Improving your lifestyle by moving to a new location is always exciting, but can be confusing. This is especially true when considering a move to an adult living community, as there are now a wide variety of options and there are striking similarities between them – and a number of important differences. Independent living and assisted living may seem the same at first glance, for example, the two are very different. Understanding the difference between independent living and assisted living can help you choose the best residential community for your needs and goals.
Independent Living vs Assisted Living: Four Differences You Should Know
1. Fee structures
Independent living and assisted living communities use different fee structures. Assisted living communities typically use a rental model, for example, in which monthly fees include a comfortable living space, housekeeping, three meals a day, maintenance and security, and 24/7 staffing. These communities usually offer one to two hours of daily personal care in their monthly rent or make it available for an additional fee. Personal care may include assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, medication administration, and toileting.
Independent living communities typically use a different model, one in which residents pay an entrance fee when moving in, along with an additional monthly fee that covers living quarters, housekeeping, some meals, security, and programming for personal enrichment.
2. Medical and supportive services
Independent living communities are usually for older adults who do not need much in the lines of medical care or assistance with personal care, so many of these communities do not offer those services.
Assisted living communities, by comparison, offer a number of medical and supportive services that improve independence and quality of life for their residents. Trained and compassionate assisted living staff help residents with bathing, walking, dressing, meals, medications, and much more.
3. Community design
In addition to providing different services, independent living and assisted living communities also have different layouts. Independent living communities typically feature multiple residential buildings spread out over large campuses, for instance, along with central gathering areas reserved for meals and programs. Independent living areas, often laid out as apartments or cottages, are typically larger and space farther apart.
Assisted living communities are often located in a single building or more intimate campus to make it easier for residents to navigate their living quarters, in their buildings, and around walking paths in secure outdoor spaces.
4. Amenities and programming
Independent and assisted living communities offer programming and amenities that greatly improve independence, comfort, and quality of life. Both types of communities offer private living quarters, housekeeping, 24-hour staff, transportation services, various dining options, along with events and social opportunities. Most communities feature common living areas, such as cafés and enclosed courtyards, for socializing, entertainment, and recreation.
The specific amenities and programming may differ between independent and assisted living communities. Independent living communities often offer only dinner in their monthly fee, for example, while assisted living communities typically include all meals. Assisted living communities may offer more hours of programming each day and schedule activities tailored for the physical and cognitive abilities of their residents; independent living communities offer some programming, but may focus more on off-campus activities.
Many older adults in Live Oak, TX, consider Serenity Oaks the best retirement community for either independent living and assisted living. Serenity Oaks features comfortable, spacious living quarters situated on a well-designed, meticulously cared-for campus. We offer services and amenities, such as delicious food and a robust activities calendar, and our staff is highly trained and dedicated to providing the best care possible. For more information about the difference between assisted living and independent living, contact Serenity Oaks.