The Difference Between Assisted Living And Independent Living

Knowing that your loved one needs more care than you can provide is always emotionally draining. However, having to decide between independent living and assisted living can feel overwhelming. 

While it can seem like a huge decision, there are differences between the two that can help you navigate the process more easily. Continue reading below to learn about the distinctions between both options.


For those who can still take on all of their daily life tasks but require having someone around consistently in the event of an emergency, independent living may be a good choice. With this option, residents are able to have a wide range of autonomy while also having staff nearby for assistance as needed.

In terms of assisted living, additional measures are in place to account for a resident’s safety. These establishments have more staff members, as well as necessary security implementations. The different security options will vary depending on the needs of the residents.

Medical Assistance

One of the main differences between independent living and assisted living is that while residents have access to medical services when in assisted living, they do not when residing in an independent living situation. 

Independent living is based on the idea that family is still very integrated into the medical care plan for their loved one. Therefore, in the event that your family member has a doctor’s appointment or needs to go to the hospital, the responsibility often falls on their immediate relatives for transportation, if required.   

If your loved one requires frequent medical help, it is likely a better option to place them in assisted living where they can get the care that they need. Assisted living allows family members to exercise a more hands-off approach to their loved one’s care.

Care Transitions

Those in independent living may go days at a time without access to a staff member unless an emergent situation arises. Additionally, there is often no bridge between an independent living facility and more intense service facilities like assisted living or memory care. 

Therefore, if your loved one starts to show signs of needing more assistance than what independent living can provide, there is no easy transition between their current placement and the next and no staff to coordinate the move. 

However, for those in assisted living, there are many easily transitional options available for when the time comes that more care is needed. Assisted living often has direct partnerships with nursing homes and dementia care facilities that they can work with to ease the move.

In Summary

Knowing which route is the right one to take when considering the next level of care for your loved one can be difficult. However, understanding the differences between assisted living and independent living can make the task a bit easier. 

Are you interested in acquiring more information about the care at our facility? Learn more about our Assisted Living at Vibrant Life and use the ‘Talk to Us’ button in the top right corner of the page to get in touch with us!