Assisted Living vs Independent Living: Which Is Right for Your Aging Loved One?

Assisted Living vs Independent Living: Which Is Right for Your Aging Loved One? - assisted living vs independent living

Nearly one million American seniors live in senior residential care communities. As our population ages, we can expect to see more seniors making this transition, including your aging loved ones.

Trying to decide on the right community, style, or type of care can feel overwhelming. Residential care communities that offer tiered services are often the best choice, as the care offered can shift with the growing needs of residents.

Many tiered communities offer both assisted living and independent living options. What are the differences between assisted living and independent living? How can you pick the right one for your loved one?

Read on as we talk about assisted living, independent living, and how to pick the right care for your loved one.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities provide private or semi-private living quarters for seniors who need more active care. Independence is still built into many of their day-to-day activities, but caregivers can make up for any gaps in self-sufficiency that residents lose with age or illness. If your loved one can no longer live alone but doesn’t require round-the-clock or palliative care, they may benefit from assisted living. 

What are the signs that your loved one would benefit from assisted living? Let’s take a look.

More Assistance Needed With ADLs

Activities of daily living, or ADLs,  include day-to-day tasks that we often take for granted, like grooming, cooking, and cleaning. As we age, we may begin to struggle to complete these tasks with ease or comfort. Changes in cognitive and physical health can hinder our ability to take care of our most important needs.

Caregivers in assisted living communities can take over ADLs as needed. Your loved one can enjoy a healthy and dignified life without forgoing more independence than necessary.

Complex Medication Schedules

Many seniors take more than one medication or require regular treatment to maintain their health. A complex medication and/or treatment schedule isn’t always easy to keep up with, alone.

Caregivers and nurses in assisted living communities can ensure that your loved one is taking their medications at the appropriate times every day. They can also take note if your loved one’s health seems to change, alerting you and your loved one to these changes.

More Family Input Necessary

Seniors in independent living communities are typically in charge of their own decision-making. That is to say that they can decide what additional care they need, when to seek medical treatment, and so forth.

In assisted living, family members may have more input. With the help of on-site staff, you can ensure that your loved one is getting the best care to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living, as the name suggests, affords residents quite a bit of independence. Seniors in an independent living community have their own private apartments, condos, or bungalows. These living quarters are equipped with all of the amenities needed to conduct an independent life, including kitchenettes, living rooms, bedrooms, and more. 

What are the signs your loved one would benefit from independent living? Let’s take a look.

Current Home Poses Safety Hazards

While many seniors express a desire to age in place, their homes aren’t always suitable. Stairs, clutter, candles, and poorly equipped tubs are just a few of the potential safety hazards in a standard single-family home.

If your loved one could continue to thrive on their own in a safer environment, independent living offers safe, age-appropriate living quarters.

More Socialization Needed

Many seniors would benefit from an increase in socialization. In a fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for seniors to live far away from friends and family members. Moving into an independent living community provides exactly that: community.

Independent living communities provide ample opportunities to socialize, from planned events and communal gathering spaces to friendly neighbors. Socialization is a key part of keeping cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression at bay. If your loved one has limited access to social opportunities, they stand to benefit significantly from moving to an independent living community. 

Potential Healthcare Assistance Needed

Nurses and caregivers don’t make regular calls to independent living homes. However, they are easy to schedule as needed. Plus, residents can take advantage of additional care services if needed as well. Skilled nursing such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, to name a few, can be arranged by the Director of Nursing. 

Why Choose a Tiered Residential Care Community?

Not all residential care communities offer tiered services or living arrangements. Why is a tiered community the best option for many seniors?

While your loved one may be well suited to independent living for many years to come, it’s likely that they will need more intensive care down the road. An estimated 70% of today’s seniors will require long-term care services at some point in their lives.

Tiered communities make that secondary transition easier. At Dimensions Living, we offer:

  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living
  • Memory Care
  • Skilled Nursing

If your loved one starts out with a lower level of hands-on care, they can graduate to more intensive care with ease. No major relocations, no displacement from beloved community members or staff, just ready access to the care they need.

Assisted Living vs Independent Living: Dimensions Living Can Help

Deciding between assisted living vs independent living isn’t always easy. Choosing a community like Dimensions Living is.

At Dimensions Living, we offer tiered services to suit our residents’ changing needs. Is it time for your loved one to make a change? Dimensions Living can help.

To find out more about our communities, pricing, and availability, contact us today. We have multiple locations, including communities in Wisconsin and Illinois. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is available seven days a week to answer your questions or schedule a consultation.

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