What is the Difference between Independent & Assisted Living?
The core difference between Independent and Assisted Living is the level of service provided. Assisted senior living communities are licensed by the state, and are routinely inspected and reviewed. Additionally, the regulation of Independent Living is not as detailed because of the fewer provided medical services.
Residents at an Independent Living community are often there because they no longer choose to maintain or own a home. They are able to perform daily functions independently, but appreciate the convenience and amenities community living offers or want the benefit of quick assistance during an emergency.
Residents at Assisted Living communities are 55 and older and have a specific medical concern needing ongoing attention. Licensed nurses are on staff. Because of the additional services, costs are higher. Daily personal activities that potentially benefit from support include hygiene, grooming, dressing, escorting and transferring.
Personal and incontinence care, mobility assistance, and medication management are all examples of services provided by Assisted Living and not by Independent Living. Assisted Living may also have more options with regards to onsite nurses, housekeeping, laundry, and dementia care.
Related question: How much does assisted living cost?