Independent versus Assisted Living

Posted :
November 6, 2014
Posted :
Jennifer B
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Have you been exploring the idea of branching out into a retirement residence in the Greater Vancouver area? Perhaps you’re feeling that a supportive community environment, regular recreational activities, and not having to prepare your own meals every day, would suit you just fine! You have most likely heard the terms, ‘Independent Living’ and ‘Assisted Living’ in your travels, but may be wondering, “What is the difference?”

Good question!

To start, both independent living and assisted living provide accommodation that can range from a room with lockable door in a home, to a private apartment style suite in a larger building. Whether a residence is independent or assisted living, each will have its own unique standards and policies, so be sure to ask lots of questions in your search.


Both independent and assisted living share many basic functions including (again, these may vary):

  • Lodging
  • Cooked meals served in the common dining room
  • Scheduled basic suite cleaning
  • Scheduled laundering of linens
  • Recreational activities (i.e. health and wellness, entertainment, outings, etc.)

The difference is the support service provided by in-house staff.

Assisted living staff generally provide support with:

  • Eating of meals (if feeding yourself is difficult)
  • Bathing/Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Organizing and taking medications
  • Mobility

Though independent living staff do not provide the above services, if you feel an independent living lifestyle is a better personal fit, but you still need a hand here and there, you are more than welcome to secure your own private service provider and/or caregiver. If you find your needs require two or more of the above services, you may want to explore if an assisted living environment would better suit your needs.

Either way, if a lifestyle change has been in your thoughts lately, do your best to determine, sooner than later, what the best avenue for you is. In this way, whether you enter independent or assisted living, it is YOUR choice, and you can freely exercise your right to make it.

We hope this simplifies the issue of independent vs. assisted living, and that we have somehow helped you on the journey of choosing your new adventure! Feel free to browse through our website if you’d like more details on our residence and the services and accommodation we offer, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to hear from you!

Here at Coquitlam’s very own Earl Haig Retirement Residence, we are truly set apart from, above and beyond, the basic differences between independent and assisted living. Book a tour today and come for a visit to meet our amazing staff and management, see our lovely recently constructed building, and feel the love that is unique to our Earl Haig community!

Author – Jennifer, Administrator/Earl Haig Retirement Residence

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604 937 3790