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What Is the Difference Between Independent Living & Senior Apartments?

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a senior man and woman stand in the background of the image smiling, the man has one arm around the woman and is holding a set of house keys towards the camera

When it comes time for that phase of life where retirement is on the horizon, you’ll have to consider your next move and find the right community for you or your loved ones. Deciding on the ideal lifestyle can be a process and something you don’t want to rush.

Let’s look at the difference between independent living and senior apartments, including some highlights of each lifestyle.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living is quite simple–it’s a housing arrangement designed for older adults.

Independent living strives to balance support and independence by focusing on some aspects of daily life and allowing you to choose how to spend your time. This time will enable you to focus on hobbies or new interests.

Your new community will assist with a wide range of daily living activities, including:

  • 3 daily meals
  • Weekly laundry and housekeeping
  • Activities and entertainment
  • 24-hour, on-site staff
  • Scheduled transportation

Any big housing change can make it seem like you’re losing your independence later in life. Independent living is all about making your life easier.

Independent living facilities don’t typically offer assistance with activities like bathing or using the restroom but rather focus on maximizing everyday activities.

Some factors to consider if you’re considering independent living:

  • Has maintaining your current home become an issue?
  • How difficult is it to get around in your current community?
  • How is your health, and would as move to an independent living community benefit you?

Maintaining a healthy social lifestyle and the ability to focus on your hobbies can be great for overall health and wellbeing. 

Independent living isn’t just one community—different communities fit under the independent living umbrella, so let’s take a look.

three seniors sit around a table with paining supplies in front of them. they are focused on painting

Exploring Independent Living Communities

As you begin your search for a new community for you or your loved one, finding something that matches your needs is essential. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

Continuing care retirement communities include 3 different care levels:

  • Independent living
  • Assisted living
  • Skilled nursing care

CCRCs are designed around the security of their residents and responding to changing needs.

CCRCs offer similar advantages to that of living in a private home and may also provide additional advantages that include:

  • Medical care
  • Good nutrition
  • Promotion of active lifestyles
  • Supportive social environment

This community is a great option if you value security and consistency in your living space.

Senior Apartments

Senior apartments are an independent living option on a smaller scale with more limited services. Senior apartments will usually offer disability-accessible accommodations for people in wheelchairs or walkers with limited mobility. 

Some senior apartment communities offer on-site activities, but it does depend on the community and their list of available services. 

The Big Difference

The big difference between an independent living lifestyle and senior apartments is in the different services offered. 

In an independent living community, the emphasis is put on free time and interacting with the community around you to socialize and build new relationships while not worrying about maintaining your beautiful apartment

Senior apartments offer many of the same amenities; however, residents will have the option to live completely independently if they choose to do so. The rent for these units is also significantly less than a dedicated apartment or condo in a retirement community.  

Senior apartments may offer different or less onsite services but may also provide recreational programs, transportation, and communal dining. 

While the differences may not be that significant, choosing the right community for you or your loved one will come down to individual needs.

Moving Forward in a New Community

Your comfort and needs should come first, no matter what community and lifestyle you decide to explore. Discovering what’s important to you and what each community can offer is an essential part of the process.

Get in contact with a professional today to learn more about the ideal community for you or your loved one. 

Written by saranac

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