The Differences Between a Nursing Home & Independent Living Community

Shelby Park Manor Apartments

Where you live and the environment that you’re in every day does impact your lifestyle, comfort, and overall quality of life. Whether you’re choosing to relocate for medical reasons or you’re just looking for a safer community, you have many options to choose from, including independent living communities and nursing homes.

Before you make any decisions, it’s important that you first understand the difference between these two major housing options. 

Independent Living Versus Nursing Home

Initially, it can be easy to confuse the difference between nursing homes and independent living because both are designed for older adults. Other similarities between these nursing homes and independent living communities include:

  • Onsite Security
  • Access to Transportation Services
  • Meal Services
  • Social Activities & Entertainment

The primary difference between nursing homes and independent living communities is that independent living allows the individual to choose how they want to live and what they want to do. In other words, residents get to maintain their own personal freedoms. By contrast, a nursing home is specifically focused on providing 24/7 long-term medical care. In a nursing home, an individual is consistently supervised and must follow the schedule outlined by the nursing home staff with meals and activities.

If you don’t need long-term medical care or constant supervision from a nurse or caregiver, an independent living community, sometimes referred to as a retirement home, is most likely going to be your best option. 

Benefits of Independent Living

Independent living communities are usually designed for individuals ages 55 and up. Most communities offer all types of benefits, including:

  • Weekly Entertainment & Activities
  • Gourmet Meal Services 
  • Access to Transportation
  • 24/7 Security
  • General Wellness Services
  • Gathering Spaces & Clubs
  • Private Apartments 

Additionally, the fees for utilities like gas, water, and electricity are usually covered in the monthly fee, and some communities may offer further discounts for individuals on a fixed income. 

Pricing Difference

There can be a huge difference in price between independent living communities and nursing homes. Nursing homes can be roughly twice as expensive as independent living communities. These heightened costs of nursing homes are primarily due to the extra level of care and attention that residents need from the nurses and caregivers.

Joining an Independent Living Community

While independent living communities are an excellent option for many older adults, some may be hesitant to do so. Firstly, relocating can be challenging and stressful. However, some independent living communities feature already furnished apartments. Of course, you can bring whatever you want to your apartment, but there’s no obligation to move heavy couches and other furniture yourself if you don’t want to. 

Another factor you may be concerned about is the overall cost. However, the price can actually be highly economical for those on a fixed income. Some communities may offer discounts, and again, utilities are included with this fee and the community itself will offer many amenities (security, transportation, etc.).

Additionally, due to the fact that senior living communities are often confused with nursing homes, some people assume they must give up their privacy or independence, and that’s just not true. These communities are called independent living for a reason. All independent living communities have private apartments as well as public spaces for events, clubs, and other activities. Furthermore, residents are free to come and go as they please, or host visitors. 

These communities can be a great fit for many people. However, it’s important to mention again that if you do need medical care, you may need to turn to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Learn More About Independent Living Today

Shelby Park Manor is an independent living community for individuals ages 55 and up. Our welcoming community features elegant and affordable apartments, social rooms, convenient transportation, and so much more. Contact us today with any general questions you have about independent living or to schedule a tour of our community. We look forward to meeting you!

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