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How an Independent Living Community Differs from a Nursing Home

Independent living communities are drastically different from nursing home facilities. Ultimately, the purpose of the two types of communities are completely different; independent living communities are about enjoying a community of other seniors that caters to your lifestyle preferences, while nursing homes are designed to help seniors with the activities of daily living or with the management of medical conditions. Independent living communities are perfect for active seniors who need minimal assistance and want to live in a vibrant community of other seniors like themselves.

Because these communities are designed for seniors who still live independently, living spaces are comparable to those in a typical townhouse or apartment home, complete with one or two bedrooms, private bathrooms, full or partial kitchens, and living areas. In contrast, a nursing home facility is designed to support seniors who need additional care or who are otherwise unable to live independently. Therefore, the dwelling areas in nursing homes typically include a sleeping area and bathroom but do not include kitchens or separate living spaces.

Activity and wellness programs also differ between independent living communities and nursing homes. Residents can participate in entertainment activities such as board games, movie matinees, and crafts at both types of facilities. But independent living communities also host outings and events that include more physical activity, such as museum trips, community-hosted barbeques at a local park, and walking clubs. The activities and events at nursing homes are more focused on in-community entertainment and therapy, and they require much more specialized supervision due to the residents’ care needs.