Chatham Place BLOG

Differences Between Independent And Assisted Living

November 17, 2021 / By admin / No Comments

As you explore senior living communities for yourself or a family member, you’ll find there are a lot of options out there. In Connecticut alone, there are over 400 independent living and assisted living communities.

So, which community is right for you? At the outset, it can be difficult to compare them.

To help you make the best senior living option for you, this article will compare the differences between independent living and assisted living.


For older adults looking to shed the burdens of homeownership, an independent senior living community may be the right choice.

Independent living communities offer an array of amenities and services to make life more convenient. However, by definition, you won’t find senior care at an independent living-only option.

Advantages of an independent living community:

  • Full independence. There’s a misperception that a retirement community decreases freedom. The opposite is true. Residents live independently. They come and go as they please, often called a lock-and-leave lifestyle. For many, it feels like a continuation of their current lifestyle.
  • Maintenance-free lifestyle. All the chores associated with owning a house are behind you. The community team members handle repairs, upkeep and yardwork.
  • Social life. As we age, isolation becomes a greater risk. Community life has built-in socialization and group events.
  • Activities. Some independent living communities have planned programming, including fitness classes, lectures, social events and more. Others do not offer programming. It’s up to each resident to create their own opportunities for fulfillment.

Disadvantages of an independent living community:

  • No senior care servicesStudies show that 70% of people turning 65 today will need some sort of long-term care in their lifetimes.

If care is needed, residents of an independent living community are on their own to find it and make a move. This can be tough, often occurring while the older adult is in a vulnerable position of needing care quickly.


Your parent may see themself as the same independent-minded adult they’ve always been. But there may come a day when you notice Mom or Dad is having a harder time living at home.

There are tell-tale signs your parent may need some level of care. Often you notice some combination of these signals:

  • The house is messier than usual.
  • Personal appearance appears disheveled or unkempt.
  • The fridge and kitchen cabinets are bare.

You should also ask your loved one if they’ve been eating well, taking medicine and seeing friends. If not, these are all warning signs that daily assistance is needed.

An assisted living community offers an array of benefits to each resident. Plus, you and your family will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your loved one is getting the care they need.

At a reputable community, you can expect assistance with the basic activities of daily living (often called ADLs):

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Medication management

The amount of services increase beyond that, depending on the community.

Advantages of an assisted living community:

  • ADL management. Bathing, dressing and medication are handled with gentle professionalism by team members each resident will come to know on a personal basis.
  • More independence. An assisted living community isn’t a nursing home. With ADLs managed, residents move on with their days, living independently and pursuing the activities they enjoy.
  • Friendships. Planned and spontaneous get-togethers, dining, classes all bring residents together. New friendships and social uplift are one of the great benefits of community life.
  • Health and wellness. The primary goal of an assisted living community is to provide a healthier lifestyle for seniors. This comes in the form of appropriate fitness classes, nutritional dining options, and intellectual and spiritual stimulation.
  • Safety. There comes a time when living alone simply isn’t safe. Assisted living communities are physically designed for senior safety. Also, every resident’s presence or absence is noticed. At many communities, a registered nurse is on site at all times.
  • Additional levels of care. Some assisted living communities also offer memory care. If ever needed, having this care provided where you live is a tremendous benefit, eliminating a disruptive move during a time of duress.


At our assisted living and memory care community, residents are greeted each day with fun, convenience and plenty of opportunities to get involved. We offer a variety of amenities and activities that bring joy, meaning and purpose to life.

To learn more about services at Chatham Place, please contact us today.


Chatham Place at Mary Wade provides full-spectrum senior care with a holistic approach. Providing assisted living and memory care options, our devoted team of caregivers and specialists are committed to providing one-on-one, personalized care in a warm and supportive environment while also receiving the best care in the country. Our philosophy of personal service and gentle care remains steadfast and resolute, just as it was at our founding in 1886.

Opening in winter 2021, Chatham Place will offer exceptional senior living options in a warm and inviting atmosphere. This new, state-of-the-art community will have 84 apartments designed to meet today’s safety, security and comfort standards. As part of the Mary Wade campus, we will continue the legacy of exceptional service, truly resident-centered care and access to world-class healthcare services.

For more information, please call 475-900-6040.


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