Independent Living vs. Assisted Living: What’s Right for You?

There are a lot of things to consider when transitioning an older adult out of their home.

Caregivers and families often ask themselves a series of questions: Are they able to manage daily activities on their own? What happens if they keep forgetting to take their medication? What if they can’t drive? What if they are prone to falls? What if they are lonely?

Depending on the answers, caregivers may consider an assisted living option. But, is it the right choice?

Assisted living communities are designed to provide long-term care for an individual who may require support with everyday activities, but does not need the level of skilled care that is provided within a nursing home. Independent living or retirement homes could be appealing to seniors who lack the financial resources to own or rent their own home or want a more social environment. Independent living communities can also ease the responsibilities of owning a house, such as shoveling snow or home repairs.

We’ve put together some information to help families make an informed decision together:

Assisted Living Benefits:

  1. Residents their own living space while being cared for by medical personnel.
  2. Daily assistance with showers and personal hygiene requests is offered.
  3. Nurses are able to keep an eye out to prevent falls, changing clothes, etc.
  4. Rounding doctors will come into the community each week to treat cold and flu and provide preventative health care. Iora Primary Care partners with rounding doctors to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  5. Families and caregivers can have peace of mind knowing their loved one is being taken care of each and every day.
  6. Residents get extra social interactions, which is especially important for those that have lost spouses or family members and feel lonely.
  7. Prepared meals.

Questions to ask about assisted living:

  • Would the person’s health be at risk if they had to spend a few days alone in their home?
  • Are they relying more on their children or spouse to run errands or address regular needs?
  • Do they have a serious medical condition?
  • Have they let any daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning or bathing, fall by the wayside? Do you worry that these basic activities could be dangerous, due to a fall or other concern?
  • Most importantly, how do they feel alone in their home? Are they anxious?


If you answered yes to any or all of the questions above, then assisted living might be the best option. If you feel confident in your loved one’s ability to care for themselves, but notice they are bored or lonely, independent living could be the better option.

Independent Living Benefits:

  1. Residents of independent living often are tired of home ownership and maintenance or lack the financial resources to own or rent their own home.
  2. Meaningful, social interactions.
  3. Transportation is less of an issue. At Iora Primary Care, we can also offer courtesy transportation to medical appointments for patients who need it.
  4. Full service kitchens, bathrooms, and living quarters to maintain their independent lifestyles.

Questions to ask yourself about independent living:

  • Is your loved one lonely, but otherwise healthy?
  • How do they feel about living alone in their home? Do they feel overwhelmed or burdened?
  • Are they becoming tired of owning a home?

If you answered yes to any or all of the questions above, then independent living might be the best option.


Seniors don’t need to have a serious medical condition to decide assisted living is the best way to go. They also don’t have to be in perfect health to be in an independent living community. At Iora Primary Care, we partner with you to make sure you know your options and look at the whole person before making recommendations. If you or anyone you know is deciding between assisted or independent living, our team can sit down to make sure which option aligns with your health goals.

Need help determining the best care option for your loved one or want to schedule an appointment?

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