Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care: What’s the Difference?

Assisted livingPhoto from thepointeatmeridian.comOriginally Posted On :


Around 52 percent of Americans turning 65 will need some form of long-term care service at some point in their lives.

Do you have a loved one that needs additional care? Wondering which senior community is right for you or your loved one?

There are differences between the various forms of care. In addition to traditional nursing homes, you can find independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

Keep reading to learn the differences between assisted living vs. independent living vs. memory care.

What Is Independent Living?

For active seniors that can still care for themselves, independent living might be a great option. A senior can enjoy life and put chores behind them in independent living.


One of the main reasons a senior chooses independent living is to forget about home maintenance, which can cost about one percent of home value annually. If you are worried about your loved one mowing the yard or performing regular chores, these demanding tasks are done in these communities.

Someone else takes care of things like landscaping, cleaning, laundry, and other physically-demanding tasks. Some communities provide meals for residents, so you don’t have to worry about your loved one getting enough food or cooking.


Living alone can be financially-demanding. Paying for home repairs, remodels, and bills can be expensive to a senior’s budget. Independent living may be a more affordable option, with one monthly bill.

There are no surprise home repairs that can deplete a savings account.


Independent living lets seniors enjoy their lives with privacy and independence. Seniors get their own private living space, and you can choose the size that fits best for you or your loved one’s lifestyle.

There are also activities and socialization opportunities to help make friends. Communities plan parties, game nights, private movie theaters, outings, and countless more activities. There are also physical activities with private gyms and exercise classes.

What Is Assisted Living?

For seniors that need a little more help with daily living tasks, assisted living may be a good option. These communities offer support and other services like medical attention and meals.


If your loved one struggles with daily tasks like bathing, taking medication, or getting out of bed, it may be time to look at assisted living. Assisted living communities have care professionals to help around the clock. A senior can get as little or as much care as they need and still have some independence.

There is also transportation available for activities and medical appointments for those seniors that cannot drive.


Assisted living facilities can give you peace of mind knowing that there is medical care readily available. When seniors live alone, a fall or injury can be serious if there is no one there to help. There are also licensed nurses on-premises to evaluate seniors and to assist with medical issues.

Your loved one will get regular checks to make sure everyone is okay along with emergency buttons to alert staff they need help.


Just like independent living, assisted living offers activities and amenities to keep seniors active and social. There are events, activities, clubs, games, and more to help entertain seniors and let them have fun. They also still have their own private living space when they want peace and quiet.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care for seniors is a very specific type of living for seniors that have memory issues and diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors with memory issues require extra attention to stay safe and healthy.


When a resident has memory issues, a caring environment is important to have a positive impact on the senior. The senior may be confused and act abruptly, so a trained professional can help manage these situations.

Routines and socializations help the seniors deal with daily living. The staff is also trained to engage seniors to help with memory loss and use things like memory games and music therapy.


Safety is key when someone faces memory challenges. The person can get easily confused and wander off. This is a scary situation for families.

Memory care facilities offer a secure and safe environment for these seniors. They have 24-hour supervision with locked doors. Staff monitors all the exits at all times to make sure no one is in danger.


Most memory care communities are separate from other facilities. They could be a separate wing or building. This means that residents still have access to the amenities offered to other residents.

No need to worry—the outings are supervised. Seniors can still have fun and enjoy celebrations with other residents.

Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: Which Should I Choose?

While memory care facilities maybe a little more clear-cut, you may still wonder about assisted living and independent living. Here are some guidelines to help you.

Assisted living is best for seniors who:

  • Struggle with daily living activities like cooking, housework, money, shopping, and laundry
  • Already have in-home care or if you are considering home health care

Independent living is a good option for seniors who:

  • Are active and want social connections
  • Want to get rid of home maintenance and just enjoy life
  • Can live independently but need social interactions and help with home maintenance

If your loved one has any memory issues, you should choose a specialized memory care facility.

Making the Right Choice for Your Loved One

When you consider assisted living vs. independent living vs. memory living, you need to think about your senior’s needs. Most facilities have several options on the same campus, so you can move to a different building when your health changes.

If you are looking for a senior care facility, we would love to talk to you. The Pointe at Meridian offers all three kinds of facilities mentioned in this article.

Schedule an appointment today to view our luxury, resort-like facilities. We look forward to meeting you.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.