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When researching senior living options, you’re likely to encounter a lot of new terminologies, and it may be confusing at first. Often, prospective senior living residents need help distinguishing between independent living and assisted living.

This is understandable. Both options encourage independence, reduce caregiver concern, and enable seniors to live healthier, more active lives. In either setting, you can reside in a private residence and immerse yourself in community life.

However, there are some distinctions. Keep reading to learn what makes each environment unique.

1.    Personal and Medical Support

Both assisted living and independent living enable seniors to live with as much autonomy as possible. In fact, it’s important to note that often independent living neighborhoods and assisted living residences can be found within the same full-service community.

For those in independent living, support is aimed at easing responsibility and increasing opportunity. When you move into independent living, you’ll no longer have to worry about home maintenance or their associated expenses. You can also take advantage of dining options, housekeeping services, and scheduled transportation.

These conveniences, along with the array of recreational opportunities offered in independent senior living, could be a springboard for the retirement of your dreams. In the event that your needs change, a community like The Village at Gainesville offers onsite home care. Rental senior living communities also allow for a smoother transition to a higher level of care when you need it.

Assisted living offers similar services and activities for a full, active, and maintenance-free retirement. On top of this, they provide assistance with activities of daily living and medication management for residents who struggle with these tasks on their own. Additionally, they often run wellness programs and coordinate with primary care doctors to support your continued health.

“Assisted living residents are supported by nurses and direct care associates who are on-site 24 hours a day,” says Kim Giberti, Senior Director of Health Services at The Village at Gainesville. “They assist residents with daily tasks like bathing, dressing and getting around. Residents often receive medical care at an on-site clinic as well.”

2.    Floor Plans and Community Layout

Types of senior living residences vary widely. From community to community, you’ll find different options to choose from. Whether you move into independent living or assisted living, you can have a private, comfortable home that supports your lifestyle.

In independent living at a community like The Village at Gainesville, residents have several living options that range from a two-bedroom single-family cottage to a studio apartment home. There are several options, sizes, and features available.

Amenities like a fitness center or restaurant venue are on the community campus, alongside independent living residences. They are easily accessible for residents to enjoy.

Assisted living residents often have a private unit within a building that provides them with easy access to all the amenities, services, and enrichment activities they want. Depending on the community, an assisted living apartment home will have either a full kitchen or a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave and sink. Within assisted living, all meals are provided. Your living arrangements will give you convenient access to associates and the care services you need.

3.    Continuum of Care

Some senior living communities offer independent living, assisted living, memory support and other levels of care. It’s important that you determine what’s right for you at this time, and you’ll also want to consider the future. Choosing a community with a continuum of care streamlines this decision.

You may enter a senior living community in independent living and never need to access levels of care. But if you ever need assistance with daily activities or experience cognitive decline, the care you need will likely increase. In this case, you can transition into assisted living or memory care with ease.

Assisted Living or Independent Living A Questionnaire for You To Decide

It might be helpful to go through a list of questions to determine which senior living option is right for you. This isn’t an exhaustive list of what to consider when choosing between independent living and assisted living, but your answers may help you identify the best path for you.

  • Is it a challenge to complete activities of daily living independently? If your answer to this question is yes, assisted living could provide the personal support you need.
  • Are you healthy but experiencing loneliness or isolation? If the answer to this is yes, independent living could offer a more connected and fulfilling life.
  • Is your caregiving arrangement working well for all parties? If you have a loved one acting as a caregiver for you, they may be experiencing or anticipating burnout. If your caregiving situation is more of a temporary solution, assisted living can provide you with long-term relief and peace of mind.
  • Have your loved ones or doctor expressed concern over your safety living alone? If so, assisted living allows you as much independence as possible while providing support that prioritizes your safety.
  • Do you desire a life full of activities, events, and social events? If you want a lifestyle full of opportunity and freedom, this is possible with both assisted living and independent living.
  • Are you relying on members of your support network to run errands for you? If you’re increasingly dependent on others to complete practical tasks for you, assisted living could fulfill these needs.
  • Would you like to have a maintenance-free retirement lifestyle? With both independent living and assisted living, you’ll benefit from services like dining, home maintenance and housekeeping.

A Continuum of Care at The Village at Gainesville

The Village at Gainesville is a vibrant senior rental community in Gainesville, Florida that provides residents with a true sense of community and belonging. Whether you want the freedom of independent living or need the support of assisted living, you will find yourself at home here. Reach out to us today to see how you might benefit from our expansive offerings.