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Independent Versus Assisted Retirement Living -- Which Is Right For You?
Author: Christine OKelly

As people age, many choose to move to Florida retirement communities to take advantage of the year-round warmth and sunshine. Depending on their needs, retirees may choose to move into either an independent living facility or an assistant living community. Many senior communities offer both options -- independent living for those who can take care of themselves, and assisted living for seniors who may need a little help with everyday tasks.

Independent Living

Many retirement communities in Florida base themselves around the concept of independent living. These facilities are just what they sound like -- independent living centers where people are generally able to take care of themselves. Residents are physically active and able to walk around the community. They are able to bathe and dress themselves, can manage their medications properly, and are free from severely debilitating physical ailments and memory loss.

Florida independent living centers are about staying healthy, active, and enjoying all that life has to offer. Most retirement communities offer numerous activities like walking groups, water aerobics, tai chi, and other fitness classes. In addition to fitness options, many luxury senior living communities also have bingo, movies, bridge, arts and crafts, socials, musical entertainment, and regular outings. Seniors who can live an independent lifestyle, but want to be near friends as well as a qualified, professional medical staff available at any time of day, should consider living in an independent retirement living center.

Assisted Living

Many retirees who can live independently and those who need the help of a medical staff on a daily basis choose to relocate to warmer areas like California or Florida. Assisted living communities are for people who may need help with activities of daily living, such as walking, bathing, and dressing. They may also need help with medication management and require daily nursing assistance as well. Oftentimes, residents of assisted living facilities suffer from memory loss or impairment, and need someone to help them to and from their room around the clock.

However, those in assisted living retirement communities can still stay active. With the help of a dedicated medical staff, residents can participate in physical activities like walks, water aerobics, and beach ball volleyball. As in independent living centers, those in assisted living can also take part in recreational and social activities like bridge games, musical entertainment, and bingo.

Choosing The Right Type Of Living

It can sometimes be hard to know if you or your loved one should be in an independent living community or assisted living community. The main thing to consider is if the person can manage their activities in daily life without any assistance. If they can generally take care of themselves, are physically able, can remember to take their medicines, and are free from memory loss or major physical ailments, an independent living community will usually suffice.

Otherwise, the person probably needs an assisted living center. Those debating between the two types of senior living should discuss the options with their health care provider, and tour different retirement communities in the area. With time, you'll find the right fit for your needs and lifestyle.

About the author:
Christine O'Kelly is an author for Aston Gardens, a premier developer of award-winning Florida retirement communities. Aston Gardens offers luxury senior living for the active retiree.


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