Independent or assisted living? That is typically the first question when considering long term care facilities. However, the two serve different purposes so a generally accepted answer does not exist. The ‘right’ answer for one family is going to be vastly different than another. But why? What is the difference between independent living and assisted living?
Independent living (IL) became a popular next option for those living within 55 and over communities. Independent living communities brought residents closer together focusing on a social calendar and engaging residents. The newest independent living communities will include on-site amenities such as a fitness center, salon, movie theater, resort style pool, etc. Independent living communities will also offer residents onsite dining options, such as two or three meals per day. Those who choose to move into independent living are often in seemingly good health but know that their home is not the right option for them.
And many, many more!
Assisted living (AL) provides a greater level of care than independent living but still allows for freedom among residents. Assisted refers to the residents needing a hand when it comes to one or more activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, toileting, eating and transferring. The healthcare nature of assisted living means there is a nurse on site at all times to provide oversight. Many communities will offer medication management, diabetes management, etc. as ala carte options. In most cases the assisted living portion of a building is attached or commingled with the independent living. This allows for ease of move should an individual need greater care and assistance with ADLs.
And many, many more!
There are many IL and AL communities in our area, talk with your medical provider to see which may be best for you or a loved one, that will help to narrow your search. From there, hire a placement professional such as Bruce Lopes with CarePatrol or Bruce Rosenblatt with Senior Solutions. They are the experts in our area helping to ensure the community is right for you, not the other way around. If you’d like to go at it alone, tour as many as you can, with little notice to zero notice. This will allow you to understand how the operations work on an everyday basis. Lastly, patience is key, finding the right place to call home is time consuming but the front end work is worth it.