What Is the Difference Between Independent Living and Senior Apartments?

Posted :
March 21, 2024
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SF Care Services
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Not sure what is the difference between independent living and senior apartments? Although they sound similar, they refer to very different living arrangements. Understanding what they are and the unique benefits of each will be an important lifestyle decision.

Choosing the right senior living option will affect your lifestyle, well-being, and financial planning. This post will guide you through the differences so you can make an informed decision about which lifestyle will suit your needs.

What Are Senior Living Apartments?

Senior living apartments are essentially the same as regular apartments. The difference is a minimum age. Their age requirement is typically 55 years and older.

The building’s features are specific to aging individuals with fewer floors and elevator access or minimal stair use. Occasionally, the apartment building will have additional amenities like a fitness centre or communal social spaces. The apartments themselves possess the usual amenities (kitchen, laundry, etc) but with senior accessibility features such as grab bars.

These apartments provide a secure, low-maintenance lifestyle. Ideal for seniors seeking a similar living situation to which they’re accustomed.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living offers seniors room and board within a community setting. It’s the autonomy of apartment-style living coupled with the convenience of cooked meals and housekeeping.

Residents enjoy a private suite plus communal facilities. These might include libraries, gaming rooms, and fitness centres. Scheduled activities, classes, or events are also part of the experience.

Independent living is perfect for those who value their freedom but seek cost-effective conveniences.

Key Differences Between Independent Living and Senior Apartments

Deciding between the two will depend on your desired level of independence and convenience.

In senior apartments, you’ll continue to cook and do laundry or maintenance yourself. Also, there are limited amenities available in the building.

Independent living offers more comprehensive services and amenities. Plus, there are social events that help create a strong community vibe.

Financial Considerations

It all comes down to your budget and financial planning for your senior residence.

Senior apartments often have lower costs because it’s just the cost of the unit. Whereas the rent independent living is all-inclusive of meals, housekeeping, fitness and recreational activities.

Canadian seniors have options for rental assistance to help with these costs.


Choosing between independent living and senior apartments is about finding a place that feels like home while meeting your needs. This decision is about your quality of life, and making an informed choice is crucial.

Finding the right community can significantly enhance your quality of life in your later years. If you’re a senior exploring your living options, we invite you to reach out to us at the Earl Haig Retirement Residence. Our dedicated team is here to discuss your needs and can schedule tours of our lovely residence.