If you or your aging loved one is preparing to downsize from your current home into a community like Baldwin House Senior Living in Michigan, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the main questions we get asked is, “Tell me about independent living versus assisted living…what’s the difference”? We break it down for you below so you can be fully informed if you’re making this decision.

Many people who don’t work in the senior living industry sometimes use the terms “independent living” and “assisted living” interchangeably, but there are differences. Some differences are subtle, while others are more evident – including the difference in pricing.

If you’re living independently right now, that might mean you’re living in your own home and plan to age in place.

But if you’ve decided it’s time to look into a maintenance-free lifestyle that offers a way to make friends and get involved in activities, you will want to understand the differences between independent and assisted living.

Independent Living Versus Assisted Living

When you hear the term “senior living”, that is an umbrella term that can incorporate elements of the following:

  1. Active adult
  2. Assisted living
  3. Independent living
  4. Memory care
  5. Skilled nursing facility. These are typically traditional nursing homes and don’t usually fall under the umbrella of assisted or independent living, but it is a term people use.

Assisted living is aimed at older adults who have mobility or health issues. These individuals require more support than an independent or active adult community could provide. Assisted living may have on-site staff or contract with a third-party healthcare provider to help with activities including managing medications and assisting with bathing, grooming and toileting. Assisted living communities usually offer amenities including activities, meals, laundry, housekeeping and transportation.

Independent living is best suited for those active older adults (usually 55+) who don’t require personal hygiene assistance or medical care. In an independent or active adult community, there may – or may not – be services such as activities, meals or transportation. These communities are for the active adult looking for maintenance-free living in a safe, secure environment that offers the opportunity for social gatherings within the community common spaces.

When you’re looking for a place for you or your loved one to live, keep in mind that:

  1. Independent living, also known as active adult living, is just as the name implies – you’re living independently in your own apartment in a community-type setting. This is an ideal choice for older adults who want to downsize and give up lawn and yard maintenance and snow removal and who want to live in a maintenance-free apartment.
  2. Assisted living means you or your aging loved one requires assistance with day-to-day tasks. You may find independent living is your first option, and if you’re healthy and mobile, it may well be the best one. If you or your loved one find yourselves in need of care, independent living may not provide that level of care.

It costs less to live in an independent living community because you’re typically on your own for meals, transportation and other amenities. However, some communities do offer on-site activities and laundry facilities. The price of independent living varies based on your geographic location. Assisted living typically costs almost 50% more per month than independent living.

Give a Baldwin House Senior Living Community near you a call and schedule a visit. Let us know what you’re looking for, whether it’s assisted or independent living, and let’s see if we’re a fit for you or your loved one.

Visit a Baldwin House Senior Living community near you and ask what activities we have planned for our residents. Baldwin House Senior Living is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.

Baldwin House combines care with compassion and dignity. We offer families peace of mind and give seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!