What Is the Difference Between Assisted and Independent Living?

Independent and assisted living have a few key differences which will be discussed in this blog-post. The former is suitable if you’re planning to move to a new place with people around and the latter is for those who need special assistance. Keep reading this post and find out everything you need to know about these housing options.

Do you want to lead a hassle-free life in your old age? Are you considering checking the senior care community options? Well, there are two main housing options to choose from and they are assisted living and independent living. Though they are both meant to take care of elderly people, engage them in several activities that can boost their cognitive skills and also promote social interaction, there a few key differences between them.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is meant for old people who need assistance in daily activities such as eating, dressing, bathing and walking. In other words, this housing option is suitable for those who are unable to take care of themselves. Assistance doesn’t mean skilled nursing staff will babysit the person throughout the day, but they will be available if they are needed. Some homes even provide a special memory care unit for seniors with medical problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The facilities provided through assisted living are as follows:

  • Housekeeping
  • Medication management
  • Transportation services
  • Wellness programs like yoga and meditation
  • Social engagements
  • Assistance with everyday living like bathing, eating and dressing

Additional Things to Consider

Living Space

These homes are generally apartment-style units with or without furnishing and a kitchen. When you’re choosing this housing option for yourself, make sure you check your requirements properly to prevent unwanted problems later in the future.


There are different packages available for this housing option. For instance, if you need extra care, then you might be charged accordingly. Make sure you read the contract properly to prevent falling for scams.

Payment Options


  • You can pay for these homes by using your long-term insurance policies, annuities, savings or personal funds.
  • Money from the health insurance policy can also be accepted if you have one. However,  

this financial assistance covers up a small portion of the entire cost to help a person recovering from a temporary illness.


Independent Living

If you don’t like to live alone in your old age, then you should consider independent living. This housing option is also known as a retirement community, a retirement home, active adult community, senior apartments or a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). This is for those who leave their homes due to several reasons and want to move to a new home and widen their social circle. This home enables people to live in a safe, healthy and active environment which includes field trips, educational courses, game nights, exercises, discussions and holiday celebrations like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and more.

In a nutshell, independent living may offer these services:

  • Meal preparation
  • Housekeeping
  • Wellness programs
  • Security services
  • Landscaping
  • Social activities
  • Transportation

Additional Things to Consider

Living Space

Independent living provides individual rooms with living space in an apartment or condo based on what you choose. The living area is for your social gatherings to ensure you have a good time with others present in the house.


The primary cost of this housing option is rent incurred monthly or yearly depending on the package that you select. But, if you choose extra recreational activities outside your rental, then you might have to pay a little more.

Payment Options

  • Government funded healthcare financial programs may not be accepted as the seniors living in this house will not receive medical care.
  • You can use your retirement savings, income from your pension and personal funds to pay the rent.

Which One Is Suitable?

Well, this completely depends on what you need. For instance, if you require special assistance, then assisted living is the right choice. And, if you’re fit and want to spend your time relaxing with other people of your age, then independent living is the one for you. So, choose the one that fits your lifestyle and start your search today!