What Is Independent Living For Seniors? 5 Differences Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

Updated on September 28, 2023

One in four senior citizens falls at least once a year, and every 19 minutes, we lose an older adult to a fall. Living alone adds to this risk by making falls more likely and, help, less available. 

Add loneliness to risk, and home living starts to sound cruel for the elderly. But, some older adults seem too healthy for the nursing home and too active for assisted living, making independent living a fantastic first step.

Keep reading to learn about independent senior living communities, and how they differ from assisted living.

What is Independent Living?

An independent living facility offers housing for older adults, typically over the age of 55. It keeps them in homes designed for aging and in close proximity to peers. This type of living allows independence while keeping assistance nearby.

5 Differences Between Independent Living Vs. Assisted Living

When people hear about independent living, they may mistake it for assisted living. So, to describe what it is, we should also explain what it isn’t.

1. Independence Level

Independent living homes, as the name suggests, offer a more independent way of life. But, you still get access to assistance in case you want it.

For instance, at Rowntree Gardens senior care facility, you can choose your level of assistance based on your needs. You may enjoy housekeeping services, dietary consultation, and meal deliveries, or you might opt-out of them. In assisted living, you’d probably receive those services regularly.

In this type of facility, you gain access to a full calendar of community events, as you would in an assisted living community. But, you attend those events independently, rather than needing somebody to bring you there.

2. Medical Care 

People who choose independent living typically need less intensive medical care than those in assisted living. While you can still get wellness checks and call for medical attention in your home, you shouldn’t choose to live independently if you need round the clock care.

3. Grooming and Daily Care

Typically you would go into assisted living if you need help with everyday grooming and daily care, like showering, brushing teeth, and going to the bathroom. If you can do all of that independently, then you may choose to stay in independent living homes.

4. Privacy

The more independence you maintain, the more opportunity you will receive for privacy. Because of this, independent living generally offers more privacy to residents than assisted living does. Independent housing will typically lay on the outskirts of the facility grounds while assisted living homes will sit in closer proximity to all of the action.

5. Cost

You can expect independent living to cost less than assisted living. Though the housing units may appear similar, the increased amount of care needed for assisted living raises the price.

Choose for Your Level of Independence

What is independent living? It is an opportunity for a better quality of life while still maintaining independence.

Giving up independence can feel overwhelmingly difficult, and this living arrangement allows you to hold onto it as long as possible with necessary safety rails in place.

We want better living for you. Check out our website to learn more about senior living.

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Senior Outlook Today is your go-to source for information, inspiration, and connection as you navigate the later years of life. Our team of experts and writers is dedicated to providing relevant and engaging content for seniors, covering topics such as health and wellness, finances, technology and travel.

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