The Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living: Determining Care Options

As the caregiver to your elderly parent or senior loved one, you become responsible for helping them complete activities of daily living.

This can include driving them to doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, paying bills, reminding them to take medication, cleaning their house, mowing the lawn, and so on.

As they get older, you may find that providing the same level of care becomes harder. It’s during this time when you may begin researching senior care options for your senior loved one.

Luckily, there are assisted living and independent living communities available today that can help shoulder the responsibility of families and caregivers. If you’ve ever researched the difference between assisted living and independent living, you may have found that the explanations are somewhat unclear, or even confusing.

We’ll explain the key differences between independent living and assisted living, and go over the benefits that your loved one will receive when they move into these types of communities to help you make an informed decision about their care.

What is Included in Independent Living and How Does it Help Seniors?

Many seniors wish to downsize from their current residence as they age. Responsibilities such as mowing the grass, shoveling snow, cleaning around the house, cooking, and other chores add up. 

Seniors, including couples, who move into an independent living community are generally in good health and looking to enjoy days free from the worries of house ownership. Senior residents in independent living have opportunities right out of their doorstep to enjoy friendships, participate in outings and onsite activities, take part in wellness classes, enjoy live entertainment, and savor chef prepared meals. 

For seniors who want to relax and focus on leisure, there is no better option than moving into an independent living community. The community takes care of all the responsibilities so residents can focus on friendships and choosing to be involved in hobbies they haven’t had a chance to start. 

How is Assisted Living Different from Independent Living?

The terms assisted living and independent living are often confused and used interchangeably. And while there is overlap between the two, there are also key distinctions.

Simply put, residents in assisted living receive additional care and support from a medical care team to complete their activities of daily living. Whereas people in independent living don’t rely on this level of assistance. 

Often, these communities look similar and are located on the same campus. They can offer a continuum of care for all of their residents. It’s common for residents to initially move into independent living, but then gradually move over to assisted living once they begin to need more care.  

Just like independent living, assisted living communities also offer dining services, laundry, transportation, and a calendar of social engagements, along with specialized care to enhance residents’ physical and mental wellbeing.

The Benefits of Living in an Assisted Living Community for Seniors

When your loved one moves into an assisted living community, you can rest assured knowing that they will receive around-the-clock compassionate care. A dedicated care team is available at all times to help your loved one complete their daily activities. This can include helping with dressing, taking medications, bathing, and more.

Whether your senior needs independent living or assisted living, the overall benefit is engagement and socialization with others.  

When your loved one moves into an assisted living community, they are entering a social environment where they can participate in life enrichment activities, make new friends, and keep physically and socially active. Valuing friendships has been proven to slow down aging, decrease the chances of dementia, and improve well-being for seniors.

Other benefits include receiving all-day dining options, access to safe and reliable transportation, on-site rehabilitation, and peace of mind knowing they can age in place within one community.

Your Partners in Care: Kensington Park Senior Living

Kensington Park Senior Living is an enhanced independent living, assisted living, and memory care community located in Kensington, Maryland.

Our campus is situated on eight acres in Southern Montgomery County and provides a beautiful park-like setting for all of our residents. Nearby, just down the hill, residents can visit the picturesque town of Kensington with friends to go window shopping or explore the town.

In addition to providing independent living and assisted living accommodations, we also have three distinct memory care communities.

Prior to joining us in one of our memory care residences we offer Kensington Club for mild cognitive impairment.

For residents who are in the early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, we have our Connections neighborhood. Connections provides a safe and secure environment to keep residents safe from falls and from wandering after sundown.

For residents who are in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, Haven is our neighborhood that provides the highest level of care possible. Like Connections, Haven is a fully-secured environment that also includes a color-coded layout to help residents navigate their neighborhood easier.

At Kensington Park Senior Living, it’s Our Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.

If you’re the caregiver of an aging senior trying to understand the difference between assisted living and independent living, please contact us today.

 

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