What Are the Differences Between Independent and Assisted Living?

Retirement communities come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Choosing the perfect fit ultimately comes down to an individual’s needs and desires. However, whether you are choosing a community for yourself or your loved one, it is important to know the different types. Retirement communities fall into one of two primary categories: independent living or assisted living. What are the differences between independent and assisted living, and which one is better for you? Let’s talk about that!

Defining Independent Living

Independent senior housing primarily focuses on community rather than assistance. In other words, a retired individual may choose to move to an independent living community for social stimulation, extracurricular activities, comfortable housing, etc. A resident of an independent community is still responsible for most of their daily tasks like cooking and housekeeping. Additionally, an independent resident is free to leave the property of their own volition. Often, apartments in independent living communities have outside entrances, while assisted living communities typically do not.

Defining Assisted Living

On the other hand, assisted living communities offer help to those who may have more difficulty completing daily tasks. Because many folks of retirement age possess a varying array of abilities, assisted living facilities usually offer a wide array of services. For example, one resident might have no problem attending to their personal hygiene but find it difficult to clean their apartment. Another resident might be able to handle cleaning but lack the ability to drive. Assisted living communities simply provide the necessary resources to help an individual live their best life, as independently as possible.

Additional Differences between Independent and Assisted Living

Because assisted living requires a little more foresight and help than independent living, facilities that are strictly one or the other might look a little different. A few areas where the two might differ include the following.

  • Overall Layout
  • Meal Preparation
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Extra Medical Care

That said, keep in mind that not every senior living community is one or the other. Many communities blend the two, offering different levels of care to residents with different types of needs. In order to find the community that is right for you or your loved one, make sure to ask plenty of questions about the available care, living accommodations, food storage, etc.

What About the Budget?

One final factor to note is the price difference between the two. Of course, the cost of a senior community largely depends on its location, as well as the amenities and level of care it offers. However, if a community provides food, transportation, extra medical care, etc., those items will likely be included in the overall cost. Make sure you include your budget in your questions. Ask how payments are handled, etc.

Looking for a Great Senior Community?

The Woodlands is an Independent Senior Housing community where quality, convenience, and the comfort of a caring and vibrant community free you to live your best life. Contact us today with any questions or for more information!