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What Is the Difference Between Assisted Living & Independent Living?

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A senior woman with gray hair looking directly smiling and holding a book.

As we age, our requirements for quality of life often change. While some seniors may choose to live independently, some may require more support with their daily activities.

This is where senior living communities come in to provide a comfortable and safe living environment. Some of the most popular senior living options are assisted living and independent living.

The difference between assisted living and independent living is primarily due to the level of care offered. Independent living could be ideal for older adults who are independent, active, and seeking a community setting. Those who require access to a medical team and care services on an ongoing basis will find assisted living a more appropriate option.

Key Differences Between Assisted Living & Independent Living

With various types of senior living communities to choose from, it’s important to distinguish the differences to help you make an informed decision on what type of community could be best for you or a loved one.

Services & Amenities

While both assisted living and independent living communities offer a wide range of services and amenities, the services offered in assisted living are more comprehensive.

Assisted living communities provide all-day assistance with activities of daily living such as chores and tasks, personal hygiene, medication management, and other medical or personal needs.

In contrast, independent living communities provide residents access to amenities such as housekeeping, laundry, transportation, prepared meals, entertainment, and activities to promote socialization.

Level of Care

Assisted living communities have licensed professional staff who provide medical care, personalized care plans, and medication management.

On the other hand, independent living communities may not provide medical or nursing care. They may have a nurse or part-time caregiver on staff. However, it’s important to note that independent living and assisted living may have medical staff on-call or available to residents in emergencies. 

Some independent living communities, such as Boulder Ponds, give residents the opportunity to age in place, so if their needs change, their level of care can easily be adjusted. 


Independent living communities are built around the idea of residents enjoying their freedom and independence. Communities offering independent living provide a comfortable environment where residents can socialize and enjoy a stress-free lifestyle with the help of convenient amenities like transportation and entertainment.

In contrast, assisted living communities are designed for seniors who require more personalized care and support. Residents receive more support but still have access to the same amenities and a variety of social and community activities.

Flexibility & Customization

Both assisted living and independent living communities offer different levels of flexibility based on residents’ needs.

Independent living communities offer customized services and amenities that can be tailored to residents’ preferences. Different floor plans are available, ranging from studio apartments to larger suites.

While independent living communities offer a variety of amenities and services that can be customized to residents’ preferences, the level of care within an assisted living community can also be personalized to meet a senior’s needs.

A group of seniors sitting around a table smiling, eating and chatting with each other.

Is Independent Living Right for You?

At Boulder Ponds Senior Living, independent living is our approach to helping residents who only need a limited amount of support. Our mission with independent living is to help you find the time, comfort, and control you want to live life your own way. 

Independent living may be for you if:

  • You’re looking for help with some daily tasks
  • You want to be part of a supportive community
  • You want more time to focus on your passions
  • You want the freedom to travel and volunteer when it suits you best
  • You want to “age in place”

Is Assisted Living Right for You?

Assisted living is designed to help bring stability, comfort, and support to those who need some help with activities of daily living like eating, bathing, cleaning, moving, traveling, and more. Assisted living may be for you if:

  • You need help with chores and tasks
  • You have difficulty managing your hygiene
  • You crave a community to belong in
  • You worry about falls or other types of injuries
  • You need help with medication
  • You have a health condition that needs monitoring

Discover Your Community at Boulder Ponds

Finding the right type of living arrangement is an important decision for older adults looking to live a more fulfilling life, or for caregivers looking to give their loved ones a greater sense of community and independence. Boulder Ponds Senior Living embraces these distinctions and helps residents effortlessly transition into whichever form of care is right for them.

In our community, you can trust that your golden years can be purposeful and full of meaningful connections. Reach out to us to learn more, or schedule a tour to explore our community today.

Written by Lifespark

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