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The terms “assisted living” and “independent living” are commonly confused or used interchangeably. Actually, the two types of senior community have marked differences, and it is important that you understand them if you are looking for a senior community.
In short, independent living refers to a community where residents live mostly independently with occasional help. In other words, they might see a weekly housekeeping crew who helps keep their apartment clean. Or, the resident might be unable to drive and schedule pre-arranged transportation for grocery trips. However, independent living residents typically live in their own apartment, cook their own food, and don’t have to “answer” to anyone for medication, whereabouts, etc. The main purpose of independent living is to maintain a normal lifestyle while joining a bigger community of other seniors. This allows for more connections, social interaction, etc.
On the other hand, assisted living provides extra help and amenities for residents who might need a little more care. Assisted living is a form of care where the resident is regularly checked on, perhaps in the evenings and mornings. Additionally, a team of caregivers cares for the resident medically, hygienically, etc. Meals are usually provided, as is transportation, housekeeping, and more.
Again, the two types of care do share similarities. However, they also differentiate on several points. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between assisted living and independent living.
Depending on the facility, assisted living quarters often look a little different than independent living quarters. Independent living often has exterior entrances to each apartment, while assisted living might be closer to the style of a hotel with doors opening into a hallway.
Independent living residents typically provide their own meals by cooking in their personal kitchen. In contrast, most assisted living facilities provide a meal plan for their residents. Many individuals move into senior care facilities because they can no longer cook, so this is an important factor to consider when choosing where to live.
Again, independent living residents handle their own personal hygiene, while assisted living residents receive help if necessary. When it comes to medical care, assisted living facilities should always have a plan of action and a nurse nearby.
Housekeeping varies from facility to facility in the case of independent livers. Some independent residents may be capable of daily chores but prefer to hire someone to help them. Or, they might have difficulty with certain tasks around the house. Either way, it is generally up to the resident whether or not someone helps them. In the case of assisted living, housekeeping is provided for residents.
Like housekeeping, transportation options vary depending on the independent living facility. For assisted living facilities, transportation is provided, usually for weekly grocery trips and such. During COVID, check with potential facilities to see how they handle shopping trips for residents.
Finally, it is important to weigh the price differences between independent living and assisted living. Of course, the more amenities offered by a facility, the higher the price point. However, assisted living tends to have a few more costs built into it for food, transportation, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about this when searching for a senior community.
Colavria Hospitality is a local, family-owned company specializing in assisted living, rehabilitation, and long-term care in the greater Denver area. If you are looking for a wonderful senior community or are interested in joining our team, call us today.