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What is the difference between independent and assisted living?

Because our Waterstone at Wellesley staff work every day with seniors and their families to help them find a residence suited for their needs and interests, we sometimes forget that for those just looking into senior living, the terms can be confusing.

Take the difference between assisted living and senior living. Because Waterstone at Wellesley offers both independent and assisted living on our Wellesley campus, we often get the question: what’s the difference?

The choice between assisted living and independent living for an older adult usually depends on how well an individual can manage daily activities without extra assistance. These daily activities may include preparing meals, personal hygiene, managing medications, completing household chores, driving a car or coordinating transportation, and maintaining personal finances.

If a person has difficulty with some or all of these activities, we suggest the individual may want to consider the maintenance-free lifestyle found in an assisted living apartment. It’s important to note: residents in an assisted living apartment are still free to live an independent lifestyle while getting support. Residents in our assisted living community, for example, still take advantage of a full calendar of events, activities, outings and opportunities for social engagement. Additional care services, such as medication management or assistance taking a shower, are also readily available.

On the other hand, independent living is perfect for individuals who don’t necessarily need assistance on a daily basis but enjoy having access to support when needed. Residents in our independent living community have convenient access to our restaurant-style dining, wellness center, a rich calendar of entertainment, access to Train Boston personal fitness trainers, and more. The independent living lifestyle offers residents a safe living environment, but with minimal assistance.

In addition, assisted living and independent living often have floor plans that vary for resident situation and need, with subtle touches that foster independence and safety.

If you’d like to learn more about the difference between assisted living and independent living, or you’d like to know more about our options, contact Thom at tlimonciello@waterstoneatwellesley.com or Kristine at ktilton@waterstoneatwellesley.com or just give us a call at 781.235.1614. They’d be happy to help you with questions you may have.