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Assisted Living vs. Independent Living Differences

If you’re searching for Assisted Living vs. Independent Living Differences this post will help you understand the benefits of both types of retirement living services. It can appear the difference between assisted living and independent living can be non-existent for people that are not familiar with the variety of nuances with care and housing options that are available for seniors. To choose the best possible living situation for seniors requires understanding what makes these two community types different.

Living Space Layouts

There is a range of housing arrangements that is encompassed by the independent category, from communities with apartment style structures, to housing co-ops. Typically, residents will live within their own space and have a space to gather, referred to as the common area. This allows socializing with other community members. Another terms for independent living include, active adult community, retirement community, senior apartments, retirement home, 55+ community, or Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

With assisted living, the general arrangement is apartment-style. Depending on the location, units may have full kitchens, but some may not. For assisted living communities which specialize in seniors that require memory care, security is usually increased, including added surveillance, ensuring doors are always locked, etc.). Also, cognitively impaired residents may not be allowed to have apartments with a kitchen, for safety reasons.

Amenities and care services

The goal of independent living communities is to enable residents to have an easier day-to-day routine. This enables seniors to remain independent for as long as possible. It is common for independent living to provide housekeeping and landscape services, security surveillance, meal preparation, and various other events and activities. However, the majority of independent living communities do not staff full time nursing or medical care providers. “The top advantage of an independent living community is receiving assistance with housekeeping and meal tasks, and a centralized hospitality service building for seniors to socialize” said Regina Wallace, Hebrew Home at Riverdale’s director of independent senior apartments and assisted living program. Hebrew Home is an organization providing geriatric service in Riverdale, New York. “Within these type of communities, the focus is not really with hands-on care.”

Assisted Living Details

The focus of assisted living is more aimed at assisting older adults that require help with certain activities, such as laundry, taking prescription medications, and bathing. These type of communities have round the clock staff, including some form of medical professional, often a certified nurse practitioner. In addition, some facilities have special units designed for memory care, for those with mild to moderate dementia. Although, assisted living communities do not offer an intensive amount of hands-on care that is required for seniors with physical or more serious mental ailments.

Shared Benefits of Both Retirement Community Types

Both assisted living and independent living communities offer scheduled recreation unique to specific facilities. Some of the more common activities include field trips, game nights, discussion and support groups, exercise classes, holiday celebrations, and continued education courses. In addition, transportation services are provided for shuttling residents to grocery stores, doctor appointments, and additional errands.

Ways to pay and other finical considerations

With independent living, rent is the primary cost for representing residents, according to Wallace. For seniors that live in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) or a community which providesspecialize recreational activities, such a private golf course, could have extra expenses, such as a joining or membership fee.

Assisted Living Finances

With assisted living communities, seniors that require special are that is not covered under the standard rent contract will have additional expenses if a professional caregiver must be hired for assisting the resident.

In addition to differences in the health-related level of help residents are offered, the largest disparity between assisted living and independent living is the access of finical resources that both seniors and families may use to help with covering cost of living within the communities.

Independent Living Finances

Because residents are not provided a medical care service in independent living communities, government healthcare programs, such as Medicaid or Medicare will not cover the expense. Rather, seniors have to use their Social Security, retirement savings, pension income, or other personal funds for paying the cost of independent living communities.

Meanwhile, with assisted living expenses, seniors may use personal funds and savings. Specific long-term care insurance, life settlements, Aid and Attendance benefits of Veteran’s Administration, annuities and reverse mortgage funds can be used as well. Assisted living care coverage with Medicare is limited, typically only covering short-term stays, such as temporary illness or surgery recovery. Some financial assistance is offered by Medicaid as well, but guidelines vary between states.

Assisted Living & Independent Living in Arizona

If you or someone you know is considering the benefits of assisted or independent living the state of Arizona is one of the best places in the United States to do it.  SLS Communities has multiple locations in Arizona for assisted living and independent living in the state of Arizona.  Our communities are geared to be welcoming, friendly, and compassionate to residents living in any of our retirement living communities.

For more information about either assisted living or independent living
please contact us by calling 480-348-0300.

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