Choosing Between Assisted Living and Independent Living

Comparing independent living versus assisted living or determining whether you or a loved one needs memory care can be challenging when searching for senior living options. To make your move easier, knowing the difference between independent and assisted living is vital.

There is a senior community for you, regardless of whether you want to keep as much freedom as possible or want to seek support with daily living tasks. But which environment is an ideal fit?

Assisted Living vs. Independent Living

Discover the differences between assisted and independent living communities, their services and amenities, and key rates details so you can confidently move in someday.

Community Design

Independent living communities include several buildings on large campuses, with a central gathering place for meals and senior community activities. The distances between buildings and the size of the areas within them (such as apartments or cottages) can be greatly different (either by foot or by car).

Assisted living communities are typically more small and separate than traditional nursing homes. Many of the resident’s needs are met in the assisted living facility. Memory programs in assisted living facilities are much more thoughtfully created. There could be enhanced lighting, color coding, visual cues, memory boxes, easy-to-navigate walking paths, and safe outdoor and indoor spaces.

Medical and Social Support

Independent living facilities are usually for older people that do not require much support or treatment, so most do not provide these services. Some communities give their residents access to a full range of medical services, including a primary care facility for elders, in-home help, hospital care, rehabilitation services, palliative care, and hospice care.

In assisted living, staff assists residents with daily tasks. There is always a person available to assist you and a nurse available at most assisted living communities. Assisted living facilities typically have on-site health care methods, so residents can see their doctors without leaving the community.

Family Involvement

Families are encouraged to become associated with the community through independent living, but the resident makes most of the decisions. The services offered throughout the community are accessible to families who want to see their loved ones while there.

Families often become more involved in looking after their loved ones in assisted living communities, specifically those housing people with dementia. Family members are included in the care planning procedure and are regularly updated on their loved one’s condition. This is just one of the benefits of senior living communities; look here to find more.

Programming and Amenities

Despite your level of care, both independent and assisted living communities offer a variety of programming and resident amenities. Private houses, housekeeping, 24-hour staff, transportation services, activities and social opportunities, and dining options are common amenities and services. For casual social activity, the majority of facilities provide common living areas like small libraries, coffee shop areas, and gaming areas.

In independent living communities, dinner is commonly included in the monthly fee. Different options are available in many communities, ranging from fine dining to casual take-out, or residents may choose to prepare their food. Assisted living often consists of all meals, and residents are advised to eat with their friends in the dining room. Mealtimes are crucial for social interaction.

The Costs

Generally, assisted living is based on a rental model. All utilities, housekeeping, safety and security, nursing observation, daily meals, activities, and staffing (24/7) are featured in the monthly cost. The monthly cost in an assisted living model frequently includes one to two hours of everyday individual care. This might include assisting with personal activities like dressing or bathing, grooming, using the restroom, or taking medicines.

The cost of independent living differs. Independent living residents in many continuing care retirement communities pay an entrance fee when they relocate (typically 75 to 90% is refundable upon leaving) and an additional monthly cost to cover maintenance, housekeeping, security, meals, and programming.

Final Thoughts

The choice between assisted and independent living must be based on your loved one’s particular needs. Residents can modify their lifestyles to meet their changing needs in several communities that provide assisted and independent living options. Preparing for the future is a good idea when considering senior living options.

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