The Differences Between Independent Living and Assisted Living

Posted on November 15, 2022

As popularity in senior living communities rises, many seniors are starting to have questions about what their options are regarding their living situation. The world of senior living is much bigger than most people think. While many people may still believe that the terms “senior living” and nursing home” are interchangeable, this could not be further from the truth.

Today, senior living communities offer various lifestyle options that encourage independence and help individuals live with purpose through enriching amenities and activities. Independent living and assisted living are just two options you or your loved one have when considering what kind of care you want or need in a community.

Whether you are highly active or need some assistance with daily activities, you will still have to decide which living situation is most beneficial for you. Many communities offer various living options to ensure all residents are accommodated adequately. However, many residents are unsure of the differences between the different types of senior living options available.

To help shed some light on this matter, our team at The Pavilion Senior Living, with senior communities throughout Tennessee, is sharing the differences between two of the most commonly confused senior living lifestyle options – assisted living vs. independent living.

Assisted Living

“Assisted living is a type of housing designed for people who need various levels of medical and personal care (WebMD).”

In other words, assisted living services are intended for individuals who wish to maintain their independence but also need assistance or support with the activities of daily living (grooming, bathing, dressing, etc.).

Assisted living is a level of senior living care that ensures individuals receive the care and support they need to be comfortable, enabling them to spend more time doing the things they enjoy with friends and family.

Why Choose Assisted Living Care

24/7 Care and Support

Predicting if and when you will need care is difficult, and you never really know when you will need a little extra support. Fortunately, having access to help, should it be necessary, promotes safety and confidence. Assisted living communities, including The Pavilion Senior Living in Tennessee, offer around-the-clock care to residents, giving you and your family the peace of mind knowing that you will receive compassionate care if and when needed.

Personalized Services

Every person has their own set of preferences and care needs. As a result, many assisted living communities tailor care plans to each resident, offering person-centered care designed to help individuals maintain their independence.

Encouraging Independence

A common fear people have when considering assisted living services, and senior living in general, is that they will have to give up their independence. However, this is simply a myth. Assisted living communities and the care services they provide are designed to help individuals maintain as much of their independence as possible.

are is provided to make life more convenient, enabling individuals to continue to live their lives and participate in the activities that bring them joy and give them a sense of purpose. In addition, since residents receive support with the tasks that may have become more difficult for them to handle on their own, they have more free time to spend however they wish, with the convenience of being in a vibrant community setting with more opportunities for engagement.


At The Pavilion Senior Living, our team members work with each resident to develop a personalized care plan that meets their needs and preferences. In addition, our assisted senior living communities in Lebanon and Carthage, Tennessee, encourage resident participation in activities that build companionship, friendships, and support overall wellness.

Additionally, these services focus on helping residents lead active, fulfilling lives, reducing the risk of accidents or falls, and fostering independence.

Our assisted living services include:

  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • Three delicious meals per day
  • Housekeeping services
  • Safety and security system
  • Activities designed to promote overall wellness.

Why Choose Independent Living

In many ways, independent living is similar to living in a private residence. A person living in an independent living community can come and go as they please but has access to additional resources, care and support, and life-enriching activities and amenities.

Additionally, the independent living lifestyle option is also similar to assisted living. Both are community-based settings, and some offer assistance with housekeeping, laundry, and so on. Where these lifestyle options differ lies in the level of care provided.

Essentially, independent senior living is a great option for aging individuals who desire a maintenance-free lifestyle within a community setting but don’t need consistent support with daily activities.

Benefits of Independent Senior Living

Maintenance-Free Living

Living in a private home comes with additional responsibilities, including home maintenance and upkeep tasks. This means that whether you complete these tasks yourself or hire someone else to take care of them, the lawn care and landscaping, repairs, and routine chores fall on you.

These tasks can take up a lot of your time and lead to unnecessary stress, preventing you from pursuing your hobbies and interests. This is particularly true as you age, as these chores may become more challenging or take longer to complete than they used to.

However, when you live in an independent living community, these maintenance tasks are taken care of for you. As a result, you will no longer have to think about spending your time mowing the lawn or making unexpected repairs, freeing you to spend your retirement years exactly how you choose.

More Socialization Opportunities

Socialization is a core aspect of living a healthy lifestyle that is sometimes undervalued or underappreciated. According to recent studies, socialization boosts our mental health and reduces our chances of developing dementia. For example, an article published in 2013 outlined a six-year study on social interaction and dementia. The research involved monitoring over 500 participants aged 65 or older who were free of dementia at the beginning of the study. The results of this study found that those with higher levels of social interaction were less likely to develop dementia.

At The Pavilion Senior Living, we offer residents ongoing socialization and engagement opportunities, allowing them to connect, build meaningful relationships, and live purposefully. We believe that staying socially active is one of the keys to increasing longevity, so we do everything we can to provide engaging activities that promote socialization.


At The Pavilion Senior Living, our independent living services provide a comfortable, convenient, and maintenance-free lifestyle for those ready to enhance their retirement years.

We enable residents to trade in the chores that come with living in a private residence for a well-deserved retirement lifestyle they can enjoy. However, in the event that you do need a little extra care, our friendly team members are always available to help!

Our independent living services include:

  • Assistance on an as-needed basis
  • Focused programs on social wellness
  • Safety and security systems
  • On-site therapies
  • Engaging activities
  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Laundry and housekeeping services

Which Level of Care is Right for You or Your Family?

The main difference between assisted living vs. independent living is the level of care that is provided. Often, this difference can be subtle, especially when care is tailored to each resident in the community.

At a basic level, independent living is designed for independent individuals looking to enhance their retirement lifestyle with maintenance-free living. In contrast, assisted living residents may need more assistance with their regular routines and daily tasks.

A few signs that it may be time to consider assisted living vs. independent living include:

  • If your health or medical conditions are worsening
  • You find yourself becoming more socially isolated
  • Or you need additional assistance with your routine and daily activities

If you are still unsure about which lifestyle option would best suit you or someone you love, we invite you to contact our team at The Pavilion Senior Living. We are here to answer any questions, share education, and help you and your family find the right senior care.

Finding the right level of senior living care can go a long way in enhancing your quality of life. But, no matter which level you or your loved one chooses, moving into a senior living community can be a great thing!

Please visit The Pavilion Senior Living website to learn more about our senior living communities in Tennessee and the different levels of care we offer.

Updated: November 2022

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