Two older women sitting on a bench and laughing.

Is an Independent Living or Assisted Living Community Right for You?

As an older adult facing a number of retirement living options, you have likely heard the terms “independent living” and “assisted living.” But what is the difference between these living options, and which is the right choice for you? 

What is an Independent Senior Living Community?

“Independent living is a type of housing,” says Sandy Markwood, the CEO of USAging, a nonprofit organization. “They may be apartments, they may be villas or they may be small cottages – it’s basically moving into a community where it makes your life easier.” Communities often include housekeeping services and both residential and community maintenance services.  

At a senior living community like Edgemere, residents aged 62 and older live in their own private, customized residences but have access to shared community services and activities. However, if independent living residents require an additional level of personal care, they also have the ability to transition to an assisted living level at our community or contract with on-site, in-home care services for an additional fee. 

What is an Assisted Living Community? 

As indicated above, the assisted living option offers all of the benefits of an independent living community, with the addition of a range of health assistance services, including medication management and personal care. Those who need a little help with bathing, dressing or getting to and from a dining venue are best accommodated by choosing an assisted living level of care. In assisted living, all of these care needs are also included in your monthly fee. 

How to Know if Independent Living or Assisted Living is Right for You 

To determine if an independent or assisted living level of care is right for you, it’s critical to ask yourself honest questions about your living preferences, personal needs and your future needs.  

Lifestyle Preferences   

Independent living may be right for you if: 

  • You can safely manage your everyday personal care needs, such as grooming, bathing and dressing
  • You can independently manage your medications and healthcare appointments 
  • You intend to maintain your current lifestyle but wish to reduce the amount of time you spend on upkeep and maintenance 

Assisted living may be right for you if: 

  • You need a little extra help to perform everyday personal care needs, such as grooming, bathing and dressing
  • You sometimes forget to take your medications at the correct time or need reminders to attend healthcare appointments and manage your medications

Your Social and Emotional Needs

An independent or assisted living senior living community may be right for you if: 

  • You enjoy being part of a community but have been feeling increasingly isolated in your current living situation
  • You are seeking stimulating new hobbies and activities to participate in with others
  • You want to connect with peers who share similar interests and passions 

Your Future Needs  

After considering your current lifestyle needs and preferences, as well as your social and emotional needs, take a moment to look ahead at your future requirements. For example, at Edgemere, residents who choose our Life Care option gain priority access to a suite of care services should their healthcare needs change during their residency here.  

An independent living option may be right for you if: 

  • You are able to live independently now, and don’t anticipate your care needs changing for some time
  • You want to have access to nearby healthcare and rehabilitation services should an accident or catastrophic personal emergency arise
  • You want to ensure that should you ever need assistance in your residence due to a fall, injury or other issue, there is always someone available should you alert them

An assisted senior living community may be right for you if, as well as access to nearby healthcare services and emergency assistance: 

  • You need extra assistance now with everyday personal tasks, and anticipate your care needs to continue to rise in the future 

Explore Lifestyle Options at Edgemere

Edgemere is a sophisticated senior living community in Dallas, Texas that is unlike any other. At Edgemere, we enable our residents to live the best years of their lives here with an emphasis on providing everything they desire for developing their mental, physical and spiritual wellness. We offer both independent living and assisted living levels of care for our residents, including a Life Care option that allows independent living residents to move seamlessly between these care levels as their needs change. 

When you tour our community, you’ll see firsthand how our bespoke amenities and services are carefully crafted to meet our residents’ unique needs and interests while encouraging further growth. Learn more and schedule a tour today to see for yourself what life here is really like.