Learn & Grow/Assisted Living/The Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living
Assisted Living, Independent Living, Resources for Seniors

The Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

As you age, you want to spend your time doing the things you enjoy most. Both independent living and assisted living offer support that allows you to utilize your time in the way you want. Learn more about the differences between these two options and which might be the best fit for your lifestyle.

What is Independent Living?

Independent living is an outstanding option for older adults who are looking for an active, maintenance-free retirement. It allows you to leave behind the tedious tasks associated with keeping up a house so you can focus on the aspects of life you enjoy most. Independent living generally doesn’t include additional hands-on care, so it’s typically geared toward self-sufficient individuals.

Daily life with independent living focuses on pursuing your passions and providing opportunities to keep you as active as you want to be. There are a number of convenient opportunities and amenities right outside your door. Whether you want to create art and music or join a fitness class, there’s always something available within steps of your door.

Many times individuals pursue independent living in preparation for their future. If you anticipate your needs will change and you may need additional care down the road, independent living allows for a seamless transition within the community you love.

What is Assisted Living?

You may be under the impression that independent living and assisted living are very similar, but the truth is that they are very different and it’s important to understand the distinction. At its core, assisted living is designed to help you preserve your independence while offering assistance with daily tasks that have become more difficult. This includes everything from medication management and providing minor medical assistance to getting dressed and bathing.

With the extra professional support provided by assisted living, you have more time to spend your days on what matters most. Even better, assisted living is customized specifically to your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all plan — you decide what you need and when — and your care is personalized around those needs. You also benefit from the peace of mind that skilled team members are available around the clock should anything urgent arise.

Much like independent living, assisted living residents enjoy access to the many amenities available in the community and the connection with fellow residents. In most cases you also have the benefit of your own private residence that offers the comforts and familiarity of home.

5 Signs That Assisted Living is the Right Choice

If you’ve reviewed the differences between assisted living and independent living and aren’t sure which option is best to meet your needs, here are five common signs that assisted living might be the right choice:

  1. Injury or illness is becoming more frequent. There are plenty of benefits that come with age, but sometimes it can take longer to bounce back from injury or illness. If you find you’re experiencing falls more frequently or struggle to get back to full strength when you’re under the weather, having a dedicated team available to offer support can get you back on your feet faster and provide peace of mind that care is always available.
  2. Day-to-day tasks are too difficult. Often older adults may begin having difficulty completing the basic activities of daily living, such as dressing and daily bathing. These are fundamental tasks of personal care that can have adverse effects if neglected. If they can no longer perform these tasks on their own, you may have to consider assisted living.
  3. Dramatic weight loss or poor eating habits. If your loved one is showing noticeable weight loss, it may mean they are not eating healthy or even eating at all. That will have severe complications for their health and must be addressed immediately. Assisted living can help make sure they are getting the nutrition they need every day.
  4. Loved ones can’t keep up with care. It’s not uncommon for caretaking responsibilities to be assumed by loved ones. While they want what’s best for you, they often end up in a situation where they have no formal training or experience and have to figure out what’s best as they go. When balancing personal, professional and caregiving responsibilities becomes too much it can lead to caregiver burnout. Assisted living connects you with a team of qualified professionals to ensure you get the care you need.

What Does Independent Living at Beacon Hill Offer?

If you have a clear picture of the differences between independent living and assisted living and feel that independent living would be best suited for your lifestyle, Beacon Hill offers a wide variety of convenient services and thoughtful amenities. Here’s a window into what you can expect from our community:

  • Easy access to the arts and culture in nearby Chicago
  • Numerous private residence floor plans of varying size
  • Daily social, cultural, educational, recreational and spiritual activities
  • Chef-created menus with multiple restaurant-style dining venues
  • Interior and exterior maintenance, including weekly housekeeping
  • Year-round indoor swimming pool
  • Library, activity rooms and theater
  • Greenhouses with vegetable and flower gardens
  • Billiards area, woodworking shop and beauty/barber shop

To learn more about the world-class community at Beacon Hill and the independent living and assisted living options available, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our friendly and caring team is ready to answer your questions and give you a first-hand look at our Lombard, IL location.

Related Stories