Comparing Retirement Community Options: Independent Living vs. Assisted living

No matter if you are just beginning to explore retirement community options or if you are diving more into the details as you prepare to make a decision, it is crucial to understand the options that are available to you for your needs now and in the future. If you aren’t quite sure about the difference between independent living and assisted living options, you aren’t alone. These two lifestyle options are often confused with one another, even though there are some specific differences that set them apart.

Here’s what you need to know about independent living and assisted living.

What is independent living?

Independent living communities were designed for adults to live independently in their own residences with access to amenities and services that enhance their lifestyles and wellness pursuits. These communities are for adults over the age of 62, which means neighbors often share similar life experiences, hobbies and interests.

Independent living communities often offer amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, onsite restaurants, salons and barbershops and outdoor spaces. Services can include concierge services, housekeeping, maintenance and transportation.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living communities are for adults who want to live as independently as possible but who could also benefit from some support with activities of daily living or in case of an emergency. Communities feature around-the-clock caregivers who are there to give personalized assistance with tasks like medication administration, or who are there to offer a smile and be there in case of emergencies.

Similar to independent living communities, assisted living communities offer a low-maintenance lifestyle and access to services, amenities and resources that enhance wellness. You’ll find amenities like fitness classes, salons, dining venues and outdoor spaces that residents enjoy right onsite.

How are independent living and assisted living different from one another?

While independent living and assisted living often share similar designs, amenities and services, there are differences that set them apart from one another. The first, and perhaps biggest, difference, is the presence of around-the-clock caregivers. Assisted living communities have trained caregivers ready to assist and support residents 24 hours a day, and nurses oversee resident care plans. This care component can provide peace of mind for both residents and their family members, and is an important difference between the two types of living options.

Another difference is seen with dining options. Assisted living residents are served three meals daily, while independent living residents usually have more flexibility with their meal options. Other differences can include floor plan design and costs. 

Which living option is best for me?

Wondering what retirement community option could be best for you now, and in the future? Chat with your physician to see what they recommend. You can also schedule a tour here at The Glen, where we offer all types of senior living options right on one campus. This means we are able to show you the different options available and learn more about your preferences as we point you in the right direction.

Contact Us