What’s the Difference Between Independent and Assisted Living?

The primary difference between independent and assisted living is the level of assistance the resident requires with daily activities.

Independent living residents largely live on their own but typically have access to maintenance-free living with dining options and a variety of amenities. Assisted living residents enjoy those same amenities but also receive a helping hand with day-to-day activities like medication reminders, dressing, and laundry services.

If you’re thinking about a senior living community for a loved one, you may be wondering more about what the different levels of care provide. And because independent and assisted living can be similar, it might be hard to tell which one is best.

Our quiz can help you see which service might be the best fit based on how well your loved one is taking care of their activities of daily living (ADLs).

Just remember – only you, along with the advice of a medical or senior care professional, can decide which option is best.

Want More Information About What Independent and Assisted Living Offer?

Now that you have a rough idea of the type of lifestyle that may fit your loved one, learn more about the differences between the two and how you can make the right choice with our free guide.

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living

Comparison chart between the different living options

Frequently Asked Questions

First, if you haven’t taken the quiz above, go ahead and do so. Second, look at their current lifestyle and needs. How often do you feel you need to check in on them to make sure they’re safe? Every day? Every week? Or just occasionally?

Also, what do they seem to need the most help with? Do they just need a hand keeping up the house, fixing things that are broken, or mowing the lawn? Or do they have trouble physically moving around or keeping up on their hygiene?

If your concerns about your parents’ lifestyle are mainly minor and revolve around inconveniences like maintenance and upkeep, independent living could be a good option to provide them with additional freedom and convenience.

On the other hand, if you’re concerned for your parents’ safety and physical and mental health, assisted living could be the way to go.

If you find yourself in this scenario, one of the best things you can do is bring your loved one to one of our Otterbein communities for a visit. Be sure to let them know that you are not trying to pressure them into something that is not right for them, but just the opposite.

Once you’re here, our SeniorLife Counselors can help show you and your loved one what life could be like for them in assisted living. Chances are that seeing our community in person and meeting our residents could help open their mind to the possibilities and advantages of assisted living.

Rest assured: we will do everything we can to make reasonable accommodations so your loved one’s needs are met. We can keep you updated on how things are going and adjust as necessary.

If it turns out that your loved one indeed needs assisted living, don’t panic. We have helped many people make this transition with minimal disruption to their lifestyle, and we can do the same for you and your loved one. One of the advantages of living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is that moving from one level of care to another is much easier for residents and their families.

The answer is different for everyone and every situation. Be sure to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both, and talk early and often with your loved one about both options. There are lots of resources you can use as you make your decision, such as:

  • Get started with these helpful resources designed for family members and loved ones to begin their senior living search.
  • Read blog articles or ask friends/family members who’ve been through this before.
  • Set up a visit to one of our Otterbein communities.
  • Check out this Ultimate Guide to Life at Otterbein for more questions and answers to common questions.
  • Download this free guide to independent living vs. assisted living.
  • Contact us at Otterbein SeniorLife for more information or to simply ask questions.