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Independent Living vs Assisted Living

Independent Living vs Assisted Living

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independent living vs assisted living

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis

Introduction

It’s essential to know the differences between the living facilities available to you. When you are sure about your needs and know the options, you can make the right choice. So, to set your mind at ease, we’ve done the legwork for you. Our discussion today is on Assisted Living vs Independent Living.

Assisted Living provides medical support for older persons who have frailties and other common health concerns. It’s a specialized service that may improve patients’ way of living as much as possible. Services include administering medication and facilitating doctor appointments. Independent Living is an excellent option for older persons who are physically able to take care of themselves. Independent Living communities provide the necessities required for comfortable living and, more often than not, provide Assisted Living options if the individual’s needs change.

In this article, you’ll find a detailed explanation of what an independent living community and an assisted living facility can offer you. We’ve even made a clear distinction between the two options so that you can align your needs with the services that they provide. It’s always a good idea to investigate all angles, so let’s get into it!

1. What Is Assisted Living? 

An assisted living facility is designed to support the medical and personal needs of senior residents. It’s a community that has structured rooms or shared apartments.

These facilities may include medical staff and other support services, but it aims to feel more like home than a hospital. Seniors who reside in an assisted living community may have physical limitations (which varies from senior to senior). Still, these care facilities aim to restore as much of their resident’s independence as possible. 

Services Provided by Assisted Living Care Facilities 

The services offered at these facilities differ from facility to facility. It’s best to research as many assisted care communities, establish precisely what services they offer, and then make your final decision based on your findings. However, there are a few primary services that all assisted living facilities should offer. 

Here are a few of these essential services: 

  • At least 3 meals per day
  • A nurse or caregiver administers medication
  • A caregiver to monitor your overall health
  • Personal care service (dressing and grooming)
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • 24/7 Emergency care and medical services
  • Security
  • Social and recreational activities

When Should You Consider Assisted Living? 

The requirements to apply for Assisted Living accommodation differ from facility to facility. The one condition required at most facilities is that you should have reached 55 years or older. Generally, to be considered for this type of medical service, you must have physical limitations or any other medical conditions that give you no alternative but to seek support. 

Assisted Living is a service that supports residents with everyday tasks that they are no longer able to do themselves. If this is what you require, Assisted Living could be the support you need. Consider all the limitations that have been set on you. List the difficulties you encounter and consult your doctor. You may even request a letter from your doctor to submit alongside your application to reside at an Assisted Living facility. 

If you’re not sure about living in a facility like this, perhaps you should consider home care services. Read about the differences between Assisted Living and Home Care services to establish whether home care is a better option for you.

The Cost to Live in an Assisted Living Community

Costs are generally determined by the services provided by a facility. The more services and specialized support you’ll receive, the greater the costs. So, it’s crucial to be sure about your need and compare it to the services provided by the facility. 

According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted Living is $4,500 per month. That’s $150 per day and $54750 per year! 

2. What Is Independent Living?

Independent living communities provide a safe and friendly environment for retirees and semi-retirees. This kind of facility is suitable for seniors who are physically able to take care of themselves because the type of support provided is not as extensive as the services offered by assisted living communities. 

Seniors can enjoy their independence without having to be bogged down with household costs. It’s also a great way to build relationships with seniors, and thus, there’s less chance of becoming lonely. Isolation is detrimental to one’s mental health – independent Living caters to a fundamental need, a sense of community.

Moreover, independent Living provides daily meals, social activities, a safe and secure environment, and many options of addicted living services if the need arises. 

Services Provided by Independent Living Facilities

The services offered at these facilities differ from facility to facility. It’s best to research as many assisted care communities, know what services they offer, and then make your final decision based on your findings. You can check out properties in your area through our website.

However, there are a few primary services that all independent living facilities should offer. 

Independent living communities across the various states offer a different set of services. Of course, the are specific services that a facility such as this provides that an assisted living facility does not provide. This is because an independent living facility caters to particular needs. There are a few primary services that all independent living facilities do provide, however. Take care to note these below: 

  • At least 3 meals per day
  • Gym
  • 24/7 Emergency care and medical services
  • Security
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Transportation
  • Option for assisted living support if required

When to Consider Independent Living

Consider your needs. If you’re looking to move to a smaller home, manage fewer responsibilities without losing your independence, and require little or no assistance, independent living may be a good option for you. 

The Cost to Live in an Independent Living Community 

Of course, the cost varies from facility to facility and the services you would like. The area in which the facility is located may also impact the cost. Generally speaking, on average, independent living costs between $1,500 and $6,000 per month.

How Do Seniors Pay for Independent Living? 

Many seniors pay for these services from their retirement fund or their savings. Some seniors opt to sell their homes to finance their independent living expenses.

Does Insurance Pay for Independent Living? 

As it stands, insurance doesn’t pay for independent living. Seniors generally pay for these services from their retirement funds. 

What are the Criteria for Independent Living?

Every facility has its requirements. When you choose to apply at a specific facility, it is best to speak to the administrators to establish their criteria. Generally speaking, the essential requirement is for seniors to be over the age of 55. They are most likely required to be partially or fully retired and care for themselves without significant medical help or assistance.

3.  What Are the Differences between Assisted Living and Independent Living?

 INDEPENDENT LIVINGASSISTED LIVING
Services and BenefitsDaily meals Medical assistance Qualified nurse to monitor medication and doctors appointments Grooming, laundry, and household cleaning services and support Assistance with daily tasks Transportation Daily meals Sense of community Social and activities Singular apartments Transportation Secure environment  Option to acquire assisted living support if required in future
RequirementsOver the age of 55 Retired Has physical or mental limitations Requires substantial medical assistanceOver the age of 55 Retired or semi-retired Physically and mentally healthy Requires little to no assistance
CostTypically, $1,500 to $6,000 per monthGenerally, $4,000 per month.
Independent Living vs Assisted Living

Assisted Living vs Independent Living: Difference with a Nursing Home

If you’ve reached the age of retirement but you’re active and would like to have fewer responsibilities, an independent living facility could be your best option. Independent living facilities provide a communal setting where you are given a secure environment that has many activities to enjoy. A nursing home offers medical support for retirees who have physical or mental needs. Some Independent Living communities may also have a nursing home component if you require additional support in the future. 

How to Decide between Independent Living and Assisted Living? 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing between independent living and assisted living, as the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. However, here are four major things to consider when making your decision: 

1. How independent do you want to be? 

Independent living facilities offer more autonomy and independence than assisted living facilities. If you want to be able to come and go as you please and make your own decisions, independent living is the right choice for you. 

2. How much help do you need with day-to-day activities? 

Assisted living facilities provide more assistance with activities of daily living than independent living facilities. If you need help with things like bathing, dressing, and grooming, an assisted living facility is likely a better fit for you. 

3. What is your budget? 

Typically, independent living facilities cost less than assisted living facilities. If affordability is a concern, independent living may be a better option for you. 

4. What is your lifestyle? 

Independent living facilities typically cater to adults who are still active and engaged in their community. If you’re not quite ready to give up your social life and activities, independent living may be right for you. Assisted living facilities are often more suited for seniors who are looking for more relaxation and downtime. 

Top 3 Points

1. Assisted Living supports residents with everyday tasks that they are no longer able to do themselves.

2. Independent Living is an excellent option for seniors who are physically able to take care of themselves. The type of support provided is not as extensive as the services offered by assisted living communities.

3. Assisted Living can cost $4,000 a month, while Independent Living ranges from $1,500 to $6,000 a month.

Conclusion

Your quality of life has an immeasurable effect on your health and overall well-being. Finding a home to accommodate your needs is the best way to ensure that you live your best life. Independent living is a preferred choice for many elderly people who want to maintain their independence while assisted living is better suited for those who need some assistance with daily activities but do not require full-time medical care. 

Do the necessary research, visit as many facilities as possible and ask questions. Know thoroughly about Assisted Living vs Independent Living before making your choice. Your future depends on it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is assisted living more expensive than independent living? 

Assisted living typically costs more than independent living but they also provide a higher level of care. However, the cost of both communities will depend on various factors such as location, facility size, amenities, care needs, services provided, etc. 

Is independent living the same as assisted living? 

No, independent living is not the same as assisted living. Independent living is when a person lives on their own or with only minimal assistance, while assisted living is when a person receives more advanced care and support from professional staff. 

Can an independent living facility refuse to offer assisted care? 

There is no definitive answer, as this may vary depending on the specific state in which the facility is located. Generally speaking, most states do not require independent living facilities to offer assisted care, and as such, the facility would be within its rights to refuse to do so. However, if the facility does not offer assisted care, it must disclose this fact to potential residents and their families in advance. 

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