Should you choose independent living or assisted living? If you’re just beginning to explore senior living options, you may have a lot of questions. In the past few decades, senior living has gone through a revolution. The old nursing homes that you remember are a thing of the past.
These days, you can find an individualized solution for each family’s level of need. However, there is a new problem: figuring out which option is right for you. Today we’re going to talk about the difference between assisted living and independent living. Which one might be right for you? Read on to find out.
What are ADLs?
As you learn more about the different types of senior living, you’ll probably hear a lot about ADLs, or activities of daily living. Put simply, ADLs and IADLs are self-care tasks that each of us need to do every day. Examples of ADLs include:
- Dressing and undressing
- Bathing or showering independently
- Using the toilet
- Managing medications
- Paying bills
- Housekeeping and simple home maintenance
- Cooking and grocery shopping
In senior living, we use ADLs to help determine what kind of assistance a senior may or may not need. Prospective residents will often complete a questionnaire or chat with a specialist about these activities to help determine what level of care is right for them.
Choosing between senior living options starts with knowing what activities of daily living you might need or want help with.
What is Independent Living?
At its simplest, assisted living means an age-restricted rental community for senior citizens. Seniors who choose independent living typically need little to no help with ADLs. In this case, “independent” doesn’t refer to how free you are but how well you can care for yourself without help.
While some independent living communities may offer housekeeping services, transportation, home maintenance, and food preparation as amenities, these services are usually more about convenience and comfort than need.
Independent living works well for seniors who are no longer interested in maintaining a large home or who just want to live with others in a similar stage of life.
What is Assisted Living?
As with independent living, you should know that we’re not talking about a difference in your personal freedom. Instead, assisted living caters to seniors for whom some things just don’t come as easily anymore. If one or more of the ADLs on the list above are getting to be a challenge for you, assisted living could be the right answer.
Assisted living provides hands-on help and security for residents. Your daily schedule, routine, and choices are still completely up to you. In an assisted living community, though, there’s more access to help when you need it.
Some folks choose assisted living because they worry about having a fall if they get up to use the restroom at night or try to get in and out of the bath alone. Some just can’t keep up with housework the same anymore, or can’t cook for themselves like they used to, or want help keeping track of complicated medication schedules or treatment plans.
Seniors who choose assisted living often still do most things pretty well on their own but feel that living where they are might not be best for them anymore. If you don’t have peace of mind about being alone in your own home because you just can’t take care of things like you used to, assisted living can help.
What can Senior Living Do for Me?
We know. You’re wondering why we think senior living is better than living on your own at home, or with family.
For us, the answer to that question is freedom. With senior living, you can be free from the hassle and bother of caring for yourself and your home. Be free from worrying about what will happen to you in the future if you get hurt or sick. And you can be free of the social isolation, limitations, and boredom that often make aging so painful.
Many seniors realize after they choose senior living that living alone was taking away more of their freedom than it was preserving. By taking care of difficult tasks for you, senior living sets you free again to live without worry, just like you used to.
Are you interested in learning more about what today’s senior living looks like? Schedule a virtual tour now and see for yourself.