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Published: 8 February 2022
As time passes many of us will require additional support to complete everyday tasks safely. There is a variety options available to provide care and assistance to you and or a loved one including care homes, assisted living facilities, live in carers and independent living.
In this article we break down the difference between assisted and independent living within the U.K.
An assisted living residence also referred to as 'extra care housing' is a housing facility for people who require additional support and or struggle to live independently but don’t need the full level of nursing a care home provides.
Still providing an element of independence, residents live in their own self-contained flat within the assisted living complex but will usually have staff available 24 hours a day to provide care and support.
There are several benefits to assisted living including:
- Staff on site at assisted living premises provide tailored support to help with everyday activities including bathing, using the toilet, dressing and taking medicine if needed..
- Domestic help can also be provided to assist residents with laundry, shopping and the preparation of meals.
- If you or a loved one feels lonely, assisted living facilities consist of like-minded people often 55 and over with communal lounges and activities to attend.
- Assisted living facilities can be safer with emergency help available on a 24 hour basis.
- Assisted living can be costly. Although prices vary between your choice of accommodation and the assistance you require you will need to account for the cost of care, a service charge for upkeep of the facilities, utility bills and council tax. As well as the monthly cost of rent if you haven’t purchased the property.
If you are renting you may be able to get help with your rent and or service charges through housing benefit or if you own your home through pension credit. You can find out how to apply for pension credit by clicking here.
Independent living allows you to live within your current home and have a carer come to visit you on set days to provide additional support where needed.
If you do choose to go with independent living for you or a loved one ideally you will need to adapt your or their home to ensure it is safe for everyday use.
There is a variety of adaptations that include:
- Easy access bathing & showering solutions
- Disabled toilets & height adjustable basins
- Low maintenance wall coverings & anti-slip floor coverings
- Installation of grab bars for mobility support
- Door and walkway widening for wheelchairs
- Stair adaptations
- Access ramps and floor leveling
You can find out more by reading our article on adapting your home for an elderly parent.
- As mentioned in the name, independent living allows you to live independently within the comforts of your own home and surroundings.
- Homes can be adapted with bespoke fixtures and fittings to directly meet the user's safety needs.
- The cost of independent living vs assisted living can be considerably lower as there are fewer ongoing costs.
- Unlike with assisted living support isn’t available 24/7 meaning an emergency may occur whilst no one is present.
There is a lot to consider when comparing assisted vs independent
living, if you require further information or would like to adapt your home to
improve your independent living space you can book a free design appointment, visit one of our showrooms or call us to speak to one of our friendly design experts.