5 Differences Between Independent Living and Assisted Living
Finding the right senior living community for you or a loved one should be simple – right? However, if you’re just beginning your hunt, you may find yourself asking a lot of questions (which is good). This is especially true if you’re wondering what care level might be the best for you.
“A lot of future residents ask us what the differences are between independent living and assisted living,” says Addie Gould, Administrator of Maple Ridge Senior Living in Ashland, OR. “It can be confusing, especially since there are so many similarities between the two care levels. However, there are some nuanced differences that can mean a world of difference depending on your individual situation and care needs.”
While many seniors can live actively and independently, there are some for whom assisted living might be a better option. Conversely, needing a little extra assistance doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go into assisted living. “There’s not a black-and-white answer – instead, it depends on the person,” says Addie. “It’s important to understand the distinct differences between the two care levels so you can thoughtfully choose the option that works best for you.”
So what are the differences between independent living and assisted living? Here are five major differences that you should consider to help inform your decision.
Difference #1: Amenities and Services
Let’s start with what’s similar: both independent living and assisted living offer a wide variety of services and amenities to make life easier and more enjoyable for older adults. At Maple Ridge Senior Living, both our independent living and assisted living residents enjoy the benefits of our fantastic community, such as maintenance-free living, all-inclusive lifestyle, an extensive calendar of events, chef-prepared meals, and much more.
While independent living residents really experience life like they’re an on an all-inclusive resort, assisted living provides extra assistance and security with assistance for basic life tasks. Care team members are available around-the-clock to provide help with basic life tasks, such as bathing, dressing, mobility, and the like. While extensive care is available to assisted living residents, many residents require minimal assistance (some simply need help with medication management). The point is to provide the right amount of assistance in order to help residents live safely and as independently as possible.
Difference #2: Floor Plans (Sometimes, but Not Always)
This can be a little bit of a gray area, but generally, there is a difference between assisted living and independent living floor plans. At Maple Ridge Senior Living we offer apartments for both levels of care, ranging from studio to two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments. Independent living residents, however, have the additional option of living in a private cottage home, which is located in its own separate neighborhood on our campus.
In short, independent living’s floor plans and living situations are often not that much different from what you’d see in a “normal” apartment complex or small home. Assisted living residences, on the other hand, provide easier access to services, amenities, and care, which means peace of mind for family members and seniors alike.
Difference #3: Contact with Staff
n independent living, it’s possible that you may have minimal or no regular contact with staff or care team members. In assisted living, residents have much more access and contact with staff members. Care team members often stop in to check on residents and form close relationships. In fact, both team members and residents start to see each other as family – and that’s a great feeling.
Difference #4: Cost
Independent living is more of a lifestyle than a level of care, which means that the cost is typically less than assisted living services within the same community. However, while assisted living may cost more, some fees can potentially be covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Difference #5: Continuing Care
Independent living residents can often live a long, healthy life in independent living without ever requiring extra levels of care. However, once they do need a certain level of care, they may need to move into assisted living in order to have their needs met. In assisted living, seniors are often able to remain in the same residence, even if their needs become more extensive. Care in assisted living isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution – it can flex between very minimal to very extensive.
What’s the Right Choice?
If you or a loved one are trying to decide whether independent living or assisted living would be the right choice, here are some questions to ask:
- Would your health or safety be at risk if you had to spend a few days alone in your home?
- Are you able to perform the tasks of daily life, or are you relying more and more on other people, such as children or friends?
- Do you have a serious medical condition that could necessitate extra care now or down the road?
- Have friends, family members or doctors expressed concern about your ability to live on your own?
Addie suggests that seniors who aren’t sure what options are right for them may benefit from a community like Maple Ridge Senior Living. “We offer independent living and assisted living for seniors 55 and older, making it easy for our residents to age well and remain in a place they love,” she says. “We invite you to take a look at our unique community and experience the Maple Ridge Senior Living difference.”
Guided by Goodness, Loyalty, Faith, and Fun.
Maple Ridge Senior Living is a place of vibrancy and life – promoting meaning and joy in the lives of residents, families, and our team members. Elders inspire us, motivate us, guide, and direct us. As we work to create an empowering, caring, growing culture for elders, we are also creating our own future. After all, we are all elders-in-waiting!
Offering independent living, assisted living and short-term stays, Maple Ridge Senior Living is nestled at the convergence of the Cascade and the Siskiyou Mountain Ranges in Southern Oregon. Our spacious and bright building boasts beautiful valley views surrounded by nature and wildlife while still conveniently close to the center of town. Walk or take a short ride to Lithia Park, the Shakespeare Festival Theatres, or Ashland’s downtown plaza for shopping, art galleries, dining, and entertainment.
We invite you to schedule a tour and learn more about the services, amenities, care, and lifestyle available at Maple Ridge Senior Living. Please call us at 541-238-2070 to schedule your personal tour today.