Independent Living vs. Assisted Living: Defining the Difference

Find the senior living option that’s just right; compare what’s covered and where

Health visitor talking to a senior woman during home visit

When it comes to deciding between independent living or assisted living, the level of help you need with daily activities makes the biggest difference. There are other factors to consider as you choose which is right for you, but it’s important to first understand the difference between the two.

What is independent living?

Residents in independent living communities enjoy the convenience of a low – maintenance lifestyle but require little or no skilled nursing or caregiving assistance. However, many independent living residents hire outside help for tasks unrelated to care, like laundry, daily errands and walking the dog.

At Holiday by Atria, residents are welcome to seek care from a third-party provider of their choice, and many take comfort in knowing that even if they don’t need care now, it can be arranged if needs change.

If you’re looking to simplify life by letting others handle the housekeeping, meal preparation and other day-to-day tasks, independent living services can help you focus on doing the things you want to do rather than have to do. Many communities offer a variety of activities, like art classes, group outings, games, live entertainment, parties, fitness programs and more.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living residents also enjoy the benefits of housekeeping and meal preparations, but they require support with day-to-day tasks. While assisted living residents may have physical health concerns, cognitive issues or problems with mobility, they do not need round-the-clock medical care.

If you need caregiving for daily activities like eating, getting dressed or bathing, assisted living could be the best fit for you. With added support from a dedicated care team, you’ll have the freedom to continue doing the things you love.

Care and cost

Since residents in independent living communities do not typically require personal care, their monthly costs are generally much lower than those of assisted living residents.

People in assisted living communities pay a higher monthly rate for the additional support they receive from on-site staff. Residents in some assisted living communities can also pay extra for access to an on-site physician, allowing them to skip visits to outside doctors for many situations.

Customizing independent living to your care needs

While independent living residents may not need much personal care, they can hire a third-party caregiver for help with certain tasks. This can reduce costs and give the individual control over the care they receive. At Holiday, you’re welcome to choose the third-party medical and care providers of your choice.

People Belong Together®

At Holiday, the comment we hear most often is, “I should have done this sooner.”

Community living – whether independent living or assisted living – allows you to spend your time enjoying the company of friends and family, exploring personal interests or simply relaxing in your own private living space without the stresses of housekeeping and home maintenance. Let someone else take care of the groceries, cooking and even the driving. The independence and freedom to make every moment matter can be truly transformative.

Plus, connection is great medicine. It’s been proven that being a part of a community keeps people healthier longer. Add an active and supportive environment, and the possibilities for a purposeful life are endless.

Senior living near me

If you’re ready to look for assisted or independent senior housing, apartments or senior lifestyle communities, our retirement community search tool can help you find the perfect location. Each listing provides in-depth details about available services and amenities, as well as nearby activities, parks, stores, restaurants and much more. Your friends are waiting for you at Holiday.

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