Terminology is confusing—especially for someone considering community living as a senior—either for themselves or a loved one. This is true when distinguishing independent living from assisted living. Making it even more challenging, these two senior living options are often positioned under the same roof within the community.
Certainly, the proper approach is to learn about each, clarify the differences, and determine how each offering fulfills your needs. Don’t just judge a book by its cover, as they would say—all communities are different.
Here, we’re going to take a look at both independent living and assisted living and hopefully relate it to the lifestyle benefits you’re searching for. Keep in mind that descriptions may vary, depending on the community location, but the elements are generally accepted throughout the senior living industry.
Independent is exactly that—and more!
Usually restricted to adults age 55 or older, these communities offer MORE than just residential living. The physical properties may take the form of apartment-style buildings, townhomes, individual cottage-type homes, or other unique offerings increasingly evident in the industry. Key words here are “independent” and “residential.”
Meals and other services are generally offered as part of a monthly fee. Assistance with activities of daily living is not provided, but access to health care services may be offered, for an additional fee. Typically, residents who have chosen independent living have the choice to participate in available services or programs, which can include housekeeping, interior, and exterior maintenance, transportation, and social activities. Most take advantage. This gives them the opportunity to enjoy retirement without the responsibilities of homeownership. At the same time, they can participate in multiple communal dining experiences and a calendar of onsite activities with other active seniors. At Carillon, independent living services include maintenance, restaurant-style dining, planned events, social activities, and more.
Sometimes, a little help is needed.
If the words care, help, support, or assistance appear on your must-have list of criteria for a community—turn your attention toward assisted living. A clear picture of your particular needs is critical—again, every assisted living offering is different, but it’s generally accepted that “help with activities of daily living (ADLs)” includes: preparing meals, managing medication, assisting with personal hygiene, completing household chores, driving/coordinating transportation, maintaining personal finances, and more.
Assisted living maximizes a resident’s independence, helping with activities of daily living and 24-hour support, as needed. All services and amenities are onsite—group activities and events are normally included. Residents typically have a small living space and eat each meal with other residents in a community dining room. While they are encouraged to participate in activities and meet other residents with shared interests, the emphasis of assisted living is on care.
It’s interesting to learn that our last US census determined that more than one million Americans live in assisted living. Carillon recognizes there is a real need nationally, and, as a key element of assisted living services, Carillon residents receive help with activities of daily living based on customized levels of care. In addition, the community provides three meals per day, housekeeping services, laundering of personal items, and more.
Don’t judge a book by its cover—read every chapter.
As mentioned above, numerous senior living communities offer various levels of care—and valuable lifestyle programs for all residents. In your search, don’t just assume as you drive by what might be available to you—visit, talk to residents, and discover the complete table of contents. For instance, Carillon offers independent living and assisted living—each with an emphasis on helping residents lead a healthy, fulfilling life while remaining as independent as possible.
In addition, Carillon residents benefit from a comprehensive wellness initiative that focuses on good physical and emotional health. Called SmartMoves, the program emphasizes four categories of wellness: Fitness, Nutrition, Active Lifestyle, and Life Enrichment and gives great support to seniors who cherish the freedom to continue their active, independent lifestyle.