Is Independent Living or Assisted Living the Best Choice for Your Loved One?

August 4th, 2016 by John Wilson

As you begin to research housing options for your aging loved one’s golden years, you’ll probably hear two terms used over and over: independent living and assisted living. Before you can decide whether Oklahoma assisted living or independent living is best for your situation, you need to understand what each option offers. Many people have misconceptions about these common terms so we will help bring clarity to the differences for you.

Independent Living

Perhaps the best way to explain independent living is by looking at interchangeable labels for this senior-living arrangement. Independent living facilities are also known as 55+ communities, retirement communities, active adult communities and senior apartments. Usually, seniors live in their own dwelling on a property that provides common areas where residents can easily gather and socialize.

Independent living facilities, in a sense, are like members-only clubs. These facilities are more about convenience than hands-on help. Because these senior apartments take care of landscaping, maintenance, housekeeping, transportation and even meal preparation, seniors have more time to enjoy their lives and their neighbors, who are in the same general age range as they are.

Turn to assisted living communities if your loved one needs medical assistance.

Assisted living communities can help with medical care.

Assisted Living

As you may assume, assisted living facilities have staff available to assist residents with such tasks as cleaning and laundry, meal preparation, laundry, bathing and minor medical needs. One common misconception of assisted living facilities is they are for seniors with serious medical conditions, includign dementia. That is not the case. Assisted living facilities provide mild to moderate care, organize social events and activities and operate shuttle services to transport residents to run errands.

In general, assisted living communities in OKC provide a safety net for seniors who may find tasks they used to be able to do on their own have become more difficult. Assisted living facilities provide the extra help they need. Unlike independent living facilities, seniors who reside in assisted living in Oklahoma City have round-the-clock access to medical care providers.

Which Option Is Best?

If your elder relative has early signs of dementia, physical limitations that make it difficult for them to bathe or do other simple household tasks or has an injury or illness that requires routine medical supervision, assisted living is probably the smart option. Additionally, if your loved one is able to live alone now but is frail and seems to be getting weaker, assisted living is probably the best option as well.

The last thing you want to do is move your aging relative to an independent living facility and then have to uproot them again in the near future to move to assisted living. If your loved one is robust and in relatively good health but simply wants to downsize, independent living could be ideal. It’s a good idea to visit both types of facilities so you can get a feel for what services and amenities each has to offer.

Even bringing up the idea of considering a move to assisted living in Oklahoma City can sometimes be challenging. Often, a senior’s reluctance and fear stems from misconceptions about what assisted living facilities are like. If you are beginning a dialogue about this subject with your relative or friend, we encourage you to contact us at Village at Oakwood to schedule a visit. Once you and your loved one see our facility and meet our staff and other residents, you’ll feel much more comfortable about the prospect of transitioning to assisted living!

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