Every new stage of life brings unchartered waters that need navigating. As you get older, you may need help maintaining an active, fulfilled, and healthy lifestyle, and there are many decisions that need attending to. In order to make the best decision to suit your changing needs, it’s important to be informed about the varying levels of care and assistance available. When it comes to choosing between assisted or independent living, it’s all about determining the right fit. In the following sections, we break down some of the key differences and similarities between assisted living and independent living, providing a roadmap that will help you make the best decision for this next chapter of your life.

Differences

  • Medical Support. One of the main differences between assisted and independent living is the absence or existence of medical and supportive care. For those with either existing or new health conditions, assisted living includes the help of trained professionals to oversee and provide medical care. This can include everything from administering medication to tending to other medical needs. Independent living doesn’t offer medical support, except in emergency situations, and may be more suited to healthier seniors.
  • Daily Living Activities. When it comes to daily living activities, there are a lot more than might first come to mind. Things like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, maintaining personal hygiene, and keeping up with appointments are all important steps to supporting a healthy lifestyle. Assisted living facilities include help with all of the above, whereas independent living facilities do not. 
  • Staff Contact. Independent living provides exactly the kind of flexible support the name implies. When it comes to staff contact, those in independent living can decide how much or how little interaction they have. Residents who participate in group activities or eat meals in common areas may see staff more than they would otherwise. For those in assisted living, staff interaction is much more prevalent through daily check-ins and increased monitoring.  

Similarities

  • Maintenance. Both assisted living and independent living offer the major benefit of assuming service and maintenance jobs for residents. Things like lawn care and home maintenance (fixing leaky pipes, cleaning out gutters, etc.) that become more difficult with age are taken care of, giving seniors peace of mind and more time to do the things they love. 
  • Socialization & Activities. In addition to regular maintenance, both assisted and independent living facilities offer seniors the chance for increased socialization. Through shared amenities like a dining room, recreation room, fitness center, and swimming pool, seniors are given numerous opportunities and environments in which to make friends and develop meaningful relationships. Additionally, both assisted and independent living offer robust programming, group activities, and planned social events.

When it comes to deciding on a care program for you or your loved one, there are no right or wrong decisions. All that matters is that you choose a program that fits you or your loved one’s unique needs. We’re proud to offer both independent and assisted living services at St. Martin’s in the Pines. Please schedule a tour with St. Martin’s in the Pines today to learn more. We look forward to meeting you!