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Senior Independent Living vs. Assisted Living

The Differences Between Two Common Living Options

Which Is Right For You?

When it comes to choosing between senior independent living and assisted living, the difference between the two might seem obvious. Independent living likely sounds more appealing to seniors who remain in good health, but what exactly is the difference between these two choices? Does independent living offer little or no assistance? Does assisted living offer little or no independence? What are the differences between independent living and assisted living?

Carlton House of Oak Bay

Senior Independent Living

For seniors who remain capable of living independently but wish to have access to assistance on an as-needed basis, senior independent living facilities are a great match. These retirement communities provide residents with a safe and secure environment, but one which offers minimal assistance, allowing for greater autonomy. That is not to say that no services exist; independent living communities offer services such as meals, laundry, and housekeeping, but while these are available to residents who desire them, they are not necessarily included in the monthly fees. Independent living focuses on convenience and remaining active and does not provide medical care or nursing support, usually having no nursing staff on-site. Personal care is available through separate agencies.


Assisted Living

Those who have trouble with certain daily tasks may find that assisted living is right for them. These can be tasks such as cleaning, preparing meals, or other regular daily tasks. Those who take up residence in assisted living communities receive support where needed.
Typically, housekeeping and maintenance services will be included, along with utilities, transportation, laundry, and meals. Health is available 24/7 at the touch of a button. Seniors may also receive assistance with bathing and grooming, making, and keeping appointments with their doctors, and remembering to take their medications. With assisted living, there are often a range of services that change with a senior’s health and individual needs. In addition to the above, those in assisted living residences have many opportunities for social engagement and can enjoy various activities and events that are available to them.


How to Choose Senior Independent Living or Assisted Living

This comes down to individual needs. While independent living is geared toward autonomous, healthy seniors, that doesn’t mean you need to be in perfect health. Similarly, assisted living is not just for those who are severely ill. Consider the following:

  • Are you healthy but occasionally lonely? You may enjoy the increased social contact available in independent living communities, where you have the chance to interact with others while remaining independent.
  • Would you be at risk if left alone in your home? In this case, you would probably benefit from assisted living where support is available
  • Can you independently manage your medications?
  • Do you wish to maintain an active lifestyle and are you capable of doing so?

If you feel that you need support or are unable to handle routine activities on your own, assisted living is an excellent option. If, however, you can handle your own daily needs, but wish to have some light assistance available to you, senior independent living may be a very good choice.

At Carlton House of Oak Bay, we offer a safe, caring environment for independent seniors who wish to remain active. To find out more about what we can offer you, contact us today.

We’d love to answer all of your questions.

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