Assisted Living vs. Independent Living

How are independent living and assisted living similar?

As our loved ones get older and want/need to let go of the responsibilities of home maintenance and other cares, assisted living and independent living facilities are two of the choices seniors can make. Both are similar in that they focus on providing enriching activities and socializing opportunities that seniors may not have access to otherwise. They are designed around helping seniors maintain their independence – offering services that help with basic functions such as meals, laundry services, and other amenities while providing various activities that are part of vibrant life.

How are assisted living and independent living different?

Assisted living and independent living are part of a continuum of care for our loved ones moving from living on their own toward having more care as time and health dictate.

Next to living by oneself, Independent Living is the least restrictive of these choices, allowing residents to have the comfort of others nearby yet following their own interests and desires. Independent living allows seniors to have access to a community of their own age range and interests without having to worry about home maintenance and other cares. Most independent living facilities have private apartments for their residents, allowing them to come and go as they please.

Assisted living still allows for privacy and independence, while providing more services such as help with laundry, medications, and basic hygiene needs. Rather than apartments, residents are more likely to have private rooms that may or may not have small kitchenettes. Assisted living is perfect for those who can still choose their own activities and interests and yet need help with everyday self-care. For safety reasons, assisted living in memory care facilities will typically not have kitchenettes and may lock facility doors after evening hours.

Who is right for independent living?

Independent living is right for the senior who wants and is able to live an active life while letting go of the responsibilities of home maintenance and other factors. They may be ready to be less isolated than they have been – looking for opportunities to build community and be creative with others of their own age. For these loved ones, independent living facilities are ideal because they provide opportunities to be active and engaged while letting go of other cares.

Who is right for assisted living?

Assisted living is right for your loved one if they are still able to maintain some independence but need help with daily care. Assisted living facilities provide round-the-clock medical care and help with medications; daily living help such as housekeeping services, showering, and getting dressed; and recreational activities and social events. Assisted living allows your loved one to reap the benefits of socializing and community while getting help for their basic needs.

Whether your loved one is ready for either independent living or assisted living, many choices out there will fit their needs. Understanding the options will make those choices easier for all.