Independent Living and Assisted Living: Which Option Is Best?


Is It Time for a Lifestyle Change?

Older adults looking for a change of pace in their lifestyle might start considering different living options, including senior communities. Fortunately, there are many choices and types of living arrangements suited to providing assistance and amenities while still offering a high degree of independence.

You’ve probably heard of both independent living and assisted living, but do you know the differences (and similarities) between each? Let’s break down each type:

Independent Living – Active & Independent Older Adults

Independent living means living with freedom and being surrounded by a community of active older adults looking to stay involved, engaged, and thriving.

Independent living adds convenience while reducing potential stressors. Active older adults will have easy access to amenities & services and will be free from the household chores they’ve had to endure since their first allowance – giving them time to enjoy the freedom of their newfound lifestyle.

Who’s a Great Fit for Independent Living?

Independent living is a great fit for older adults who are active and do not require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). These residents have the flexibility and ability to manage their daily routines, including taking their own medication, cooking and preparing their own meals, and going to and from all of their favorite places at their leisure.

Older adults who are looking to downsize and join a close-knit community of friends might consider independent living. In fact, independent living isn’t so different from living in your current home. Older adults will still have their own private residences, and they’re free to spend their time as they choose. Independent living provides some support and services when needed, but also lets residents continue to live independently, make their own choices, and pursue active and fulfilling lives.

Amenities, Options, Independence

Independent Living lives up to its name – with dining options, laundry, housekeeping, wellness check-ins, chauffeured transportation, and many more amenities readily available. Residents can take advantage of as many or as little of these as they want – it’s like resort style living tailored to them!

In terms of living arrangements, Independent Living provides beautiful, light-filled, homey, and spacious living options so that older adults aren’t just merely occupying a space; they’re thoroughly living in a place that they’ve personalized and made their own. While the exact type of independent living housing can vary based on different senior living communities, the most common option of these are apartments, including studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom.

Because independent living focuses on maintaining independence, living accommodations typically come equipped with full kitchens that include: refrigerators, stovetops, ovens, and sinks. Also, residents bring their own furniture and decorations to truly outfit their homes to be exactly that… their home.

Finally, Independent isn’t solely about making residents feel at home within their apartment, although that’s key… it’s also about building community and keeping residents engaged with each other, their families, and the greater community.

Check out our blog, What you can expect in an independent living community, to find out more.

Assisted Living – Freedom Served with a Side of Support

Assisted living is an ideal fit for older adults who wish to maintain their independence while having accessible assistance for certain daily activities and a caring group of team members to check-in on their needs and well-being. Assisted living offers many of the same benefits and freedoms as independent living while also providing extra assistance when needed.

Supporting Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Older adults in assisted living communities could require some help from team members with things like: dining, bathing, using the bathroom, dressing, and taking medication. Assisted Living provides an extra safety net and level of service to make sure residents can safely and comfortably carry out daily living activities.

If you have concerns about yourself or a loved one forgetting medication, meeting daily dietary and health needs, or home hazards – or maybe you are a caregiver providing support for ADLs for an older adult – Assisted Living is a great option to consider. It can help relieve stress for both the older adult and the caretaker.

There’s always a helping hand in assisted living, so whether you are looking for a safe place to call home or a caring companion if you should ever need one, the support you want and/or need is always at your fingertips.

A Place That Truly Feels Like Home

Regardless of which level of living works best for you, you always have a space to call and make your own. Similarly to independent living, assisted living options typically include studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites. Residents can put their own creative spin on their place and decorate it just the way they like. Suites come with kitchenettes for those who still enjoy cooking up a meal or two occasionally! They also come equipped with extra safety and security features – and who could forget, laundry and housekeeping are included too.

Check out our blog, What you can expect in assisted living, to find out more.

A Full Day; A Full Life

Whether a resident moves into independent living or assisted living, there is no shortage of opportunities for engagement each and every day to maintain a purpose-filled life. There are programs at different levels that are tailored to the needs and wants of their residents so they can maintain an active lifestyle. There are exercise classes, cooking classes, card games, walking groups, social clubs, concerts, dance classes, chef-inspired dining options, outings, and so much more – the list goes on and on.

Making a Decision? Courtyard Can Help

After understanding and thinking about the differences between independent living and assisted living, deciding which option is best for you or a loved one is an important choice; however, you don’t have to do it alone. Courtyard Senior Living knows the ins and outs of senior living, and we understand that making decisions that impact you or your loved ones can be hard to do. We’re here to help you along the journey and select the best option. To learn more, contact us today.

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