What’s the difference between independent living and assisted living?

If you’ve heard the terms independent living and assisted living but aren’t sure what they mean, you’re not alone. We get this question frequently. The terms typically apply to communities that serve older adults.

Broadly speaking, an independent living community is appropriate for individuals who manage life just fine on their own with perhaps just a little assistance from friends, family and in-home services. An assisted living residence is appropriate for individuals who need daily help in some way. Read on for a closer look at the two options.

Independent Living

Living independently in a senior community is very similar to living in a house or condo. You just have better access to more services, amenities, entertainment and social opportunities. An independent living community also offers a measure of comfort knowing that staff is available day and night should an issue arise.

Independent living communities make life easier and more enjoyable by offering services, activities and amenities. You need to check with each community you’re considering to learn what they offer, how often they add new options, and if residents can influence the choices.

Park Terrace, for example, is a former Embassy Suites so it offers true resort-style living. Unlike other communities, everything is covered by one fee, including gourmet dining in the restaurant, happy hour, use of the pools and fitness studio, housekeeping, maintenance, and more. As for the entertainment and recreational programs, the community’s activities director works with residents to ensure they have options they enjoy.

At Park Terrace, you can choose from one- and two-bedroom apartments, up to 1,200 square feet. If you like to cook, you’ll appreciate that they have a fully equipped kitchen.

It’s helpful to understand that with independent living you can receive some assistance in your home should you ever need. For example, after surgery you may need a nurse to visit, your dog walked or meals brought to your apartment. Most independent living communities can help you arrange these types of services.

Assisted Living

It can be challenging to shop for groceries and prepare meals, clean the house, make repairs, travel to medical appointments and handle all the other aspects of life while dealing with health issues. While assisted living generally applies to seniors, younger people can often benefit, too. In fact, assisted living could be a good choice for anyone who may be forgetful, have multiple physical limitations or a chronic illness.

Assisted living communities generally include all of the advantages of independent living such as meals, housekeeping, maintenance, and enjoyable activities. Even more importantly, assisted living communities offer individuals and families the peace of mind knowing a nurse and caregiving staff is available around the clock. Through daily interactions, the staff is aware of each person’s well-being.

The goal of assisted living is to help individuals continue to live relatively independently by providing the services that make it possible. Therefore, an assisted living residence comes with access to a broad range of services from which you can pick and choose. The services include medication management, coordination with doctors, and help with dressing, bathing, eating and mobility, among others.

Many assisted living residences are limited to small studio apartments. Park Terrace’s assisted living apartment options are similar to those for independent living. You enjoy a private one-bedroom apartment with a kitchenette, living area, and bedroom and bathroom. You pay the same rent plus the cost of any care services you use. Plus, there’s gourmet dining and full access to the community’s resort-style amenities, including two pools, a fitness studio, walking trails, happy hour and entertainment.

In short, assisted living offers a way to bridge the gap, stay in control, and live much more independently than in a nursing center. At Park Terrace, you have the advantage of having independent living and assisted living together in the same community. So, if your needs change, you don’t have to move away. You can still enjoy all of the same things, including the resort-style amenities and the company of your good friends and neighbors.

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