Independent Living vs Active Living—Which is Best?
We'll let you in on a secret: there is no "best" senior living option. The only option that's best is the one that works for your family's unique situation! When your family has an active older adult who wants to live in a community, you may be wondering what senior housing options are ideal.
If you or a senior loved one is active and requires no help with activities of daily living (ADLs), then an independent living community or active retirement community could be the right choice.
Independent Living Communities
Independent living for seniors is just what it sounds like: an age-restricted community that serves only older adults. Each community can look different, however. Independent living facilities can be single-family homes, one and two-bedroom apartments, condos, studios, or even part of a continuing care retirement community.
Additionally, each community offers different amenities and services. Typically, though, independent living residents can enjoy the following:
- Meal plans
- Landscaping services
- On-site access to third-party health care services
- Community activities
- Wellness groups and services
- Religious services
Many communities may also offer some assistance with medication management, although not all do, and most will not offer further medical assistance than that, as someone needing a higher level of care would be better suited to assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing communities.
Which is Better?
Both communities are great options for older adults who want to relieve themselves of homeownership and home maintenance responsibilities.
These communities distinguish themselves in the level of care they provide. Independent living communities are simply for older adults who want to live with older adults. Active living communities actively encourage older adults to get up, move, and engage with others, providing a more hands-on approach to community engagement. In other words, those wanting a more hands-on, involved experience may prefer active adult communities. Older adults who want some housekeeping assistance but want a more relaxed and hands-off approach to retirement may prefer independent living.
Neither type of community is ideal for someone with full-time medical care needs or who requires the services of a caregiver. In these cases, the following options may be a better fit (and can give families peace of mind that their loved one's needs are met):
Need assistance finding the right community for your family's needs? Give us a call—we would love to help you find your perfect fit!