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What’s the Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living?

Assisted living is the right choice when living at home is precarious. Older people sometimes lose mobility or need to follow a medication routine. This may make it difficult to live comfortably and safely in their homes.

Accidents, frailty, and a general sense of isolation often ensue. In this case, the best solution is a community of assisted living. 

Assisted living provides supervision within a pleasant environment where seniors enjoy social events and the company of others—while having their own private space at the same time. Doctors and nurses deal with medication management and ensure that residents have the right medical guidance.

Common chores such as cooking, housekeeping, and transportation to medical appointments are taken care of so that residents can enjoy a carefree lifestyle within a safe and protected community.

Independent Living

Independent living offers no medical support to guests but plenty of facilities and the knowledge that everything is taken care of.

Seniors live in independent cottages, apartments, townhouses, or studios. They can choose whichever accommodation suits them best.

Most independent living places have gardens and expansive outdoors to help seniors enjoy activities in the open air. There are numerous communal areas for dining and meeting with other seniors.

Independent living facilities take care of cleaning, housekeeping, home maintenance, and cooking. Residents have the option to either cook for themselves or take their daily meals at one of the dining facilities.

Entertainment and Transportation

Independent living facilities offer plenty of entertainment options such as yoga, swimming, and gardening as well as crafts, movies, and clubs. The goal is to have friends and people to talk, laugh, and share memorable moments with. Independent living facilities are excellent for seniors who live on their own and miss a more active social life.

Seniors may also have their own cars to drive for their shopping. However, the facility usually offers alternative transportation means to help them move around and avoid the hassle of owning a car.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is for people who require the involvement of nurses and personnel in their everyday activities.

Comprehensive care involves help with dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting, scheduling doctors’ appointments, and preparing meals. Nurses and staff can also help with administering medication and keeping track of it.

Apartment-Style Accommodation

Assisted living facilities usually offer apartment-style units and studios with extra safety features for people with mobility issues. Such accommodation has, for example, grab handles in the shower and other areas where older people might fall. There is also a phone for emergency calls.

Individual kitchens in assisted living facilities are typically more rudimentary. It is common for seniors to have their meals prepared by the staff and served in a communal area where they can socialize with other residents.

Just like independent living, housekeeping and home maintenance are responsibilities of the staff. Residents can enjoy their retirement without having to worry about linen, cleaning, and washing dishes.

Medical Assistance

The major difference between independent living and assisted living is that assisted living facilities offer medical or nursing personnel on a 24/7 basis. They keep an eye on residents and help them manage their everyday activities and medication administration.

The nurses observe if a health or cognitive issue deteriorates and they will alert the family or a doctor if necessary.

If someone needs specialized medical care, they typically need to provide for it themselves. An assisted living facility cannot dedicate a professional on a one-to-one basis, so special arrangements must be made in such cases.

If your medical needs require more specialized medical care, you could choose a nursing home with the right medical personnel.

Activities and entertainment

Residents at assisted living facilities have plenty of activities to enjoy. In addition, most facilities organize regular events, entertainment, and activities that their residents can easily and safely take part in.

Independent living and assisted living

Seniors in both facilities have their own private accommodation and enjoy a significant degree of autonomy and privacy.

The major difference between these two types of senior accommodation and care is that assisted living offers medical care on a 24/7 basis.

Assisted living facilities provide more help with activities of daily living for seniors who find it difficult to take a bath or groom themselves. However, if you need specialized medical care with a one-to-one medical professional, you will need to hire one or opt for a nursing home.

Both independent living and assisted living help seniors socialize and offer plenty of activities for seniors such as reading, games, board games, gardening, yoga, gentle sports, painting, crafts and arts, book clubs, dancing, and even computer lessons.

To see which option may be best for you or your loved one, contact St. Dominic Village online, call 713-741-8701, or visit St. Dominic Village at 2401 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77021.