More than 54 million Americans reached the 65-or-older age group as of 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau. So, if you have a loved one in need of senior care, you’re not alone.
As you search for the right place for your parent or relative, you might come across options that seem similar. Ultimately, though, each of your senior care options comes with pros and cons.
If you’re weighing up assisted living vs independent living, here’s everything you need to know.
Pros and Cons of Assisted Living
Assisted living is an alternative to a nursing home, which means that, here, your loved one would receive nursing and medical care. As such, it’s a bit more of a hands-on option than independent living. Depending on their health, this could be a pro or con — having on-site care might be an unnecessary expense for someone who’s still doing well on their own.
Experts say that assisted living has plenty of other pros, too. It gives seniors the chance to get through their daily schedule of activities with the help they require. For instance, if you’re not home and your elderly relative needs your help to bathe, they won’t be able to do so — this wouldn’t happen in assisted living, where there’s around-the-clock care.
Seniors also have the chance to socialize in assisted living facilities, and they get to hang onto some of their independence. Yes, they receive medical care, but they also get to do what they want throughout the day, decorate their space as they want to, participate in the activities they choose, etc.
A major con of assisted living is that it’s expensive. However, it’s a small price to pay to know that your loved one is well cared for, and you get that from assisted living.
Pros and Cons of Independent Living
Independent living, alternatively, does not come with healthcare or nursing. It’s designed for — you guessed it — independent seniors who can still take care of themselves completely.
These communities strive to bring people of a certain age together to socialize and stay active together. In many cases, they’re 55-and-older communities where older residents will find homes designed to suit them into their golden years. But life is conducted fully independently: each resident has their own abode where they cook, clean and take care of themselves.
Independent living tends to be more affordable than assisted living but, clearly, residents do not expect the hands-on care they get in assisted living. This is a great option, then, for elderly relatives who miss a sense of community with neighbors their own age. It can help them stay social and active while maintaining their ways of life.
Assisted Living vs Independent Living: The Choice is Yours
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your loved one to decide which is best in the assisted living vs independent living debate. Both options have the potential to provide an older parent or relative with the care they need as they enter their golden years of life.
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