There may come a time when you and your aging loved one evaluates their living situation, and moving is the best option. Staying home may not be safe for them. Having caregivers come to a home may be a short-term fix, but the costs add up and may not be financially feasible for the long haul. When looking into senior housing options, you need to understand the various levels of care. This article addresses the difference between Independent Living versus Assisted Living in a senior living community.
What is a senior living community?
A Senior Living Community is a loose term where older adults make arrangements to reside among peers. Senior Living Communities tend to be a standalone apartment building or part of a larger community. It can have an independent living facility as well as assisted living facility. They both fall within the senior living continuum.
What is independent living?
Independent living is for seniors who require little or no assistance within a senior living community. Residents have living quarters, which may be apartments, villas, or small cottages. When someone says they live in an independent living situation, they do not need supportive services or help with their Activities of Daily Living. The person can manage their care and finances; they can still drive, cook, grocery shop, make phone calls independently, or manage their medication.
Why do people choose this?
People may choose this lifestyle because managing a large home becomes overwhelming between house maintenance, cleaning, and gardening. Moving into a senior living community can alleviate that pressure. Plus, prepared meals and a senior community provides social interaction, decreasing loneliness. The goal is to move into a society where life becomes more manageable.
Assisted living, what is it?
Assisted living combines independent living and some assistance from caregivers to help with certain Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). The caregivers may work for the facility, or some allow outside caregivers to come in and assist. Senior housing facilities will evaluate the resident and determine their needed assistance. The resident will pay the monthly residential rental fee plus an additional fee depending on their level of care. Level of care is on a tier system depending upon how much assistance is needed so that it may be level 1, 2, 3, or 4. By having this option, a person can age in place and have some sense of independence and socialization while getting the necessary help.
Many senior housing communities charge a one-time, non-refundable fee. The median cost of a senior housing community in the United States is $4,500 per month or $54,000 per year. Some facilities charge up to $8,000 per month, depending on the location. If additional care is needed, the facility will charge depending upon the level of care the resident is at.
Understanding the terminology and options is essential. STAGES is here to guide you through the process.