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Understanding the 5 Major Differences between Assisted Living and Independent Living Facilities

When a loved one reaches a certain age, living alone may no longer be the ideal setup for them. Out of concern, you start typing “assisted living facilities near me” into Google and check out your options.

Before presenting the idea of moving to a senior living facility to your loved one, you should first understand what that entails. A good way to do that is by learning about the facilities in question.

For instance, do you know how assisted living and independent living facilities differ from each other? If you don’t, making the right choice will be very difficult.

Highlighted in this article are five ways those facilities differ from one another. Read through them to understand which type of facility suits your loved one better.

Support Provided

The first major difference between an assisted living facility in Florida and an independent living facility is the type of everyday support that the residents receive.

Senior citizens who are staying in an independent living facility handle basic activities on their own. They may be staying in the facility, but they remain in complete control of their schedule. Residents may not even have to interact with the workers at the facility that often if that’s what they prefer.

Workers at assisted living facilities are typically more involved. They usually help residents perform their basic activities. It is also fairly common for the workers at assisted living facilities to regularly check in with the residents.

Access to Medical Care

When you look up “assisted living facilities near me”, you may notice that the search results also feature some mentions of medical services. That is an important thing to note.

Assisted living facilities provide residents with convenient access to health care services. They employ nurses who are tasked with overseeing the health of the residents. If your loved one has a medical emergency, you can rest assured that the assisted living facility is capable of offering immediate treatment.

You may even find assisted living facilities that employ physicians. Thanks to them, residents may not have to leave the facility even if a health issue is bothering them.

Independent living facilities do not provide immediate access to health care services. A resident will have to leave the facility if they wish to seek treatment.

Facility Layout

Next up, we need to touch on how assisted living and independent living facilities differ in terms of their layout. Let’s start with the assisted living facilities.

Assisted living facilities are often smaller. The available amenities are likely contained to one or two buildings. Within those buildings are common areas residents can visit if they wish to interact with the staff and fellow residents.

All of the common areas are located close to the residential units. That kind of design makes it easier for all residents to access those places.

The units in assisted living facilities resemble apartments. You will find basic facilities in each one, including small kitchens.

In contrast, the residential units for independent living facilities are more varied. They may vary in terms of size and the amenities they provide.

Independent living facilities also feature common areas, but they are way more spread out. You may even have to drive to reach certain areas.

Level of Family Involvement

Upon checking your loved one into an assisted living facility in Florida, you will likely be asked to name some family members who will be the main points of contact.

The chosen family members will frequently receive updates regarding the condition of their loved one. Those updates will let you know if your loved one’s condition is improving or worsening.

If you have a family member in an assisted living facility, you are also expected to be very involved in their care.

The staff may ask you to drop by regularly so they can give you a more detailed account of your loved one’s condition. You may also be asked to participate in programs that can aid in preserving your family member’s good health.

Family involvement remains essential for residents of independent living facilities, but it is less of a requirement. You can visit your loved one at the facility when you so desire, but those visits are not required.

The family members of residents are also not heavily involved in the activities that take place at the facilities. Those activities can proceed as intended even without the involvement of the family members.


Lastly, independent and assisted living facilities are also dissimilar from a cost standpoint.

Typically, independent living facilities are more affordable because they don’t provide access to medical care services. However, you may find that checking your loved one into an assisted living facility is more affordable if you have access to government aid.

Cost is always an important consideration when it comes to choosing between assisted and independent living facilities. Carefully consider the factors in your situation because they can greatly influence the final cost.Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of which living facility is a better fit for your older relative. Look for the available facilities in your area to ensure that your loved ones will continue to lead healthy and happy lives during their golden years.


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