What’s Better: Assisted or Independent Senior Living?


As a person ages, it can become difficult for them to do many of the things they previously enjoyed.  It may be difficult for them to get out as often as they used to, possibly due to being unable to drive.  They may have also developed medical issues that can cause concern for family members. Other issues of isolation and risks of falling may also be concerns for family members.  At these stages in life, it may be important for you to consider independent or assisted living for elderly loved ones. However, it can be difficult determining which is the best option.

Independent Living

Independent living communities provide a unique benefit for seniors.  These communities provide apartments, houses, and condos that are exclusive for seniors.  Seniors have all the comforts of their own personal living space within the community. Often, these communities provide activities devoted to keeping seniors active and social.  There are also transportation services available to take seniors to appointments, stores, and other destinations they wish to visit at regular intervals. They also provide scheduled outings and events for the community.  In addition to the fun and social environment, these communities provide many services to help keep seniors safe. Medical personnel are often available to check on seniors and provide assistance when necessary. Many facilities even offer services with household chores and other daily tasks.  You can find more information about these facilities at their website.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are very similar to independent living facilities in that they provide a safe and comfortable community for seniors.  Seniors still have their own personal space for living and get to enjoy activities and outings. However, in an assisted living community, seniors have more services available to help them with their day to day living.  Assisted living facilities offer medical staff and on-call personnel to provide individualized and emergency care for seniors throughout their day. Meals and household chores are maintained by trained staff to provide assistance for seniors who have mobility or health issues that may make it difficult for them to do these things themselves.  There are even staff members available to assist with personal hygiene and medications for those who need these services. With assisted living, seniors still enjoy a full and social life, they just get the added assistance they need on an individualized basis. 

Determining When Loved Ones Need Independent or Assisted Living

Although many seniors prefer staying in their home during their golden years, it is important for you to know when you loved one is having problems living alone.  As a person ages, many of their friends and family members move away and they no longer have the community they once did. For many seniors, transportation can also be a difficulty for them to get out and do things they once enjoyed.  These issues can lead to isolation and loneliness.  For those with medical, mobility, or cognitive issues, living alone may no longer be safe for them.  For many people, it can be difficult identifying problems with their loved ones as they get older. Fortunately, there are signs to watch out for that can assist in determining when it is no longer safe or practical for a loved one to continue to live alone.

If it has been determined that living alone is no longer an option for your loved one, the next step is determining whether independent or assisted living is the best option.  If your loved one is capable of performing all of the activities of daily living, independent living is the best option.

These activities include:

· Mobility: the ability to walk or transfer in and out of a chair or bed.

· Personal hygiene: the ability to perform oral care and grooming tasks.

· Bathing: the ability to bathe or shower.

· Toileting:  the ability to get on and off the toilet and properly clean oneself

· Dressing: the ability to choose and put on appropriate attire.

· Self-feeding: the ability to feed oneself without assistance.

However, if a senior has difficulties completing one or more of these activities, assisted living may be the best option.  These facilities provide help in many of these categories, as well as other assistance to help them enjoy their golden years.  Either option can be very beneficial in preventing isolation and loneliness seniors may face and allow them to once again be a part of a community. 


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