Independent and Assisted Living Differences

assisted living versus independent living

Have you noticed that your parents are having a harder time keeping up with their family home and could benefit from downsizing? Senior living communities are a great way to ensure your parents remain active and social.

We recently broke down the differences between assisted living and nursing homes, for those seniors who need a little more medical assistance. But what if your parents still fairly healthy? Would they benefit more from independent living or do they need the additional support of an assisted living community? Let’s weigh the options.

Independent Living

Independent living communities are great options for seniors who are still able to care for themselves but need to downsize for financial reasons or because they don’t want to deal with the responsibilities of home ownership.

Independent living communities range in structure and style—from apartment complexes to subdivisions—with residences similar to small homes, townhouses or apartments. They offer a safe environment with minimum assistance, and services such as dining, housekeeping, and laundry. For those who no longer drive, these communities also provide transportation services to get their residents where they need to go. Services are designed to minimize seniors’ daily responsibilities, but not take them over completely.

Assisted Living

Some seniors may have a more difficult time living on their own due to developing health issues. In this case, assisted living is the best option.

Assisted living communities offer private living spaces, like independent living, with the addition of 24/7 care staff to help with activities of daily living (ADLs). These communities also focus on making sure their residents live active, social lifestyles. Aegis Living’s Life Enrichment Directors plan full calendars of activities that their residents can attend daily. Seniors can enjoy exercise programs like yoga or dance; music therapists lead sing-alongs to combine music and movement and games like musical Jeopardy; art teachers lead painting classes to help unleash their inner artist; and fun outings open doors to new experiences.

Good nutrition is an important aspect of assisted living. Aegis Living’s fine dining program guarantees three delicious and nutritious meals daily that range from comfort food to seasonal specials prepared by our celebrated chefs. We take extreme care to make sure our residents receive the best nutrition, daily vitamins, and needed caloric intake, and are well hydrated to stay healthy and active. Residents are also welcome to celebrate special occasions in the community’s private dining room.

Assisted living communities employ various specialists to tend to all medical needs. Medication care managers can aid with medication if needed, and licensed nurses are available to monitor health needs.

Aegis Living and other assisted living communities also offer specialized memory care neighborhoods that provide expert care for seniors with advanced cognitive decline. These dedicated areas of the community have added security to keep people with Alzheimer’s and dementia safe. Activities are tailored to flow with the needs of the residents, and group activities provide enriching experiences. Licensed nurses monitor health needs, and resident monitoring systems include staff available 24/7 to respond to emergencies. Memory gardens provide the residents with a safe space to take in the fresh air.

Next Steps

Get out there and see these communities for yourself! Touring the different options will help you decide where your parent will be more comfortable. Sitting in on activities, sampling a meal, and getting a feel for the community can be the difference between mom and dad moving with excitement, or prolonging the inevitable. Help them see that their next move will be a great one!

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