Top 5 Differences Between Assisted and Independent Living

Comparing independent living versus assisted living or determining whether you or a loved one requires memory care can be hard when researching senior living options. To make your move easier, it is crucial to understand the difference between independent and assisted living.

There is a senior community for you, regardless of whether you want to maintain as much independence as possible or seek assistance with daily living tasks. But which environment is the most suitable fit?

Assisted Living vs. Independent Living

Discover the differences between assisted and independent living communities, their services and facilities, and key cost information so you can confidently move in someday.

Community Design

Independent living communities, like senior living residences Woodland Hills, may include multiple buildings on large campuses, with a central meeting place for meals and activities. The distances between buildings and the size of the spaces within them (such as apartments or cottages) can be greatly different (either by foot or by vehicle).

Assisted living communities are usually smaller and more self-contained than traditional retirement homes. Many of the resident’s demands are met in the assisted living building. 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 areas.

Medical and Social Support

Independent living communities are typically for older people who only demand a little assistance or healthcare, so most do not provide these services. Some communities provide their residents with access to a full range of medical services, including a primary care clinic for elders, in-home help, hospital care, rehabilitation services, palliative care, and hospice care.

In assisted living, staff assists residents with everyday tasks. There’s constantly someone available to assist you and a nurse on call at most assisted living communities. Assisted living facilities, like Wisteria at Warner Center location, commonly have on-site primary care practices, so residents can see their doctors without leaving the community.

Family Involvement

Families are encouraged to become involved in the community through independent living, but the resident makes the majority of decisions. The amenities offered throughout the community are accessible to loved ones who wish to check on their relatives while there.

Families usually become more involved in looking after their loved ones in assisted living facilities, especially those housing people with dementia. Family members are included in the careful preparation procedure and are constantly informed of their loved one’s condition.

Programming and Amenities

Despite your level of care, both independent and assisted living communities offer a range of programming and resident amenities. Private apartments, housekeeping, 24-hour staff, transport services, events and social opportunities, and a range of dining options are common amenities and services. For casual social activity, most facilities offer common living areas like small libraries, coffee shop areas, and gaming areas.

In independent living communities, dinner is commonly included in the monthly fee. Various options are offered in numerous communities, varying from fine dining to casual take-out, or residents might like to prepare their meals. Assisted living often includes all meals, and residents are advised to eat with their friends in the dining room. Mealtimes are essential for social interaction.

The Costs

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

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

Bottom Line

The choice between assisted and independent living must be based on your loved one’s specific demands. Residents can adjust their lifestyles to satisfy 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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