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The Differences Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

Nov 9, 2022

As we grow older, it may become practical to consider new, more hassle-free living options. The decision becomes even more pressing if a spouse passes away or a medical scare occurs. When older adults prepare to move into a new home, they still wish to maintain their independence; however, because of an illness or disability, they can’t live alone anymore.

There are many reasons why senior living communities are the best choice for many older adults, including fixed income and difficulty maintaining a home with all its upkeep. While you consider your next move, it is important to understand the differences between two common entry levels for senior living communities.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between independent living and assisted living at a residence like Abe’s Garden Community

What is Independent Living?

Although many older adults might prefer to live on their own, it might not always be feasible. They may not be able to afford their own home, the upkeep has become too difficult, or maybe they’re looking for a livelier social atmosphere. These and other reasons lead many older adults to move into independent living communities.

As well as providing opportunities to connect with others in the same age group who share common interests, independent living communities offer an active and carefree lifestyle. Seniors can enjoy their retirement without having to deal with chores such as meal planning/preparation and housekeeping. They also have access to a calendar of organized activities.

The amenities and features provided by independent living communities are comparable to those in an apartment or home, with a full-service kitchen, bathroom and ample living space.

What is Assisted Living?

An assisted living community provides its residents with a private or semi-private apartment, as well as additional care and assistance whenever needed. The staff is available 24 hours a day to assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), from toileting and dressing to medication management, arranging doctor appointments and transportation. With this support, residents are able to regain valued levels of independence.

A majority of assisted living communities employ one or more full-time medical personnel, including certified nursing assistants trained to provide care specifically for older adults, registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, and/or doctors. 

In some assisted living communities, memory care units provide expert care to those with cognitive impairments. In addition to secure entrances and exits, these units usually have monitoring for extra safety and are often a dedicated wing within the community.

Choosing Between Assisted Living and Independent Living

There can be times when finding the right living option for yourself or an aging family member seems overwhelming. Still, with the right information, you’re sure to find a good situation that combines lifestyle preferences with the right plan for care. Of all senior living options, independent living offers the most freedom, followed by assisted living, which provides more structure, support and assistance.

The most significant difference between independent living and assisted living within a larger senior care community is that assisted living offers full-time support to help residents manage activities of daily living. Assisted living communities to include meals and housekeeping services as part of the cost of care, whereas independent living communities typically offer a meal plan that includes some but not all meals, presuming residents sometimes dine in their residences or frequent area restaurants.

The best senior living communities offer independent living as well as assisted living. It’s a good idea to consider this as you explore your options since care needs can change over time. Some also offer memory care and skilled nursing.

Focused on Wellness and Purposeful Living

Abe’s Garden Community is the first memory care center in the United States to establish a new national care model. We elevate residential, day and community-based programs for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. 

Come see what senior living is all about and learn more about our philosophy of person-directed care in beautiful Nashville, TN.

Read more about independent living or assisted living today, and contact us to learn how we can serve you and your family.

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