Assisted Living vs Independent Living: Learn the Difference

Husband and Wife Resting in Living Room

More than ever, seniors are blessed with innumerable possibilities for living arrangements that cater to their needs. With so many options, however, it can be confusing differentiating one from another. In particular, if you’re looking for senior housing in NYC, you might be unsure of the difference between assisted and independent living. Here are some things to consider that might help you decide which type of housing works best for you.

1. Daily Services

Assisted living communities are structured to support the needs of seniors wherever and whenever they’re required. Apartments are in close proximity to each other, and help is available at any time of the day or night, usually with the push of a button. Some of the services assisted seniors can expect include making and keeping doctor’s appointments, help with remembering and taking the correct medications, cleaning, meal prep and shopping, as well as assistance with hygiene. Independent living, on the other hand, is geared towards seniors who are more capable of living on their own, with a premium put on the conveniences the arrangements can offer. For instance, there may be an onsite café where food is available, so residents don’t have to cook all their meals.

2. Medical Care

Independent living provides a sense of comfort to seniors who don’t feel like they can live alone. However, while medical care is usually easily accessible, they won’t receive the same kind of regular attention as those in assisted living communities. Regular medical attention is ideal for those who can no longer be relied upon to take care of themselves on a daily basis, or administer their own medications.

3. Contact with Staff

In an independent living community, the degree to which the senior interacts with the staff is entirely up to that person. If he or she wishes to be heavily involved with activities like movies, dances, and competitions, they can see the staff on a regular basis. However, if they’d rather stay in most of the time, they may never see the people who run the place. In an assisted living environment, however, staff will regularly check in on the seniors. The fact that there are people on hand at all times to monitor the residents can be a tremendous source of comfort for family members.

Senior Couple

4. Price

The more hands-on care that comes with assisted living means it is usually the more expensive option. However, due to the increased medical care, assisted living is often partly covered by benefits such as Medicaid. Independent living, on the other hand, offers less assistance, and is therefore less costly.

5. Continuum of Care

Seniors in assisted living require some amount of support to live as independently as possible. Frequently, they suffer from degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or dementia, and will require further assistance as they grow older. Many assisted living communities offer options to make the transition to nursing or dementia care as seamless as possible.

Largely, the decision on whether to move to either assisted or independent living is based on the degree of independence the senior enjoys. If you or a loved one require the kind of attentive care that only assisted living can provide, contact Oyster Bay Senior Campus. They’re experts at accommodating seniors living in NYC, and can answer all your questions. Give them a call today!

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