Your senior mom is fairly good at living on her own, but you may be starting to wonder about assisted living and what benefits it might offer Mom. Before you make any big decisions, let’s take a look at the differences between independent living and assisted living.

Independent Living

Independent living is when your senior mom lives on her own in her own home with little to no extra help. She may get some assistance from you or other loved ones, but she does not have a caregiver at home with her to help with tasks of daily living.

Many seniors are perfectly capable of living on their own with little to no assistance from others. If your senior mom does not have significant health problems and is capable of managing her bills, hygiene, and diet without assistance, then independent living is still a great option for her. However, if she seems lonely or withdrawn, assisted living might be a good option if you want to help keep her social and active.

Assisted Living

Assisted living offers care for senior adults who are mostly independent but may need extra help with tasks of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, mobility, and medication management. Residents in an assisted living community live in individual units and share common gathering spaces with other residents. Loved ones are encouraged to participate in the assisted living community. Assisted living communities provide several amenities, like housekeeping, meal services, transportation, and some health care services.

If you have noticed certain changes in your senior mom recently, she may benefit from moving to an assisted living community. Fluctuations in weight, changes in diet, poor personal hygiene, unpaid bills, neglected chores, and frequent accidents, whether at home or while driving are all signs that your senior mom may need some extra help to remain as independent as possible. If you’re considering moving your senior mom to assisted living, make sure you do your research and find a place that is the right fit for her and your needs. This checklist can help your family make the best decisions about assisted living and senior care.


Caregiver's Field Guide to Assisted Living