Later seasons of our lives or the lives of our loved ones can be difficult. In particular, living situations are often challenging and seem impossible to navigate. It may feel as if you cannot provide for the seniors in your life, but you also feel guilt allowing others to help. 

While the living situation for seniors may be a challenge, it need not be! Both living situations offer options for the seniors in your life. Each living situation will be different, but we’re here to help you navigate this unknown area. 

For more information on independent living vs assisted living, read below! 

The Major Medical Difference

The major difference between assisted living and independent living is medical care. In assisted living facilities or communities, the staff provides daily medical help. These include remembering medication times, or issues that interfere with the daily life of the individual. 

If an individual can no longer live alone, then assisted living is the best choice.  Independent living offers what its description says, independence. Although you or your loved one will be in a community with other seniors and staff, they are not dependent on staff for medical care.

Sometimes an individual doesn’t feel comfortable living alone, but they can still take care of themselves daily. In this situation, independent living is a good choice.

The Price Difference

As expected, assisted living centers are often more expensive than independent living. This is because of significant medical costs. Independent communities are centered around lifestyle preferences rather than medical needs or assistance. 

The price shouldn’t be a deciding factor if you’re seeking assisted living. Remember that medical expenses are often covered by insurance. These are often Medicare, Medicaid, or a form of independent insurance. 

With independent living, you aren’t having to pay extra costs and fees. If you want to downsize or need more social interaction, independent living provides what you need at a competitive price.

Independent Living vs Assisted Living Spaces

Independent living is more diverse in community options than assisted living. Independent living communities range from apartments, neighborhoods, cottages, townhomes, and more. 

These units are for private dwellings with full utilities. You’ll find the same amenities as you would in normal living spaces such as a full kitchen, washer, dryer, etc. 

Assisted living spaces are somewhat restricted depending on the level of care you’re seeking. Full kitchens or living spaces can become a hindrance for people that need an extra level of care. They may even be hazardous for the individual in certain situations.

Assisted living usually offers apartment spaces. You’ll find more diverse dwelling options in independent living communities.

Activities and Hospitality

Independent living communities are often described as “retirement communities” or “over 55 communities.” This is because those seeking independent living desire to live among people their own age. The activities are fulfilling because it is in a community of likeminded individuals.

Not only will you or your loved one be living among peers, but the staff is focused on hospitality. With independent living communities, you can be as involved as you like. There are often plenty of opportunities for social engagement.

For assisted living communities, there is still the social engagement aspect! Interactions will look different, as medical professionals are present for certain activities.

Both options provide levels of freedom and socialization. It all comes down to your or your loved ones specific needs! 

Caregiver Concerns

Caregivers for elderly individuals are prone to burnout or even depression. Some seniors need trained staff or medical professionals to assist them. Whatever the reason, caregivers can feel good about the living situations offered. 

With independent living, you can rest easy knowing that your loved one will not face isolation or loneliness. These communities are specifically geared towards social engagement. Independent living also assists with various medical issues. Staff can address issues when needed. 

Assisted living provides daily care to you or your loved ones as well. A qualified medical professional will be assisting with senior care. Caregivers, at times, cannot provide the medical services needed for continued care.

With these options, caregivers can rest assured that their loved ones will receive the help they need. 

Care Concerns

Independent living does offer care for their seniors. The tasks simply encourage seniors to live independently as long as possible. Some of the included services are landscaping, housekeeping, dining options, and more. If requested, regular check-ins can also be performed. 

Depending on the community you or your loved one joins, different needs will be met. Needs can also be addressed on a continual basis! You don’t have to sacrifice care in order to live independently. 

The goal of independent living is to provide assistance with more difficult tasks. This includes challenging maintenance projects or bothersome errands. 

You’re Cared For Here

Independent living vs assisted living communities are both beneficial for seniors seeking help. You don’t have to have serious medical issues to apply for assisted living. And you don’t have to be in perfect health to apply for independent living. 

What it comes down to is deciphering your wants and needs. If you need social interaction, and can still perform your daily tasks with ease, independent living may be right for you! If you have medical needs that involve daily care, then assisted living may be your best choice. 

Either way, you will be greatly cared for by a generous staff dedicated to meeting your needs! Contact us to learn more about independent living housing and how you can decide!