Independent vs. Assisted Living – What’s the Difference?

Independent living and assisted living are both types of senior housing options, but they differ in terms of the level of care and support provided to residents.

Independent living is designed for seniors who are able to live on their own but want to downsize their living arrangements or be part of a community of like-minded individuals. Independent living facilities typically offer private apartments or homes, along with common areas for socializing and recreational activities. While these facilities may offer some services, such as housekeeping or transportation, residents are generally responsible for managing their own daily activities and care.

Assisted living, on the other hand, is designed for seniors who need help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Assisted living facilities provide a higher level of care and support than independent living facilities. They typically offer private or shared rooms, along with communal areas for dining, socializing, and recreational activities. Staff members are available 24/7 to help residents with ADLs and provide other services, such as medication management and transportation.

In general, independent living is best suited for seniors who are able to live independently but want the benefits of community living, while assisted living is best suited for seniors who need some assistance with daily activities and want a higher level of support and care. It’s important to note, however, that each individual’s needs and preferences may differ, and the right choice for one person may not be the best choice for another.