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

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living

What if you could retire in an active, vibrant community that also lets you plan for your future healthcare needs – many, many years down the road? That’s the distinct advantage of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), also known as Life Care communities, that offer customizable independent living homes while also allowing you to plan for your future with assisted living nearby. Read on for an in-depth look at the differences between assisted living and independent living, both of which are worth understanding as you age.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living allows you to continue to live your life independently, with the added benefit of help with daily tasks that have become more difficult. If you’re spending more time than you’d like on things such as getting dressed, preparing meals or managing medication, assisted living can offer a helping hand and allow you to spend that time on the things you want to be doing. It is also ideal for older adults who may need regular medical assistance.

There is no one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to assisted living. Each resident has the ability to pick and choose where they could use some extra help, and a plan for care will be personalized based around those needs. This also provides peace of mind that there is care available around the clock should any unexpected or additional needs arise.

One of the biggest benefits of assisted living is that you maintain your independence. This includes living in a private residence where you can bring your own furnishings to truly make it feel like home. On top of that, you have full access to the community and the amenities it provides. Whether you enjoy fitness classes or taking in the local cultural attractions, all of it is available at your choosing with assisted living.

What is Independent Living?

Independent living is ideal for individuals who want to have a robust community life, and are ready to leave chores like home and yard maintenance behind. This option allows you to focus on the things you want to do, with a host of convenient amenities ranging from on-site sports bars and restaurants to fitness classes and personal trainers.

Your daily life revolves around cultural, social, educational and recreational wellness opportunities within the community. In many cases, independent living at a Life Care community is selected with an eye toward the future. Should you need additional care down the road, you can seamlessly transition to assisted living while remaining in your community.

Independent living means you have your own private residence with a number of different floor plans to choose from so you can maintain the space and amenities you’re used to. Independent living is a great possibility if you’re ready to take a step back and spend your hard-earned free time enjoying retirement to its fullest.

Signs That You Might Need Additional Support

Looking in the mirror and deciding you could use extra help is nothing short of difficult. It’s very tempting to power through and make things work. However, in many cases just a little assistance can go a long way toward a happier quality of life. These are some of the signs that might signal you could benefit from additional support.

Time Consuming Tasks

It’s understandable that as we age, certain tasks become more difficult. Things like getting in and out of the shower or preparing each meal start to take longer than you want, and can even come with more risk. If you find you’re spending more time on the mundane and it’s taking away from what you really want to be doing, assisted living could help bring more balance.

Strain on Caregivers

Acting as a caregiver for a loved one comes with a mix of great reward and significant stress. In many cases, family or close friends end up in a caregiver role without any sort of formal training or experience. Unfortunately, trying to juggle all the responsibilities of care with the demands of day-to-day life can ultimately lead to burnout. With assisted living there are skilled team members ready to help you around the clock.

Social Isolation

Whether friends and family no longer live close or you don’t have the same mobility you used to, increased social isolation can lead to other health problems such as depression. If you’re not finding the same enjoyment in your favorite activities, it might be beneficial to be surrounded with a community that provides social engagement and easily-accessed events and activities.

Diminished Health

There are many great benefits that come with age, but it can also take longer to recover from injuries or require diligence to keep up with medications. Assisted living can take the responsibility of medication management off your plate, and provide peace of mind that assistance is available at all times should you have a medical issue that requires immediate attention.

The Benefits of Assisted Living at Friendship Village of South Hills

At Friendship Village of South Hills, our experienced team members are dedicated to providing the personalized assistance you need to make sure you can live the life you want. Our Upper St. Clair-area community offers numerous services and amenities for assisted living residents including:

  • Dedicated skilled care available 24/7
  • Laundry, housekeeping and dietician services
  • Restaurant-style dining with chef-prepared menus
  • Healthy lifestyle programming
  • A variety of private residence floor plans
  • Indoor and outdoor communal spaces, including a garden pavilion
  • Hair salon and fitness center
  • 24-hour community security
  • Transportation assistance

If you’re considering independent living or assisted living options near Pittsburgh, let us show you why Friendship Village of South Hills is a community unlike any other in Pennsylvania. Whether you have questions or would like to come see for yourself, our helpful team is happy to offer their assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us and get the conversation started.

Related Stories