What’s the Difference between Independent and Assisted Living?

Category News & Blog | Time | Published September 30, 2019

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It’s common for people to misunderstand the difference between independent living and assisted living. Some retirement communities only offer one level of care while others offer both levels of care.

It’s important to understand the differences between the two to ensure your loved one is choosing the living arrangement they need in order to live an accommodating, comfortable lifestyle that caters to their needs.

Independent living

Seniors who choose independent living typically don’t require daily care and assistance. Residents within an independent living community are able to perform everyday tasks, such as preparing meals or taking daily medications, though LifeCare retirement communities, such as Cottage Grove Place, offer these services as needed.

Social opportunities & amenities

Many seniors are able to live independently, but simply want to move into an environment that offers more social opportunities or certain amenities like in-home maintenance, daily housekeeping or meal plans. For such individuals, independent living communities are a great choice. Many seniors may choose to move to an independent living community simply to alleviate the responsibility that comes with owning a home.

Active lifestyles and a desire for a community-based atmosphere

Independent living residents tend to be more active compared to those in assisted living, and thus, often desire to find a sense of community and camaraderie with people their own age. To help facilitate a healthy, active lifestyle many such communities frequently organize day trips and activities. Residents of independent living communities are also often provided with off-campus transportation to attend external activities. Cottage Grove Place offers various daily activities as well as daily transportation for all of its independent living residents.

Assisted living

When adults think of the classic conception of a “nursing home,” assisted living is typically what they have in mind. However, the two are very different levels of care. Nursing homes often require higher levels of medical care, the living arrangements are typically communal and the frequency that assistance is required tends to be almost constant. The same cannot be said for assisted living.

In a nutshell, assisted living is intended for seniors who are physically unable to live on their own. With many seniors developing — and living with — chronic health conditions it can become extremely difficult and costly for seniors to age in their own home and rely on family members to maintain the role of full-time caregiver.

Still maintain a private residence, but receive help with daily tasks

When someone resides in an assisted living community, they still maintain their own private residence and are free pick and choose what they need assistance with such as getting help doing their laundry, with bathing or taking their daily medications. With that being said, assisted living facilities do offer caregivers who can provide around the clock assistance giving both the resident and the resident’s family members peace of mind.

Still maintain a sense of independence and ability to participate in activities

Many assisted living residents are still able to maintain a sense of independence. They have the ability to participate in numerous recreational activities, allowing them to meet fellow residents with shared interests.

Assisted living and independent living are very different

As you can see, independent living and assisted living are two completely different living arrangements. Independent requires little to no day-to-day care but still includes all the retirement community amenities such as housekeeping, maintenance and various social activities. Assisted living offers daily medical and personal care and 24 hour on-call nursing staff as well as all the amenities the independent living residents receive.

At Cottage Grove Place, we offer all levels of care including independent and assisted living. Not to mention, we’re the only LifeCare Community in Cedar Rapids. If you’d like to learn more about our community and tour our brand new expansion. Contact us to schedule a visit!

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