As you drive around, you have probably noticed the many senior living communities that have opened in recent years. From luxurious, all-inclusive, resort-like independent living options to specialized senior care facilities focusing on memory care or assisted care, there is something for everyone. 

While it’s wonderful that seniors have so many options that aren’t your traditional nursing home, it can be challenging to determine which senior living option is best for their specific situation. To add to the confusion, some independent living communities advertise that they provide continuous care. If you are a senior or a family member searching for a place for Mom or Dad as they age, here is a little more about independent living and assisted living to help you decode your senior living options. 

Independent Living Overview

Independent living communities are exactly as their name indicates, a type of senior community where residents are physically independent but want to enjoy some of the benefits of living in a community. Seniors who choose this option are self-sufficient and can manage their own self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility. 

Assisted Living Overview

Assisted living communities are another type of senior living option that is more suitable for seniors who need some assistance with non-medical care needs. Seniors who are still mostly independent but may need some assistance with self-care tasks benefit from moving to an assisted living community. Assisted living offers more support services and personalized care than an independent living community. 

Room Types

Both independent living communities and assisted living communities vary in the types of rooms they offer their residents. Independent living communities offer private apartments or houses that include a full kitchen and at least one bedroom and bathroom. It’s essentially like an apartment building or small neighborhood in a community environment. Assisted living communities offer private apartments that include a bathroom, bedroom, and usually a small kitchenette. Some assisted living apartments are studio apartments, with no separate wall dividing the bedroom and living room space. Assisted living apartments can be smaller than independent living apartments.

Amenities Included 

Both independent living and assisted living communities include amenities such as maintenance, housekeeping, dining options, and recreational activities. The difference between the two senior living options is that assisted living generally includes some of the costs of these amenities in their monthly fee. Seniors living in independent living communities may need to pay a nominal fee for some maintenance work. They also may need to pay for a dining plan and for other amenities, such as one-on-one personal training with a fitness instructor. Assisted living communities include additional amenities, such as round-the-clock care, medication management, regular meals served in a communal dining room, and healthcare support. Some assisted living communities include all these amenities in their monthly fee, while others take an a la carte approach to the amenities they provide.  

Overall Costs 

While each independent living and assisted living community has its own price point, generally speaking, independent living is less expensive than assisted living. Assisted living involves additional costs for the added care and additional amenities it provides. However, some independent living communities can have a hefty upfront price tag if it’s a continuing care community that requires residents to buy in. 

How to Choose? 

When it comes to choosing between independent living and assisted living, it’s best to start by considering your current and anticipated care needs. If you require little to no assistance and are in rather decent health, independent living might be a suitable option for you. If you already need some help at home, assisted living may be more appropriate.

Senior Living Solutions is here to help you discern more between the many independent living and assisted living options available in the local area. Our mission is to relieve the stress and ease the burden of finding the best senior living options for our clients. We offer free placement assistance and can save you hours of your time exploring senior living options that aren’t suitable for your situation. We can also help you determine the top appropriate independent living or assisted living communities that can accommodate your desired living situation so that you don’t have to waste time touring places that aren’t a good match. Contact us today by calling 501-650-3013 and schedule your free consultation today.