to some medical care if necessary.
  • Skilled Nursing – Residents must meet certain criteria before moving into a skilled nursing community. For instance, residents may need a certain level of care, or specialized services such as rehab, that require them to have skilled medical assistance.
  • Memory Care – Memory care is specialized support for those living with memory impairments. The most common memory impairment is dementia, which encompasses Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies and other forms of the disease.

The common misconception about supportive living communities of any type is that they’re created for those who cannot function or enjoy life on their own. That’s far from the case. In fact, one of the most popular types of supportive living communities is independent living, where adults that need little or no help live active lives.

When you choose to move into this type of supportive living environment, you will have access to all the services offered in a traditional retirement community, as well as a wide variety of additional amenities and services. It’s an ideal option for individuals who are interested in downsizing or shedding some of the responsibilities of home ownership, but who understand that their medical and lifestyle needs may change over time. Supportive living communities alleviate many of the burdens that come along with home maintenance, running errands and daily chores like cooking and cleaning.

What Are the Benefits or Supportive Living Communities?

The services and amenities available with supported living vary from community to community. However, they often feature some basic services that are designed to make life easier for their residents. Basic services offered to supportive living residents include:

  • Prepared meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Home maintenance
  • Social, wellness and educational activities
  • Medication management
  • Scheduled transportation

However, when you choose to make the move to a luxury community, you’ll quickly discover that you have a wealth of additional services and amenities available to you.

Luxury Retirement Community Amenities

Whether you’re interested in making a comfortable home for yourself, you want to expand your social circle or you’re focused on improving your overall wellness, you’re bound to find an activity or service that will help you reach your goals in most luxury communities.

Resort-Style Dining

Food is more than just fuel to help get you through the day, and luxury communities turn dining into an activity residents and visitors can enjoy, with a wealth of resort-style meals and dining rooms. It’s common to find a variety of different restaurants and a la carte dining alternatives that fit your individual schedule and desires. Additionally, dining rooms can often be reserved for special events, to help you celebrate in style and within the comfort of your community.

Health and Fitness

Staying healthy and in shape is important for people of all ages, which is why luxury retirement living communities often feature state-of-the-art fitness centers and equipment to help make working out easy and fun. Whether you’re an experienced gym-goer or you’re new to physical fitness, the option to work out on your own or sign up for yoga, weightlifting, swimming and other workout programs is one of the best amenities available to residents. You can take a casual class to help expand your fitness routine and meet like-minded individuals that may become your newest workout buddy.


While daily chores can be very soothing and therapeutic for some, others would rather spend their time focusing on hobbies or traveling as they enter into their retirement years. You’ve already spent plenty of time worrying about your laundry, cleaning the kitchen and other general house chores, so why not let someone else take care of your housekeeping duties for you? Most supportive living communities offer general housekeeping as part of your monthly rent or maintenance fees so you can focus on developing your hobbies and interests.

Scheduled Transportation

Plenty of people find driving relaxing, but it can also be stressful, especially as you get older and would rather not fight traffic. Whether you need a ride to the grocery store or you want to spend an afternoon exploring your favorite local museum, you can use scheduled transportation services from your community to safely get around town. There’s no need to stress over morning or evening rush hours, making it easy to relax and enjoy the ride to a variety of different local destinations.

Meeting and Game Rooms

One of the biggest benefits of moving to a supportive living community is the fact that you have the opportunity to interact with your peers as often as you’d like. Many adults end up living far from family and long-time friends as people move away to pursue careers or build their own families, and that can make the transition into retirement feel lonely at first. But with access to meeting and game rooms that are designed to help you meet and bond with your neighbors, there’s never a reason to go without conversation.

Libraries and Quiet Reflection Space

If you’re looking for a tranquil retreat outside of your home or apartment, many supportive living communities feature reading rooms, libraries or quiet meditation spaces where you can go to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day life. Grab a book, bring your favorite guided meditation podcast or simply choose to spend some time here in silent reflection and you will quickly find yourself enjoying a few peaceful moments to yourself.

Theater Performances

Another great way to spend time, either with friends or on a fun solo night, is with a performance or movie presentation. If you can’t get out to enjoy the arts, you can dive into local culture, lectures, presentations and films at your community’s theater space. This is a great way to enjoy entertainment from the comfort of your community and avoid traveling and crowds when taking in the arts. If this is an amenity or feature that is important to you, be sure to ask whether the communities you’re considering have a theater on campus before narrowing down your search.

Maintenance and Repairs

Perhaps the biggest benefit of downsizing to a supportive living community is the fact that individuals no longer have to stress over how to handle basic home maintenance. Everything from landscaping to gutter repairs, snow shoveling and trash removal is taken care of for you when you make the move to an independent living community. There’s no reason to risk your health or your wallet paying individual contractors to take care of these maintenance tasks for you, as they are typically included with your basic amenities and services.

24-Hour Security

There is nothing more frightening as a homeowner than the idea of someone breaking into your house or vandalizing your property. And even when you invest in an advanced home security system, if you live alone in your average neighborhood, it can be difficult to feel truly safe at night. Supportive living communities provide all residents with 24-hour security to make sure that no one who is unauthorized has access to your home or any of the other buildings on campus. You can feel safe whether you’re out for a morning jog at 6:00 am or if you’re walking back home from a game night after dark.

Access to Health and Medical Care

It’s difficult to know what type of medical care you’ll need during your retirement years. And while you always hope for the best, you can give yourself more peace of mind by being prepared for any medical obstacle that life may throw at you. When you chose to live in a supportive living community, you’re close to help if something does come up. You’ll also have access to ongoing holistic wellness programs that will help you meet your personal goals, so you can remain in top shape for longer.

Aspire’s Independent Living Community

If supportive living for an active lifestyle sounds like the best retirement community option for you, we’d be happy to share more information about Aspire at Carriage Hill. As a resort-style community for adults that are ready to reduce the burdens of homeownership but maintain their active, involved lifestyle, we are dedicated to providing our residents with a lush, private and modern independent living experience. To learn more about what makes life great here, please give us a call at (804) 286-1133 or contact our friendly community specialists today.

Contact Us

With all of the decisions you need to make in choosing a Richmond independent living community, we want to make sure you and your family have the information you need. Submit a request for more information and our team will be in touch shortly.

5020 Sulky Drive

Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 286-1133

View Map

Contact Us - Short Form Footer

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.