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Independent vs. Assisted Living for Seniors: What's the Difference?

Although independent living and assisted living are two distinct types of senior care, they are frequently confused for one another. There is good reason for this. Many senior independent living communities offer some form of assisted living and related medical services. But what is assisted and independent senior living? And what sets these two types of senior care apart? First let’s define them both.

What is Independent Living for Seniors?

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A senior independent living community provides older adults with the freedom to enjoy their golden years, while having medical assistance available should it be necessary. Although each community is unique, independent living communities generally provide services such as housekeeping and meals, as well as on-site amenities such as fitness classes, technology centers, and art studios, and will also usually schedule trips outside the community. Seniors are given much of the same freedom they would have if they were still in their home, plus the bonus of unique community amenities.

What is Senior Assisted Living?

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Assisted living is the preferred option for seniors who need help with everyday tasks such as managing medications, driving, and personal hygiene. Assisted living provides help with these services, and has doctors and medical professionals on-site to help should any issues arise. Residents still have much of the same freedom they would have in an independent living community, but also do not need to worry about these sorts of daily tasks. It should also be noted that there is frequently different levels of assisted living care available depending on the resident’s condition. Most importantly, residents in assisted living facilities are treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

What About Personal Care?

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Although not as well-known as assisted living or independent living, personal care for seniors is a sort of middle ground between assisted living and independent living. Although personal care is similar, there are slight differences between it and assisted living. Put simply, assisted living provides an even higher level of care than personal care that allows seniors to age in place. Personal care is also the type of care offered by the Mildred Shor Inn.

What is the Difference Between Senior Assisted Living & Independent Living?

Independent living is the ideal choice for seniors who are still able to do everyday tasks. But if you need help, assisted living is ideal. If you are trying to decide what type of care is best for your loved one, consider whether he or she would need assistance accomplishing the following tasks:

  • Dispensing Medication
  • Bathing & Personal Hygiene
  • Transportation
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Housekeeping

If your loved one needs help with any of the above tasks, assisted living may be the right choice. If you have any more questions about what senior living options is right for your loved one, or just need to chat, we recommend contacting a senior care advisor who can help in deciding what is best. The service is entirely free, objective, and helpful. We wish you the best of luck in your future care needs.