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What is the Difference between Assisted Living and Independent Living?

As your parents age, it’s natural to start thinking about their care options. If you’re considering a senior living community, you may have encountered 2 terms: assisted living and independent living. What exactly do these terms mean, and how do they differ?

Assisted living provides personal care for older adults who need support with daily tasks and routines. Independent living is a lifestyle option for older adults who are still independent but want more time to socialize and live fully.


Independent living is a senior living community designed for older adults who are still active and don’t require significant medical care or assistance with daily tasks. Residents typically live in apartments or cottages and have access to communal areas and various activities.

Independent living often offers support with meals, housekeeping, transportation, and some healthcare services. But, residents maintain their independence while having the comfort of knowing someone is there to help if needed.


Assisted living, on the other hand, provides more extensive medical and personal care assistance for seniors who can’t manage activities of daily living by themselves. Residents have their own apartments, but staff members help with bathing, dressing, medication management, and other medical needs.

Assisted living communities also offer social and recreational activities, housekeeping, transportation, and other amenities to make life comfortable and enjoyable for residents. It’s important to note that the level of care and services provided varies between communities.


Both options provide a supportive environment for seniors, but they differ in the level of resident independence and assistance they offer.

When deciding between assisted living and independent living, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • The level of care your loved one needs

  • Their desired amenities

  • Lifestyle preferences

Level of Care

Assisted living communities cater to seniors who require assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, etc. These communities provide 24/7 care, medication management, meal preparation, transportation, housekeeping, and other support services.

In contrast, independent living communities are best suited for mobile seniors who can live independently but need less care. These programs tend to offer fewer healthcare services and are designed for seniors who want to socialize, pursue hobbies, and enjoy their retirement years without the hassles of home ownership.


Assisted living communities provide many amenities, such as comfortable, private apartments, recreational activities, wellness programs, housekeeping, and dining services. These communities offer plenty of opportunities for socializing and engaging in activities such as game nights, fitness classes, arts and crafts, and more.

Independent living communities offer similar amenities, but they focus more on lifestyle and leisure. These communities often include fitness centers, libraries, pools, theaters, and more, and their amenities are aimed at enabling seniors to lead an active lifestyle while enjoying their independence.

Personal Lifestyle

One of the most significant differences between assisted living and independent living is the level of autonomy residents have. In assisted living communities, seniors often have a care plan outlining the services they receive, their medication regimen, and more to support a balanced level of independence that provides peace of mind and assistance.

Independent living offers the most freedom and autonomy to seniors. Seniors can come and go as they please, partake in various recreational activities or social events, and enjoy their personal space and privacy.


Assisted and independent living are excellent options depending on the assistance your loved one requires. Ultimately, the best decision meets your loved one’s unique needs and preferences.

Tour our assisted senior living communities to explore our amenities, view the available floorplans, and meet the staff who will care for your loved one like family.

Savant Senior Living can positively enhance the life of its residents and provides the peace of mind that families need for their loved ones. With the right level of support and independence, seniors can continue to enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

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