The Differences Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

May 21st, 2015 by John Wilson

Make the right decision when caring for the elderly.

Caring for the elderly requires several decisions to be made.

Many seniors prefer independent living for as long as possible because it’s what they’re used to. However, caring for the elderly has shown many of these individuals could benefit from senior citizen assisted living. Understanding the differences between the two ways of life and how assisted living may benefit seniors will help families make the best decision.

Living Space

One of the most notable differences between independent living and assisted living is the type of living spaces each option offers. Independent living facilities can be similar to apartments or they can be groups of small houses. Seniors have their own living spaces with community areas they can share with others. Assisted living communities, on the other hand, are typically apartment-style housing. While seniors still maintain their own living space, there is more help available for those who need it. This makes senior citizen assisted living similar to independent living with one positive difference: having access to the assistance you need to maintain a good quality of life.


Independent living communities often hold events for their residents and strive to make life easier. They may organize offsite trips and provide the transportation the elderly need. Some of these communities will handle meal preparation, housekeeping, security services and more. Assisted living, on the other hand, is geared toward those who need more help in their day-to-day activities. Their list of services includes everything independent living offers, along with other aspects like:

Both types of facilities are known for organizing events and providing plenty of opportunities for senior residents to get together and spend time with their friends, doing the things they love.

The Costs

Another primary difference between independent living and senior citizen assisted living is the costs. Because independent living situations usually aren’t medically necessary, they often can’t be paid with insurance funds. Depending on the amenities offered, the cost of independent living can be higher and will vary dramatically. Some of these facilities offer rent on a sliding scale based on retirement income. Assisted living is often covered at least partially by insurance. Costs will vary depending on the level of care required. There are plenty of other resources that can help families pay for this type of care.

If you don’t know what is assisted living for seniors versus independent living for the elderly, it’s important to evaluate the differences between the two to help you make the smart choice. Some of the main differences include the type of living space, what services they offer and how the costs are handled. Once you realize the varying factors, you can work with your aging loved one to determine which option best suits their needs.

If you’re looking for senior citizen assisted living serving Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmund, Midwest City, Del City, Mustang, Bethany, Yukon and the surrounding areas, contact us. Our assisted living facility provides everything your aging loved one needs.

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