For older adults who are considering on a suitable senior living option, living independently is one of the main concerns. Staying in your own home offers a deep sense of familiarity and comfort, so it often feels like the most ideal option. However, living on your own can be isolating and you are required to do your own household chores and regular house maintenance. If you are suffering from any medical conditions, these household responsibilities can be overwhelming for you to handle on your own in the long run. Moving into a retirement community may seem daunting but it can provide you with more freedom in the future. Find out more about the differences between assisted living vs. independent living to help you decide on the more suitable option.
Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living
Both independent living and assisted living communities are designed to accommodate residents’ unique needs. Here are some of the key differences between these two senior living options that can help you determine which option best fit your lifestyle needs.
Assisted Living Community
Assisted living is ideal for older adults who require daily assistance for day-to-day tasks and wish to pursue a much more socially-active lifestyle. Assisted living offers the following features and services:
- Apartment homes with equipped kitchens and appliances.
- Assistance for daily living activities like grooming, bathing, toileting, medication management and more.
- Restaurant-style catered dining, community events and activities.
- Complimentary transportation to appointments, stores, and others seven days a week.
Assisted living communities impose certain health standards for new residents. Those who require 24-hour medical care may require a different senior living arrangement.
Independent Living Community
Independent living communities may at times be referred to as retirement communities. They cater to older adults who can generally tend to their own personal needs. They do not require any assistance and want to live within a community with residents within a similar age group. Some independent living communities also offer the assisted living option as the level of care that is offered to residents is typically similar. Residents of both these communities enjoy the same forms of community activities, meal services, and transportation. Independent living offers the following features and services:
- Community engagement
- Sense of self-fulfillment
- Maintenance-free living with plenty of amenities
- On-site conveniences like wellness programs, fitness classes, and more.
- Basic services like laundry, meal prep, housekeeping, and transportation.
Who Can Benefit from Independent Living Vs. Assisted Living?
Assisted living is suitable for older adults who:
- Require basic nursing support without 24-hour medical care.
- Are looking to forge new relationships through social senior activities.
- Require assistance with daily living activities like grooming and bathing.
- Are currently in good health but expecting to require support for their health soon.
- Prefer to lead an active lifestyle but do not have ready access to transportation.
Independent living is suitable for older adults who:
- Have the mental and physical capacity to live independently.
- Do not wish to fuss over house maintenance and household chores.
- Are looking for opportunities to meet new people within the same circle.
- Would enjoy an exciting, communal environment.
- Want easy access to activities and amenities that cater to senior living needs.