Unpacking the Difference Between Assisted Living vs Independent Living

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Unpacking the Difference Between Assisted Living vs Independent Living

When searching for retirement living, whether for yourself or a loved one, the process can quickly feel complex, nuanced and potentially confusing. Determining whether independent living or assisted living is needed is a critically important first step.  Many people don’t know what they don’t know, which can lead to “analysis paralysis” in the discovery phase of their search. 

In general, independent living focuses on serving the social needs of residents. Assisted living supports those who need help with activities of daily living while affording residents the tools to live as independently as possible.

What is Independent Living?

The decision by or on behalf of a healthy senior to choose independent living is made to avail oneself of a full calendar of events and activities, to simplify one’s life, to be free from the burdens of home ownership, to find true community among peers in a similar phase of life and/or to position oneself for a move to higher levels of care should the need arise.

What is Assisted Living?

In its most basic form, assisted living affords help with the activities of daily living; including but not limited to medication management, mobility support, toileting and dressing. The assistance provided at this level allows an individual to get the most out of life without dreading the basic activities with which they regularly struggle.

Assisted Living vs Independent Living: Finding the Right Senior Living Option 

There are essentially two models in the senior living space: entrance fee-based CCRC and month-to-month assisted living. Short for a continuing care retirement community, the hallmark of a CCRC, in addition to independent living, is the presence of a care continuum including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. Choosing a CCRC affords significant peace of mind in the event that a move to a higher level of care is required. In month-to-month assisted living facilities, sometimes care plans are altered, increasing costs without third-party medical justification.

Another key factor for consideration in the decision-making process is whether a community is a for-profit or not-for-profit organization. In not-for-profit communities, decisions are made in the best interests of and to further the physical and mental well-being of residents. Generally, in for-profit facilities, decisions are made in the best interests of stakeholders and shareholders.

Independent Living Options at The Hearthstone

The Hearthstone enjoys a reputation as Western Washington’s leading continuing care retirement community, offering independent living to people ages sixty-two or greater of all faiths, genders and orientations.

Cherry blossoms at Hearthside

The Hearthstone

The Hearthstone campus consists of three buildings: The Flagship Lakeside building on the shores of Green Lake, Cove West and Cove East. Independent living residents choose from a whole host of apartment sizes and floor plans. Residents in any of our buildings are afforded a full complement of community amenities and CCRC health services if needed, including skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care. Beyond those invaluable services, The Hearthstone provides a true sense of comfort and belonging to all who call our community their home.

For more information about independent living at The Hearthstone, contact us at 206-517-2216 or complete this form.