What Are the Primary Differences Between an Independent Living Facility and An Assisted Living Facility?

Independent Living facilities

Senior living facilities used to be care homes that provided residents long-term, basic care services, but today the world of senior care has become much more diversified, with each facility specializing in a particular level of care. Independent living and assisted living facilities are two of the most common types of senior homes, the two options sharing some important features, but also offering special services of their own. Here are some important distinguishing features that set apart the two types of facilities.

Differences in Terms of Medical Care and Support

Independent living and assisted living facilities feature differences in terms of the people they are intended for – while independent living facilities are suited for people who are able to handle daily chores and who live an active life, assisted living facilities are for people who do need intensive nursing care, but who do need help with basic daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, shopping and cleaning as well as with remembering and administering medications. While both types of communities provide access to medical care, independent living facilities do that through partnerships with in-home care companies available upon demand, while assisted living homes have in-house staff available 24/7, residents having call buttons in their home to signal their need for help.

Contact with Staff

The seniors living in an Independent Living facilities do not need daily contact with the care staff – they are offered the option to sign up for a meal service and they can also request help to attend medical appointments, but the amount of assistance they get depends entirely on their preferences. In assisted living facilities, on the other hand, the care staff is continuously monitoring the status of the residents and they are regularly checking in on the seniors in their care.

The Price

The decision to move to an independent living community is more a matter of preference than motivated by the need to have around the clock support and care, therefore independent living homes are usually more affordable than a place in an assisted living facility, but unlikely to be eligible for coverage from Medicaid, Medicare or insurance. The residents of assisted living facilities usually need more intensive care and attention as their health condition no longer makes it possible for them to live alone, in their own home and that kind of care is usually more expensive, but many of these residents are eligible for coverage by insurance, Medicaid and other support programs.

The Involvement of the Family

The residents of independent living communities have access to support and care on demand, but regular care not being a part of the service range, the families of the residents might still need to be involved, helping out with grocery shopping or other tasks. Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, take over all the duties and responsibilities related to taking care of the residents, relieving families of all the worries related to the care process, giving them the peace of mind that their elderly loved one is in excellent hands and completely safe.