Do you know the difference between Independent Living and Assisted Living? Many people use the terms interchangeably, but there are distinct differences. The choice is made based on the amount of activities the individual can handle on his own.
The table below will help to identify the key differences.
|PROGRAM||INDEPENDENT LIVING||ASSISTED LIVING|
Whom it’s designed for:
Independent Living communities are designed for individuals who can handle most chores if they have to, but find it easier to pay for these services (landscaping, housekeeping, transportation) to be performed for them for a cost.
Assisted Living communities are designed for individuals who have difficulties with chores at home. Residents receive help with housecleaning, personal care, meal preparation, medical care, etc. There are often monthly calendars for the facility which are full of activities, events, and trips, and residents are supervised.
Other names for this facility:
|Active adult community, senior apartments, retirement community, a 55+ community, retirement home.||Residential care home, senior group home, personal care home.|
|What is included?||Apartment-style housing with a kitchen, which can be a townhouse or single-family home.||Apartment-style housing.|
|How much does it cost (average prices in Texas)||$2,225 per month||$3,500 per month (Memory care, also referred to as Alzheimer’s care, is approximately $1,000 extra a month).|
|Meals||Meal plan options are included for an additional cost.||Three meals a day plus snacks are included.|
|Is there trained medical personnel on staff?||No.||Yes.|
|Are costs covered by Medicare/Medicaid, or long-term care insurance?||No. There is no medical care provided at Independent Living facilities. Residents pay the costs privately out of their Social Security benefits, pension or savings.||Residents can pay for their Assisted Living facilities by using savings and the personal funds, as well as certain long-term care insurance policies and Aid and Attendance benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Medicare does not cover assisted living, but Medicaid offers some financial assistance for low-income seniors.|
|Housekeeping services?||May be available for an additional cost.||Yes.|
The community you choose will be your home. Visit it a few times to get a feel for the place at different times of the day and of the week. Ask the staff and the residents questions, see how the staff interacts with the residents. Does it seem clean and safe? Does it seem like home? Can you see yourself living here?