Independent vs. Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

Are you planning on moving into a retirement facility? Are you trying to help a loved one make that transition? Regardless, it’s important to understand what type of senior care facility is right for your situation. 

While there are many options for senior care, the two primary categories are independent living and assisted living. But what’s the difference between independent vs assisted living anyway?

Let’s talk about it! Keep reading to learn all about the differences between these two options. 

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living is a great first step in the process of moving into a senior living community. 

Many older adults who have already retired feel the need to move away from their homes, even if they’re still fairly capable of living on their own. Whether they feel the need to downsize, they’re feeling lonely, or they just want to make a change, they make the decision to move into independent living communities.

These communities are similar to standard apartment communities, but they have many of the amenities of hotels. 

Seniors in these communities get to get rid of some of their chores. They may have light housekeeping and laundry services available, and there’s plenty of on-site food to choose from.

These communities offer plenty of activities and amenities like on-site classes, spas, parties, exercise classes, and more. 

There is always someone nearby in the event that a senior needs emergency medical care, but for the most part, these seniors are still living independent lives. 

What Is Assisted Living?

So if that’s the case, what is assisted living?

Assisted living is a step up from independent living. People who need assisted living communities may feel somewhat independent, but they need help with day-to-day tasks and they may be more medically fragile. 

These seniors are unable to live on their own. They may struggle with mobility, heart disease, or the beginning of dementia. They need caregivers to help them.

Assisted living facilities still have plenty of social opportunities. Residents still get meals and housekeeping help. They also have helpers to help bathe them, help them remember their medications, and more. 

Assisting living amenities include many of the same things that independent living facilities offer, like spa services and transportation. They just have a few added amenities to make sure that the seniors stay safe.

While independent living communities do have nearby medical staff, assisted living facilities place a stronger focus on medical needs. They also have different levels of care to ensure that their residents are able to stay comfortable regardless of how their conditions change.

Independent vs Assisted Living: Which Is Right For You?

When it comes to choosing between independent vs assisted living, the main thing that you have to consider is whether or not the senior is able to live on their own.

If they need constant assistance, assisted living is a clear choice. If they want to join an independent and active group of other adults, independent living is the answer!

So which will you choose?

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