Independence in All Shapes and Sizes: How Independent Living and Assisted Living Help Older Adults Achieve Their Goals

It’s a new year and a new opportunity to forge your own path – but for seniors who may be looking at retirement communities, what does that mean exactly? The world of senior living can sometimes seem like a completely foreign culture, with its own rules and language. Older adults may find themselves at an impasse, wondering what options will give them the best leverage for the life they want. Take a deep breath, says Laurie Ralston, Marketing Director at Kingswood Senior Living. The situation is not as arduous – or as dire – as you might believe it is.

“Most seniors are anxious about making a decision between independent living and assisted living, once they make the decision to move into a retirement community,” she says. “Both options are excellent in their own unique ways and provide older adults with the privilege of living longer, healthier and more independent lives. However, depending on your health and abilities, one option may be better for you than another.”

Laurie is quick to note that although there are distinct differences between assisted living and independent living, there really isn’t a “wrong” answer, especially at a community like Kingswood Senior Living. “There are important differences that can potentially guide your decision on what level of care you want, but know that no matter what, you can’t really make a wrong decision,” she says. “The whole point of a retirement community is to provide older adults with the assistance they need to live their best possible lives, and whether that’s in independent living or assisted living, there are many similarities that can flex to provide the best possible lifestyle for you or a loved one.”

Here are some of the basics as to what defines independent living versus assisted living, and steps to determine which one may be right for you.

Independent Living: True Independence with Peace of Mind

Many active older adults are healthy and independent and would be able to live on their own without any problem. So why do they choose to move to a community like Kingswood? Because of the convenience and benefits the lifestyle provides.

“Independent Living at Kingswood merges the independent spirit with the services and amenities of a five-star resort,” says Laurie. “You get to live the life you want, all the time, every day, without the worry of homeownership or dealing with tedious chores. Your days are yours to spend as you wish, with a social calendar filled with events, activities and social opportunities. At the same time, you live in your own private home and can make your own schedule as you see fit. We simply take all the worries off your plate, including housekeeping, home maintenance and even most of the cooking. We provide you everything you need to live your best life, and all you have to do is take advantage of the opportunities.”

Independent Living is designed for adults who don’t need assistance to live a healthy and active life, but who also don’t want to deal with the tedious work of owning their own home. At Kingswood, Independent Living residents receive everyday conveniences from wellness programs to home maintenance to scheduled programming, transportation and more. This takes all the to-do’s off your plate, so you can enjoy the freedom that every day brings.

Assisted Living: Dignified Support for When It’s Needed

In the past, moving into a “home” was something that seniors resisted as much as possible. Laurie says that it’s high time to move past the stigma of what communities were in the past and instead, seniors should look at the opportunities communities can provide.

“Assisted Living at Kingswood is all about providing the assistance an individual may need in order to live safely,” says Karlene Witt, Kingswood’s Assisted Living & Memory Support Manager. “Care is provided on an as-needed basis, giving each individual the services and care they need to enjoy a a more independent lifestyle.”

Assisted Living residents have assistance available 24/7 with the tasks of daily living – whenever and wherever it may be needed. This can range from bathing, dressing and grooming support to medication management, mobility assistance or shopping assistance.

“Assisted Living is based on what the individual needs through personalized care levels that are designed to allow the resident to have the best quality of life,” Karlene says. “It’s definitely not a one-size-fits all solution. Perhaps the biggest misconception is that assisted living takes away an individual’s independence. In fact, it’s completely the opposite. Assisted Living services at Kingswood are all designed to help our residents with the services and tasks they have difficulty with, which then allows them more time to pursue the things they are able to enjoy.”

The Distinct Differences

That being said, there are distinct, delineated differences between independent living and assisted living. Independent living does not include nursing support or medical care services in the monthly fee – the focus is on providing an active life with a multitude of conveniences. Assisted living, by contrast, is focused on providing compassionate and dignified assistance, which then allows the individual to pursue the most independent lifestyle possible. However, Kingswood is a LifePlan community that provides a full continuum of care on-site, so residents don’t have to worry about moving to another facility if there health declines. 

Which option is the best for you or a loved one? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you still able to live safely on your own, or do you need assistance with basic needs?
  • Do you want the convenience and community of a group of individuals your own age?
  • Would you feel safer living in a community where there is staff available 24/7 to attend to any need you may require?
  • Do you have an underlying health issue that makes it hard or not safe to live by yourself?

There are no hard and fast rules about when one should move into independent living or assisted living. It all depends on your preferences and comfort level – as well as what you’re looking for from your golden years. The choice is yours – and at Kingswood, we’re here to help make you make the best decision for your life and desired lifestyle.

Welcome to Kansas City’s Senior Living Sweet Spot.

Inspired senior living at Kingswood means living the retirement lifestyle you want – and deserve. We take care of most routine chores and maintenance, so you can keep enjoying all the things you love about living in Kansas City. And you have more time to try new things and have new adventures.

All of the activities and amenities are here to do more than just keep you busy. They’re here to enhance your whole life. It’s an intentional, holistic approach that helps you live healthier and happier. And, of course, you have plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like spending time with friends and family.

Our Life Plan Community offers all levels of care right on campus, from Independent Living and Assisted Living to Memory Support, Short-Term Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care.

Because Kingswood is a Life Plan Community, you can enjoy your independent lifestyle now and be assured all levels of care are available on site when you need it, at a discounted rate for life. This is an outstanding senior living value because you are assured access to care in the comfort of familiar surroundings. When combined with our maintenance-provided lifestyle, a Life Plan Community represents an affordable option providing value beyond your current home and other senior living community offerings … and peace of mind for a lifetime.

Contact us today to schedule your personal visit. (816) 673-2835

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