Are you considering moving into a senior living community in Delray Beach, FL? While a big move like this can bring up both feelings of excitement and nervousness, your main question might be, “should I choose independent living or assisted living?” And how do I know which senior living type is right for me and my situation?To determine whether independent living or assisted living may be best for you, you may first want to understand the main differences between both types of senior living options. Below, we’ll outline several points for you to consider as you think about which living situation may be right for you.
Level of Care Needed or Wanted
You may be feeling fit and energetic right now as you evaluate senior living options. But as we get older, our health and energy naturally change. As you weigh whether an independent senior living style or an assisted living type of situation is right for you, ask yourself how much care you anticipate needing in the near and far future. Are there health concerns in your family’s history? Or have you noticed yourself getting a little shaky when climbing up the stairs or chopping vegetables for dinner? In an assisted living care option, the biggest benefit is that you have professional, friendly, and highly-trained care staff always right there for you. This may include assistance getting dressed or help with your daily hygiene routine. Caregivers can also help you move around (on and off campus) and help with exercising and medication management. This extra level of care also often helps family members feel extra peace of mind knowing that you always have help right at your fingertips.
Existing Health Conditions
Beyond your preference for a little extra support, think about whether you have any current ailments or health concerns. These could be physical matters, such as aches or pains in your joints or back, or weaker arms and legs. Or they could be related to your mental or emotional health, such as forgetting doctor’s appointments or taking your medications. It could also be something like feeling extremely lonely or even frightened when you’re alone too much. Or perhaps you’re dealing with ongoing arthritis, high cholesterol, heart issues, or diabetes? If you are living with a chronic illness or ongoing health concern, assisted living provides you with the right type of care to help manage your condition. In an assisted living type option, you’ll have 24-hour access to excellent medical staff and health care providers.
Support With Cooking and Meals
Perhaps you are quite fit and independent and don’t have any serious health issues. But what if the preparation of daily meals is a tedious chore for you, and your nutrition has suffered because of it? Skipping meals or living off of a bland and lacking diet is a growing concern for many illnesses among seniors. In independent living, residents are provided with an excellent dining experience and lots of menu customization options. However, since residents in independent living are also able to cook in their own community apartments, the dining options are typically more open and self-selective.
If you worry about possibly forgetting to go to dinner or eating after exercising, assisted living provides you with better dietary support. One of the main benefits residents in assisted living report is that they have all three meals (plus snacks) provided and prepared for them by skilled community chefs. You don’t have to worry about missing any critical nutrition.
When it comes to choosing whether independent living or assisted living is right for you, also think of your family. Do you have a lot of family members nearby who can come by and help you, should you need additional assistance? How involved are they in your daily life and care? And how involved does their own life allow them to be? While most family members often like to be actively involved in their loved one’s care, sometimes their own busy schedules can make it difficult to jump in and help when needed.
Your family should always be welcome and encouraged to be a big part of your life in any caring senior living community. However, needing to rely on them for help versus simply being able to enjoy their visits can make a big difference. In assisted living, you don’t need to call on your family for anything. Your health, social, and emotional needs will always be met by friendly and attentive care staff. This can often help both residents and families to relish their visits with each other more, as it allows them to simply enjoy each other’s presence. In independent living, residents are typically self-sufficient enough to take care of urgent personal needs, or family members are available and eager to help with extra support.
Type of Activities You Enjoy
The best senior living communities in Delray Beach offer fun and engaging activities to their residents, regardless of your chosen living option. They’ll have community events, wellness and exercise programs, off-campus trips, and even celebrations to invite your family and friends. However, there is a slight difference in the types of activities and programs offered to residents in independent versus assisted living. Independent living may provide more dynamic options for self-planned events or activities that you and your community neighbors like to organize together. Whereas in assisted living, the community’s staff will take a more proactive approach in putting together lively and enriching events for residents.
As you weigh different living options in Delray Beach, FL, one point worth noting is that most senior living communities offer multiple types of senior living within the same campus. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about what happens should your care needs change more drastically. In a great senior living community, you easily move into a different care option, as needed or desired.
Still curious about which type of living option might suit you best? Take our Senior Living Options Quiz! It’ll walk you through simple questions, and guide you step by step toward the recommended living option for your unique needs and situation. Take the quiz here!