The Basics of Assisted Living and Independent Living

activities in assisted living

As one nears the senior years, a topic common to discussion includes housing options for the twilight period of their life. For some, disease and disability can make living accommodations very challenging. These conditions can make it difficult for them to be living on their own or to continue to have their own home. Some may still want to retain their independence only to discover that their retiree fixed income and pension is not ample or practical to maintain their own place. The solution is senior housing communities that can provide a long lasting and cost effective option to address all their concerns. It is vital that they are aware of the differences between assisted living and independent living so they can make an informed decision on what is best for their lifestyle.

Assisted Living

An elderly man in an assisted living facilityWhat many people believe when they think about “nursing home,” assisted living is basically what comes to their mind. The truth is that a nursing home is basically for seniors that are no longer physically or mentally able to live independently. With a lot of seniors eventually developing serious health concerns ranging from dementia of the Alzheimer’s type to diabetes, it becomes increasingly impractical for family members to maintain the role of a caregiver full time. This is where assisted living facilities come in. Assisted living allows seniors the ability to keep their own living space while at the same time offering any necessary medical personnel to assist them with their activities of daily living. Basic tasks such as scheduling medications, visit to doctors to daily grooming or using the bathroom are included.

Seniors enjoying their meals together at an assisted living communityAnother vital component of assisted living communities is that are able to integrate full-time medical staff. These medical personnel receive training for first aid and other life saving procedures. Doctors and nurses are available and there is access to them on a 24-hour basis. This is essential to ensure not just the safety of the residents but also to provide the necessary peace of mind for the family members that want the loved ones taken care of.

Independent Living

these lovely ladies live in an assisted living communityA lot of seniors are able to live on their own or independently but due to lack of funds to own or rent their home, or they want to integrate themselves into an environment that provides more social interaction for them, independent living facilities is the solution. Many seniors move in to the independent living community in order to relieve themselves of their responsibility of owning a home. They do not want to have to shovel snow or have to endure the pain of making home repairs.

A lot of outdoor socialization in an assisted living homeIndependent living facilities differ in terms of setups. They range from apartment complexes, subdivisions to full-fledged retirement communities. People in these communities tend to be more active and have friends and a degree of socialization is expected. In order to foster an active and healthy lifestyle, a lot of these communities organize day trips and activities. There is also off-campus transportation offered for excursions. Many of these independent living communities offer accommodations similar to cottages and apartments. Aside from bedroom and bathroom facilities, there are also full-service kitchens that are integrated within the resident’s suite. This gives the resident the option to prepare and even host dinners if they choose to.

What You Can Expect from Assisted Living Facilities

  • Activities and programs for daily physical fitness, learning, social and spiritual opportunities
  • Housekeeping, trash and laundry services
  • 24×7 staff available
  • Well-balanced meals and snacks available throughout the day
  • Coordination with medications
  • Social and educational programs for family members
  • Scheduled visits for family members

Activities like painting are offered in an assisted living community

Trained medical staff in today’s modern assisted living facilities eventually becomes part of your extended family. They are involved in almost all aspects of your loved one’s health and offer you peace of mind that all of your loved one’s needs are provided. Aside from providing assistance to maintain their health, today’s assisted living communities provide opportunities for residents to be socially connected so as to prevent social isolation. Seniors will discover that life is good and will always be in an assisted living facility.

Choosing A Facility

Exercise programs are offered in an assisted living community as wellThere are many excellent assisted living facilities out there. It is important that you first talk to your loved one and find out their needs and expectations. Take time out to visit some of these communities and meet the staff so you can have an idea of what life is like in their community. Determine the scope of services and what type of care is provided daily.