What’s the Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living?

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED  September 22, 2020

So, what’s the difference between independent living and assisted living? Let’s explore the key differences when it comes to Senior Care that’s right for you!

Older adults have grown from just 11 percent of the population in 1985, to an expected 20 percent by 2030.

Today’s seniors are also more active and want to continue to stay that way as long as possible. However, being isolated in their home makes that more of a challenge.

Independent and assisted living can help with this, but what’s the difference between independent living and assisted living? Let’s take a look.

Daily Activities and Services

One of the biggest differences in independent living vs assisted living is the amount and type of daily activities, amenities, and services available.

In assisted living, you’re provided with more support for various necessities, including meals, shopping, cleaning, medications, and bathing.

Independent living is less about the ongoing support and more about convenience and keeping an active lifestyle. As such, there is less ongoing support for day-to-day tasks, unless you need it.

Medical and Nursing Care

Management of medications in assisted living vs independent is a significant difference between the senior living options. In an assisted living community, staff is able to help with your medications, and medical and nursing needs are available at the push of a button.

Independent living typically doesn’t offer that type of support, as independent seniors are typically able to manage their own medical needs and don’t need someone checking up on them frequently to ensure they’re following their doctor’s advice. If more medical care is necessary it is usually provided by an outside provider. However, at Hearthstone at Murrayhill, we are licensed to provide these services if you need them. 

Curious about the difference between assisted living and a nursing home? Read this article.


Cost is another of the differences between independent living vs assisted living. It stands to reason that a higher degree of support comes at a higher cost, so naturally assisted living facilities generally cost more than independent living.

The additional cost covers the extra responsibilities the staff take on and the time those things take to complete. An assisted living facility has more staff and they are on-site 24 hours a day so they need to charge accordingly.

Family Involvement

As seniors age, their family often takes on more responsibility to help with day-to-day needs. Senior living can ease the pressure for family members that have become caregivers.

In an independent living facility, your family may still need to take on some of those responsibilities, depending on how much you can still do for yourself. Assisted living, on the other hand, handles most of your care needs so there’s less pressure on your family members.

What’s the Difference Between Independent Living and Assisted Living – The Bottom Line

Hopefully, this has helped answer the question, “What’s the difference between independent living and assisted living?” Knowing which option is the right one for your needs is the first step in choosing a good facility.

The next step is to find the right facility. That’s where Hearthstone Senior Living comes in. We offer a range of options for any choice of lifestyle and care needs.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about Hearthstone Senior Living and to find out what we have to offer you.

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Hearthstone Senior Living specializes in independent, assisted, and memory care living options in Beaverton, Oregon.

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