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Senior Living Blog

Assisted Living v. Independent Living: What Are the Differences?

Posted by Village Green Team on Aug 29, 2022 12:00:14 PM

When it’s time to move out of your family home and into a retirement community, many people find themselves navigating a new sea of terms, acronyms, and services. Are you in the market for an independent living community? Does assisted living better meet your needs? We’re happy to help you understand the differences between assisted and independent senior living.

Assisted Living v. Independent Living: What Are the Differences?

Village Green Retirement Community in Federal Way, Washington, offers a wide array of living options for seniors. We offer independent retirement living and assisted living on our Federal Way, WA campus. Our vibrant campus ensures that we can meet our residents’ everyday needs, even if they change. We are a thriving example of the benefits of senior living, and we’re happy to use our expertise to explore the nuances of independent living vs. assisted living for seniors.

Independent Retirement Living

Independent retirement living communities are usually groups of cottages or apartments on a campus designed to appeal to older adults. In many ways, independent retirement living is almost like staying in a typical condominium or apartment. However, the community staff handles much more than maintenance and yard work. Most include dining services with the option to purchase meals and access to senior-friendly campus activities and amenities like exercise groups and game nights.

Independent retirement living facilities are not regulated by states with the same strict rules as assisted living facilities because residents of independent retirement living facilities do not receive help with activities of daily living.

If you’re looking for independent retirement living near you in the Seattle area, we’d be honored for you to check out our Village Green Fairfield Community here.

Senior living options have pros and cons, like any living space. Moving to an independent retirement community is an important and life-changing decision that deserves thoughtful consideration.


Residents Together at Village Green Independent Living Retirement Community


  • Senior-friendly- Independent retirement living communities are built for seniors. Apartments are usually accessible and barrier-free.

  • Making Friends- All of your neighbors are in the same stage of life, so it’s easy to find common interests and make friends. The calendar of senior-friendly activities offers opportunities to connect with others and stay active.

  • Amenities- Enjoy the juice bar! Take a shopping trip! Stroll the expansive grounds. Amenities in senior-living communities vary, but they are often plentiful. 

Advantages of Independent Living: Village Green Retirement


  • Cost- Independent Retirement Living communities are often more expensive than a similar traditional home. However, many expenses, such as utilities, housekeeping, cable, amenities, and some meals, offset this difference more than many expect.

  • Not for Kids- If you love watching neighborhood children play outside, you will miss the noise and busyness of a multi-generational neighborhood. However, most independent living communities are vibrant and bustling on their own, and children are always welcomed visitors

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities. Residents in assisted living facilities need help with self-care tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and mobility. If you find you are unable to manage some of these tasks at home, it may be time to move to an assisted living community. Long-term care insurance often subsidizes the rent and care at an assisted living facility.


  • Amenities- Stay active and engaged by participating in the robust social and recreational calendar that many assisted living communities offer. 

  • Personalized Services - Assisted living communities treat each resident as an individual, recognizing that each person has specific needs.  Village Green offers customized care services 24/7 and on-campus physical and occupational therapy options.

  • Worry-Free- Ensure that your needs are always supported by professionals. Provide peace of mind for yourself and your family by knowing there will always be someone to help if needed.
Advantages of Assisted Living


  • Cost- Long-term care insurance often offsets the cost of assisted living, but assisted living can be costly. Quality care requires that communities invest in their facilities and staff.

  • Reduced Privacy- It’s hard to need help. Moving to an assisted living community means unfamiliar people may be involved in some very personal tasks. However, having a trained professional available is priceless when you can’t accomplish a task on your own.

Tips for Moving Seniors

Moving to a retirement community is a big life change. Feeling anxious and apprehensive is appropriate.  For some, leaving a family home with years of memories, lifelong neighbors and even daily routines can be challenging.  Village Green Retirement Community has helped hundreds of seniors during this uniquely tender time. Here is our best advice for transitioning to a retirement community.


Tips For Seniors Moving Into Retirement Community

  • Give it time- Understand that it’s okay to feel sad. It’s a very human reaction. Adjustment takes time. You’ll soon notice you feel a bit better every day.

  • Talk it out- Have conversations with trusted family and friends about how you are feeling and what you are planning. Sometimes, saying things out loud solves problems and eases intense feelings.

  • Make plans- If you can, make plans to receive visitors in your new space and call on old neighbors and friendly faces to preserve your pre-move connections. Get it on the schedule for a few weeks after you get settled, so you have something to look forward to.

  • Get involved- You don’t have to sign up for everything, but choose an appealing activity or two and attend regularly. This is your best bet for connecting with others who share your interests.  

Village Green is Ready to Welcome You Home

Village Green Retirement Community is one of the best senior living communities in our beautiful Federal Way, Washington area. We’d love to be considered for your big move to a retirement community. Reach out today to connect with us. We cannot wait to meet you.

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Tags: Senior Living 101, Retirement Tips