If you're ready to consider a change in your retirement lifestyle you might be getting confused by the options available. For most seniors the most perplexing is figuring out the difference between assisted living and independent living. To add to the confusion is the way some communities advertise their campus, so here's a brief rundown on the differences:
Infographic source: SeniorAdvisor.com
The main difference is the level of care provided. Independent living is an apartment or home that is usually in a retirement community so you're in with the over 55 crowd. Usually there are minimal services such as landscaping and housekeeping offered but for the most part you're on your own. It also can include meals, fitness programs, and transportation to help you with your errands. This is an excellent choice for seniors that are looking for a community that offers perks such as entertainment and activities without the need for travel. As well as for those who need just a little help around the house.
Assisted living is for those who may need help with everyday things such as grooming or managing multiple medication dosages throughout the day and have trained medical staff on site. They will check on you at specific times and provide emergency call buttons in each living area. If you need help getting dressed, bathing, or taking medications you should look further into assisted living campuses.
Both independent living and assisted living communities can offer a wide range of amenities. Besides entertainment and activities, you should look for amenities that suit your current interests such as recreation, classes, and day trips. Many places have barbers, beauty salons, and transportation available for residents so it's all about your needs.
To help decide which type of senior housing is right for you look at your current lifestyle. Do you need help getting dressed or taking medications on time or do you just want to downsize your home? Don't leave it at just that. It’s good to ask your family members and doctor what they think about the two choices. You can also look for a campus that offers different levels of care so if you need more help in a few years you won't have to move to a new place.
The easiest way to remember the difference is in the names: one offers Independence and the other offers Assistance. Keep in mind the titles can be blurry and check out what each community has to offer in detail.