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Differences Between Independent Living & Assisted Living

Posted on July 18, 2022

Are you a senior above the age of 55 years? Are you inquisitive about senior independent living facilities near you? Are you looking for a shift towards independent senior living? The conundrum can be difficult to answer and the decision is mystic as you might not be closely acquainted with all the jive about senior living. The positive and joyous news is that everyone at Vardaan Senior Living is here to help you with all your questions and answers about your transition towards a senior living community, no matter what stage of your second innings journey you are in.

As per the statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) between 2015 & 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%. This signifies that people are living longer globally which has been possible due to betterment in health services and awareness of healthy ageing among seniors. The life expectancy of the senior boomers has seen a considerable increase over the past few years. Many seniors are experiencing their transition from ageing at the place and moving into a senior-friendly community.

The most prominent phase of senior living is the awareness of the level of care needed for you as an individual as per your personalized requirement. If we consider a broader perspective, senior living can be classified into independent living , assisted living, and care homes/ memory care.

If you are elderly or have an elderly loved one who is looking for a transition to senior living, you might be wondering which living alternative can be best to support your lifestyle.Let us leap into the differences between independent living and assisted living.

Independent Living Vs Assisted Living

When we talk about assisted living and independent living, Vardaan senior living offers many services and amenities which are similar but let us understand some major aspects that are different and to be kept in mind before you make your choice.

Independent Senior Living

For an elederly, the thought of moving into a senior living facility or retirement home can be a sensitive and eloquent process but it is important for them to understand senior independent living is more about making life more apparent and trusting rather than losing independence. Independent living is a way more to explore new ways towards continuing an active lifestyle. If you are a senior but can still take care of yourself, senior independent living is an asset for you to adore life more closely. Senior independent living facilities offer a varied range of services and amenities for seniors with flexibility and freedom to pursue whatever they wish to.

Independent senior living offers a plethora of activities to make your life more meaningful and active along with the benefit of holistic development as you age.Here you will have an opportunity to choose life over hassles. You get free from the daily maintenance worries, cleaning, cooking, laundry, security, medical assistance worries, and much more. Senior independent living keeps you all covered from your daily chores to make your life much healthier and happier by helping you plan it better and also allowing you the freedom to enjoy it your way.

Assisted Senior Living

What is assisted senior living and what is covered in it? This question often arises when you look for an assisted living facility. Assisted living often comes with a decision of the family as they know what kind of care is required for their elderly loved ones. Assisted senior living is different from independent senior living in cost, design, facilities, and care. Most of the services and amenities offered by senior living communities are similar and equally vibrant for both independent and assisted living but assisted living has few additions. Assistance means you need someone to take care of you. As seniors age, they might find it difficult to perform daily tasks like bathing, grooming, dressing, eating meals, medication management, and others. Assisted living offers these services extra apart from the services offered for independent senior living. There can be the provision of 24*7 nursing staff and caregivers as per the requirements of the seniors. Personalized care along with meals decided by nutritionists can help them be in much better health and feel happier about life.

Let us glance through the major differences between senior independent living and assisted living in terms of care and lifestyle services:

Differences in Terms of Care Services

Care Services Senior Independent Living Senior Assisted Living
Medicine Management Residents are expected to take care of their medicines on their own but may opt for the service if needed. Residents or their families are offered this service from the initial as per the requirement and care needed for the senior.
Movement Assistance Residents are fairly active with their movement and need some or no assistance with movement. Residents have 24*7 assistance available to support movement if they are wheelchair bound or need assistance with movement due to injuries.
Medical Care Residents in independent settings can ask for medical care as and when needed. Do not require medical care often. Residents have options of rehabilitative care and availability of medical staff in case frequent medical care is needed.
Availability of Doctors Residents prefers to visit the doctor of their own choice for any treatment or consultation needed. They book appointments and visit their doctors. Residents have availability of nurses and medical staff on-site. Also, regular visits of doctors from different verticals are planned as per the need of the seniors residing in assisted living.
Grooming Residents can manage their self-care and daily routine activities on their own. Residents have availability of staff to support their daily routine activities like bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and as per the care needed.

Differences in Terms of Lifestyle Services

Lifestyle Senior Independent Living Senior Assisted Living
Cost Budget friendly and affordable including entrance fee and monthly fee or rental. Costlier and expensive depending on the type of care and support needed by the senior. In general, they work on rental models.
Design The community layouts and design are more spread out and large with open spaces, walkways, and garden areas. They choose centrally accessible layout design for ease and comfort of assisted seniors.
Family Involvement Family visits are entertained and encouraged, prefer spending time with loved ones on their own. Families are more connected and involved with the team members and staff to be entrusted with their health and safety as they need more care.
Amenities All amenities are connected and in reach of residents. Few more options like a swimming pool, restaurant/cafeteria, activity center, etc. are available for the residents to enjoy a meaningful and active life. Amenities are centrally located and can be used if the health of the resident allows him/her to perform the activity under guidance and support.
Food Few settings have a provision of kitchens in rooms and apartments where residents can cook if they are able to cook. They can also enjoy meals in the cafeteria with dine-in facilities or order food that can be delivered to their place. The meals are prepared under the guidance of nutritionists as per special needs and care and are usually served in rooms and caregivers help them with their timely eating schedule.
Vibrancy More vibrant and activity-based lifestyle. Events and activities are organized by dedicated team members from time to time. Group celebrations and outings are also encouraged. Equally vibrant but not that active as the activities are based on the betterment of their health which might include memory-based games, improvement of motor skills, yoga, and others as per health requirements of the seniors.

Choosing Between Independent Living & Assisted Living

As you age, many factors can come into consideration before your choice of independent and assisted living. If you are not sure about which one to choose, our senior living experts can help you explore and start your journey in the right direction. Our team can research your lifestyle and make it much easier for you to choose the right option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to pay for senior independent living and assisted living?

Senior independent living communities entrance fee which is a one time payment and then the monthly fee which iis inclusive of their monthly rental, services and amenities that can be enjoyed by the seniors. Senior residents fill in this cost by the income from their pension after retirement, money from sale of their home or personal saving funds. Assisted living communities also have a similar model of payment and bill the resident their monthly fee which is inclusive of their monthly rental, services and amenities and the caregiver support needed as per requirement. Senior residents who are a part of assisted living usually have their family involved in payments else they can fill it in by personal funds and sometimes with long term insurance if accepted by the senior living community.

2. What is the highest level of care that can be supported by senior assisted living facilities?

Level 3 is considered to be the highest level of care in assisted living. The senior assisted living Complete care and support with ADL is provided by such facilities which include bathing, grooming, using the toilet, getting off the bed or chair, wheelchair support and other medical care such as medicine management.

Author bio

Shubhra Jain
Content Creator
An Engineer by qualification and writer by passion.
With a professional experience of 10 plus years in diverse domains of teaching and education, management,
customer service and marketing,Shubhra chose writing out of passion and started writing in the year 2017 for social media management during one of her job roles.
Since then, she has been writing content for social media, client based websites and blogs.