Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

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Senior Woman

Assisted Living or Independent Living, Which is Right for Me?

Posted on April 13, 2014 by Admin

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Navigating the landscape of choice for your family member’s care can be confusing and frustrating. As a caregiver, your mind is full of worry, guilt and even agitation.

The best approach is to break your decision down into a series of questions for which you need answers. One of the first questions we often hear involves asking what level of care your mom or dad may need. Certainly, each person requires a customized-care plan –there is no doubt about that.

Before determining the best care option, it may be helpful to have a basic understanding of the difference between independent living and assisted living.

Independent Living

Independent living communities are ideal for older adults who are still able to care for themselves and get around on their own, but need some relief when it comes to chores and maintenance around the house, as well as running errands. Independent living is about providing a more carefree and socially interactive environment for active adults. And, for you as a caregiver, independent living provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your loved one is safe, and presents an opportunity to get your relationship with your parent back on track by relieving you from the burden of juggling your own household responsibilities, as well as their needs.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are the best fit for older adults who may have physical or mental impairments or would just like some additional, discreet and personalized assistance with daily living activities, such as eating, bathing, getting dressed and other daily tasks. As with independent living communities, these living arrangements can alleviate stress you are experiencing as a caregiver. You’ll feel relief knowing that your mom or dad is cared for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, you’ll likely find that you are able to reconnect with your parent as a friend, rather than as a caregiver.

Assisted living communities are also a favorable solution if your family member suffers from Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. These communities have escorts that can help seniors with just about anything that they may need throughout the day or night. Our approach at Atria Senior Living is to provide attentive and compassionate support, understanding the moment the resident is experiencing and keeping their anxiety level to a minimum by helping them focus on a place of safety.

The decision to assign a care level for your mom or dad can seem especially difficult when they may have distinct needs or require contrasting levels of care. Fortunately, many providers, including Atria, offer a blended approach for married couples that can allow them to live together and receive varying levels of care, according to their individual needs.

The key to finding the ideal situation for seniors in the family is by planning as early as possible. Regardless of the type of community you select, the conversation with your family member may be difficult. Therefore, finding an ideal living solution for them is a critical factor during the transition process and for long-term success in community living.  We at Atria are always happy to help talk you through this decision, even if you do not ultimately select one of our communities as the right place for your mom or dad.

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  • David says:

    This is a good overview on the differences between the two types of care. Thanks for putting this together. We get this question frequently in one for or another.

  • Kathy Bedford says:

    Currently I am living in an ALF in WA. I need to move back to DFW to be closer to my special child. I would appreciate information in defining criteria to be be in an ALF.
    I currently have LTC insurance.

    Please send information to my mailing address.

    Kathy B.

    • Kacey Roby says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Thank you for reaching out to us! I have contacted our team in the DFW area and asked that they send you information to the address you provided.

      Kacey R., Digital Content Manager
      Atria Senior Living