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

top retirement communities

It can be difficult to watch your parents age, and even more difficult to care for them as they do so. That’s why it’s so important to do your research on the top retirement communities in your area. But before you make a decision with your loved ones, it’s important to weigh the benefits of both assisted living and independent living facilities.

Which is right for your loved one? We’re here to help you make that call.

Assisted Living Facilities

With almost 47 million seniors living in the U.S., there are plenty of assisted living facilities. But what do these facilities offer to their residents? For starters, assisted living facilities offer just that: assistance with daily living. Staff members of assisted living facilities will be available 24/7 to help residents with tasks like cooking, cleaning, getting around, and other daily duties. Despite the abundance of assistance available from staff members, residents are still encouraged to be as independent as they can.

In addition to dedicated living assistance staff members, assisted living facilities also typically have one or more full-time medical practitioners on their staff. For example, certified nursing assistants, RNs, LVNs, and doctors are likely to be employed at an assisted living facility. These medical professionals are all trained to provide routine and emergency care, should the need arise.

Independent Living Facilities

In contrast to assisted living facilities, independent living facilities offer an environment that includes a more active and, well, independent lifestyle. Seniors choose to move into independent living communities for a variety of reasons. Maybe they want the scheduled activities and social events that come with the top retirement communities that offer independent living. Essentially, seniors who live in these communities are given the opportunity to enjoy their retirement without the added responsibility of managing an entire household. While seniors living in these communities will still have an independent living space, comparable to a small home or apartment, they’ll be able to enjoy the communal aspects of living in an area with other seniors at a similar time in their lives.

Which is right for your loved one?

If your loved one is struggling to accomplish daily activities, it may be time to consider an assisted living facility. Assisted living facilities are also the best choice if your loved one is struggling with a chronic illness or memory issues. For seniors who are still living an independent, healthy lifestyle, an independent living facility may make more sense. They’ll be able to continue their active life there without the responsibilities of being a homeowner.

No matter which of these top retirement communities you choose, make sure you include your loved one in your decision. Consider the differences between these facilities and your loved one’s lifestyle and struggles carefully before you make a decision.