Senior Assisted Living or Independent Living: What’s the Best Choice?

When health begins to deteriorate in the elderly, it’s accompanied by a loss of control over certain aspects of their lives. For those who’ve lived with intermittent health problems all through life, the impact isn’t as great and it’s easier to make the necessary adjustments that may be required with senior assisted living. However, for those who have lived a fairly healthy life that has allowed them to do things for themselves, with little support from others, the onset of age and bad health and the introduction of senior housing and/or assisted living can have a devastating effect on their outlook on life. In either of these cases, finding the appropriate solution is crucial for all concerned.

Independent Living

Some elderly citizens are fortunate to be in relatively good health with little to no problems with mobility and their mental capacities are still functioning properly. Their major problem is that it has become a challenge trying to manage all of their routines as easily as they once did. For instance, getting to and from the supermarket to complete grocery shopping is strenuous. Keeping up with housecleaning chores is not only demanding, but it’s now viewed as a grim task. Finding appropriate recreational, social, and cultural events and activities is virtually impossible – so their only form of entertainment becomes spending their days and nights at home in front of the television. For this group of people, the services provided by independent living facilities are precisely what are needed. Independent living communities offer a wide range of options and services on the premises such as:

  • Residents (homes and apartments) that are built with the elderly in mind (limited steps, minimal spacing between rooms)
  • Variety of meal plans and menus (eliminating the need for cooking)
  • Large choice of recreational, social, and cultural events (theatre, exercise classes)
  • Medical services

Senior Assisted Living

On the other hand, the mental and physical abilities of some elderly people have declined to the degree that they’re no longer able to make sound decisions about their lives or get around well enough to do what’s necessary for their general upkeep and safety. If there’s no one available to help them perform these essential actions, senior housing assisted living has to be considered as an arrangement that will better suit their needs. There are three signs that should be an immediate red flag to family members as an indication that additional help is needed:

  1. Decrease in personal care (wearing dirty clothing, odor, unkempt hair)
  2. Loss of mobility (balance is affected or they are falling more)
  3. Overall disorder in the care of the home


Even when family and friends possess the best of intentions, as the elderly grow older and frailty and sickness becomes more prominent, care giving can become a burden. If this should happen, it creates a stressful situation for all involved, reducing the chance of positive outcomes. Senior assisted living with the offer of professional help can make an enormous difference in sustaining independence and confidence within those seniors who still yearn for a sense of usefulness and worthiness in their lives. As they become older, they begin to find that their world has become too big for them to manage on their own; this doesn’t mean that they want to relinquish their hold on their lives. On the contrary, their desire, along with the desires of their family and friends who love them, is to operate in a manner that’s comfortable for them. Aging curtails this capability in degrees so it becomes necessary to find an acceptable remedy that will enable senior citizens to continue within the most satisfying lifestyle as possible.

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