How Does Independent Living Differ From Assisted Living?

Author: Andrea Miller

Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

Independent living differs from assisted living because independent living communities don’t provide help with activities of daily living (ADL). In contrast, assisted living facilities employ staff to help residents with tasks such as dressing, bathing and grooming as necessary. 

How Is Independent Living Similar to Assisted Living?

Independent living offers some similar services as assisted living. For example, both environments feature dining halls for meals, communal spaces such as game rooms, amenities, including on-site laundry, and opportunities for activities with fellow residents. 

Should I Consider Assisted Living Care?

You should consider assisted living care if you need help with activities of daily living. Examples of ADLs include dressing, helping with mobility and preparing meals. Other factors such as safety concerns, cognitive impairment and medical needs suggest that assisted living is a better choice.

If you don’t need this type of assistance, consider independent living instead. These senior communities make sense if you’re looking for social interaction along with opportunities for engagement and companionship.

Does Independent Living Cost More Than Assisted Living?

Independent living typically costs less than assisted living. When you live in an independent senior community, you only pay for room and board. The average cost varies by state, amenities, size of the living space and additional services or activities offered.

Assisted living rent includes room and board as well as the costs of services you receive. For example, your bill may include charges for medication and health management, meal services and personal care. These expenses often increase the cost of assisted living over the cost of independent living.