What is the Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living?

Jun 28, 2019
receptionist handing flowers to senior couple

Older adults in need of extra support and care have more options than ever before. In fact, there are so many viable options that deciding between them can be a laborious and stressful process. This is especially true if you don't know the criteria you should be using to narrow down your list of choices.

The Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

Independent living and assisted living communities are two of the most popular choices. Although they both offer a host of benefits to older adults, you might not know how to distinguish between them. 

You aren’t alone. It is actually very common to be confused about these two types of care. 

The choice between independent and assisted living is not always an easy one to make. It usually depends on how well an individual can manage daily affairs like housekeeping, grooming, cooking, and transportation by themselves. An older loved one’s overall health and mobility should also be taken into consideration.

Though they share many important aspects like safety, security, and companionship, there are several key differences between independent and assisted living communities. Let's have a look at them.

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living

Independent living is intended for older adults who can still manage most of their daily needs on their own. While services like household maintenance, landscaping, and other routine needs are often included in monthly fees or available separately, independent living is much more hands-off than assisted living.

On the other hand, assisted living is designed for older adults who are experiencing some challenges taking care of their daily needs. Although residents in assisted living are free to live as they wish, help and support are much more readily available in this setting.

Perhaps the most important difference between the two types of communities is that hands-on care and assistance are much more accessible in assisted living than independent living. 

Similarly, other types of support are more readily available in assisted living than they are in independent communities. The types of support vary by community and depend largely on the resident’s needs, but they often include help with tasks like medication management, bathing and grooming.

Another difference lies in the types of life enrichment activities offered. In an independent living community, you will typically find more active programming, such as golf leagues and travel clubs. An assisted living community activities program is designed to accommodate mobility struggles and other physical challenges common in older adults.

Come Visit and See the Differences for Yourself

We know the decision to move is stressful enough on its own. It can become even more daunting when you are trying to narrow down your options to one community.

We’d like to offer you some assistance. The Five Star Senior Living blog is a rich source of senior care information, so please return to read it often during your search. Or consider subscribing to receive our updates by email each week. 


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