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Independent Living and Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

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When the time comes to research senior living options for your parent or older loved one, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the senior care terminology. While independent living and assisted living may sound similar, there are fundamental differences between these two senior living options. Here’s a closer look at the key distinctions between independent living and assisted living.

Independent Living

For older adults who can live independently but desire a nearly maintenance-free retirement, independent living is an ideal choice. This type of senior living offers all the freedom of homeownership without the daily hassle of cleaning and maintaining a larger home. In independent living, older adults live in a private residence such as a cottage, villa, or apartment that they can customize with their own furniture and décor.

Independent living is designed to make retirement easier for residents by providing housekeeping, maintenance services, security monitoring, and lawn care services. While older adults in independent living typically need minimal medical support or assistance, residents and their families can rest assured knowing that emergency help is readily available if necessary. With less time spent worrying about safety and the daily upkeep of a home, independent living residents are free to try new hobbies, socialize with friends and neighbors, and enjoy a more carefree, relaxing retirement.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is intended for older adults who require extra support with daily activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing, transportation, and medication management. Older adults in assisted living have access to the same services and amenities as independent living residents in addition to around the clock assistance from dedicated caregivers and nurses. Residents also experience a vibrant social life in assisted living with classes, clubs, events, and excursions to suit any interest.

As you research senior living options for your aging parent or loved one, consider these key differences between assisted living and independent living to guide your search. Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) offer living options across a spectrum of senior care, including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. This flexible and innovative approach to senior living gives residents the unique opportunity to remain in the same community as their needs change over time.

Written by Bethany Village

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