Learn & Grow/Assisted Living/The Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living
Assisted Living, Independent Living

The Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

There is independent living, and then there is assisted living. You may be under the misconception that the differences between the two are subtle, but the reality is that each caters to a different group of older adults. Independent living is designed to provide active seniors with a maintenance-free lifestyle full of engaging activities and opportunities, whereas assisted living is built around providing the necessary care and support for older adults who have difficulty performing daily tasks on their own. If you’re considering the next steps for yourself or a loved one, this resource can help you understand which choice is best.

What is Independent Living?

Independent living is a great option for self-sufficient older adults who want to connect with a robust community and live an active lifestyle. This option allows you to spend your time doing what matters most, and leave the everyday maintenance and upkeep that comes with home ownership behind.

Independent living found at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as a Life Care community, allows you to pursue your wellness goals and live the life you want. What day-to-day living is like is up to your imagination. There are numerous amenities and opportunities to enjoy, ranging from swimming pools and spas to fitness and art classes. Best of all, there’s a community of individuals who are seeking the same lifestyle to spend your time socializing with.

Often, the choice to move to an independent living Life Care community is made with the future in mind. You can settle for a retirement community that may satisfy your basic needs for the moment but is limited in the type of care it can provide should your needs change, or you can live in a Life Care community capable of providing additional care under one roof. If you anticipate you will need professional support and care further down the road, this option allows you to remain in your community while still receiving the additional assistance required.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living isn’t entirely different from independent living, but understanding the distinction is important to grasping the purpose of assisted living. While the focus remains on helping you live the lifestyle you want without hassle, it provides an extra helping hand when everyday tasks become more difficult or you require regular medical assistance.

As regular chores like cooking meals, cleaning up around the house or managing medications become more challenging and time consuming, assisted living offers access to skilled professionals available to help around the clock. This option is customized to your needs, allowing you to craft a plan that picks and chooses which areas you’d like assistance with. As your needs change or grow, you can count on a dedicated team ready to provide support.

When to Consider Assisted Living

Knowing when assisted living might be a better option for your lifestyle isn’t always easy. There are many factors to consider, but here are some key indicators that it could be the right choice:

  • Basic tasks can no longer be completed on their own. One of the simplest signs that you need to consider assisted living for your loved one is when they are no longer able to perform the activities of daily living on their own. It can be as simple as dressing, bathing and using the bathroom. The more they’re unable to function independently, the greater the need for assisted living.
  • Medical attention is more common. Despite the many benefits that come with age, it often requires more diligence to keep up with appointments and medications. In some cases, things like slipping and falling can lead to more significant injuries. If you find you’re spending more time recovering and trying to keep up instead of enjoying the things you want to be doing, assisted living can give you your time back and provide peace of mind that care is always available as needed.
  • Loved ones acting as caregivers. The responsibilities and rewards of being a caregiver are great. In many cases, loved ones end up in this role without any previous training or experience. While they want to do their best, balancing caregiving with household and professional responsibilities can lead to caregiver burnout. Assisted living communities help reduce this stress on all parties with a team of skilled professionals who are dedicated to providing the best-quality care.

The Benefits of Independent Living at Harbour’s Edge

If you’ve examined the differences between independent living and assisted living and are feeling like you could benefit from the lifestyle an independent living community provides, Harbour’s Edge is the premier option in the Delray Beach, Florida area. As a luxury community, we offer convenient services and thoughtful amenities including:

  • Comprehensive health and wellness programs
  • A wide variety of social, cultural and recreational activities
  • Multiple dining venues with carefully-crafted, restaurant-style menus
  • Beautifully landscaped gardens and outdoor spaces
  • Multiple private apartment floor plans
  • Beach access less than a half-mile away
  • Waterfront swimming pool and whirlpool spa
  • Salon and spa services
  • Performing arts center
  • 24-hour, on-site security

As you look toward the future for yourself or a loved one, Harbour’s Edge is here to help every step of the way. Our caring team is ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Contact us today to get the conversation started or schedule a visit.

Related Stories