What is Assisted Living?

Explaining the Difference between Independent Living and Assisted Living Facilities

When seniors begin to age and consider moving to a “senior community,” they often have some confusion about what type of community is appropriate for them.  That is because they not only have to consider their current needs, but also try to anticipate their future needs and determine whether the facility that they choose will be able to accommodate their needs as they change.  While there are literally hundreds of different varieties of senior living situations, there are three main types of senior living communities: independent living communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.   Most people realize that nursing homes are for people with pretty extensive medical needs, but may have some questions about the differences between assisted living facilities and independent living communities.

Many independent living communities offer limited flexibility for changing needs.

Senior independent living communities are designed for people who are very independent who do not need any help with daily living needs.  Typically, in an independent living community, seniors live in private apartments but can take meals in a communal dining room and take advantage of community activities.  Most independent living communities are private pay, though there is some government funding for them available through Section 202.  Chelsea Senior Living does not focus on independent living communities because of their lax of flexibility for evolving needs.  Instead, our assisted living communities offer within-community flexibility; seniors can live as independently as they like, but have access to the assistance they need as their needs change.

Assisted living communities offer flexibility to meet the changing needs of an aging population.

Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who need some level of help with daily living, which makes them ideal for a populations whose needs are likely to change with age.  This help could be as limited as needing help with housekeeping and some meal preparation to needing help with daily living activities.  Typical help that residents in assisted living facilities require includes: meal preparation, housekeeping, medications assistance, and help with transportation.  At Chelsea Senior Living, we know that needs evolve, so we offer on-site services at our Assisted Living facilities to help keep seniors living as independently as long as possible, and most of our facilities have dedicated memory care facilities for residents who experience memory loss challenges.


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