What Is the Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living?

When it comes to retiring in Florida, seniors have many options for living accommodations. Living at home, transitioning to independent living, or moving into an assisted living community are all readily available choices. 

Because each senior has unique needs and preferences, they should learn the details about each option. There are a few key differences between assisted and independent living in Orlando.

Daily Services

One of the major benefits of transitioning to a retirement community is the convenience factor. Taking care of a home as a senior can be a major task, and retirement communities take some of this burden away. 

While both independent and assisted living facilities in Orlando, Florida, offer assistance with daily tasks, the level of service provided is different.

In independent living, residents receive the community benefits of security, landscaping, dining, housekeeping, and many other amenities. However, they do not receive a lot of extra support when it comes to things like cooking, managing schedules, or taking medication. 

On the other hand, assisted living residents receive more hands-on assistance and are usually responsible for fewer day-to-day tasks and chores.

Supportive Care

The level of supportive care needed is often the deciding factor when seniors are considering independent vs. assisted living. Seniors who need some degree of support are better suited for assisted living. 

Assisted living can provide a range of supportive care, from simple check-ins with nursing staff to more extensive assistance such as help with bathing and medication management. 

The best assisted living communities are set up to cater to the different levels of care needed. Some residents may need assistance only with selected tasks, while others may need around-the-clock support.

In independent living, residents have access to staff and support when they need them but generally don’t receive any day-to-day supportive care services. Independent living is intended for seniors who are still maintaining an active lifestyle and who do not need to be supported in carrying out daily activities.

Living Spaces

Privacy is of the utmost importance in any senior living community, so both independent and assisted living communities offer private residences for community members. 

Independent living community members may want a bit more space for things like activities and entertaining. Residents can choose from small studio units to two-bedroom open floor plan apartments. All living spaces are outfitted with everything a personal home would have to enable a fully independent lifestyle.  

While assisted living residences are also spacious and include all of the modern amenities, they also must be able to accommodate caregivers on a daily basis. They tend to be a bit more accessible and in some instances do not include things that may be a hazard to that particular resident, such as hot cooking surfaces or irons.

Family Involvement

Regardless of a senior’s status or ability, family is an important component of their life. In independent living, families are encouraged to visit as much as possible, and residents are encouraged to attend outings and activities off-campus with family members. 

Generally, the interaction between family and independent living staff will be minimal.

In assisted living, on the other hand, some seniors aren’t as mobile so families are encouraged to come on-site to visit rather than venturing out all of the time. In addition, families are often more involved with staff to ensure that their loved one is receiving the care they need. 

Family may also be involved in things like helping to coordinate medical visits or even making medical decisions.

Independent vs. Assisted Living Facilities in Orlando, Florida

Orlando is home to some of the best retirement communities in the country that cater to seniors of all abilities. Both independent and assisted living communities offer seniors the services, conveniences, and amenities that can make retirement enjoyable and allow seniors and their families to have total peace of mind.

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