Independent vs Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

Senior living can feel like a whole new world with its own language and unfamiliar rules. But we want you to know that you’re not the only one who is confused when it comes to navigating this new landscape. And that’s why we are here to help.

One of the most important things to understand is the distinction between Assisted Living and Independent Living. Both options at Park Springs foster dignity, ease caregiver stress, and help our Members live longer, healthier lives.

You can have your own private apartment in Assisted Living or a home, cottage or villa in Independent living, but there are also important differences that can help guide your decision. Here’s an overview of the basics.

Daily Amenities and Services

Our Assisted Living communities are focused on providing Members with support when and how they need it. Members live in their own apartment in a household model of care where they are closely linked with others. Help is available 24/7 for basic life tasks, including:

  • Meal preparation and healthy diets
  • Cleaning
  • Remembering medications
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Making and keeping doctor’s appointments
  • Social Engagement
  • Exercise Programs

Assisted living exists on a continuum. Our River and Farm households offer more extensive care than our Club level. We provide a range of services that change with a Member’s needs and health and as they progress along our Continuum of Care.

Independent Living provides an active lifestyle for Members who want to engage in a vibrant community full of a wide range of fun amenities. The Independent Living lifestyle includes:

  • 6 diverse dining venues where friends and neighbors convene
  • Fitness center with trainers or group exercise classes
  • Over 50 Member-led clubs and interest groups from painting to politics
  • Herb garden, raised gardens for personal gardening, a greenhouse and pétanque court
  • Library and computer learning center


Medical and Supportive Care

Assisted Living is a good alternative for people who are no longer able to live alone, but do not need intensive nursing care. But when people are no longer able to tend to their basic needs, make good decisions on their own, or function without the help of loved ones, Assisted Living offers the support they need.

Independent Living preserves a Member’s independence and does not provide daily nursing care. People with medical conditions that do not impact the basic activities of daily living yet no longer feel comfortable living alone often thrive in this environment and enjoy valuable peace of mind.

One welcome distinction at Park Springs is that both our Assisted Living and Independent Living Members enjoy access to comprehensive medical care without ever having to leave our campus through our onsite Wellness Clinic. Staffed by two full-time, board-certified Geriatricians and nurse practitioner, the Wellness Clinic is open five days a week and offers a multitude of services covering almost every aspect of health and wellness.

Access to staff

In our Independent Living communities, Members staff interaction is more for meals, fitness, or other service. In these communities, a Member’s involvement with our team depends on their preferences. Someone who eats every meal in our main Dining Hall will frequently see the staff, but someone who prefers a quieter existence might not have as much contact.

In Assisted Living, our team is there to monitor and check in on Members. Although they don’t diagnose medical conditions, they are in daily contact with Members to ensure they’re thriving. If a Member appears to need more help, staff may drop by more frequently or discuss with their family. One of the primary benefits of Assisted Living is that it offers families peace of mind that someone is looking out for their loved one at all times.

For more information on how to choose the right option for you or your loved one, give us a call or stop by for a site visit. We can’t wait to help you write the next chapter of your life.