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  • Melrose Meadows

Knowing Your Options: Independent vs. Assisted Living

Today, seniors have many options to choose from when thinking about retirement plans. As you make these decisions, it’s important to consider all of your options to determine the right fit. In this article, we’ll focus primarily on the benefits of independent living communities vs assisted living centers.

Independent senior living communities focus on preserving the autonomy of each resident. At Melrose Meadows, our independent living residents are offered a wide variety of opportunities to maintain their sense of self while also receiving help with meals, maintenance and cleaning.

Just like independent communities, assisted living communities are dedicated to preserving the independence and privacy of their residents. However, assisted living communities are also designed to keep their residents safe and provide any additional assistance they may need. Below we outline more of the differences between independent and assisted living.


Independent Living: If a resident doesn’t much medical attention or assistance, independent living could be the right choice. Although medical assistance is not included, most independent living communities offer social and wellness programming to help residents maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. At Melrose Meadows, both independent and assisted living residents enjoy all of our activities and events, as well as the use of our Wellness Center and heated indoor pool.

Assisted Living: At assisted living communities, aides and staff are available around the clock for both routine and unscheduled assistance. Routine assistance includes personal care like help with bathing, dressing, and restroom visits. Available 24/7, aides are also at hand to answer any emergency calls from residents. This service is the biggest differentiator from independent living. Seniors who require help with daily living, have cognitive impairment or minor debilitating medical problems can all benefit from an assisted living environment.


Independent Living: Independent living residents typically live in private rooms or apartments with some or all amenities included. At Melrose Meadows, our independent living residents make one monthly payment that covers their residence, meals, twice monthly housekeeping and all utilities including cable. Depending on the community, residents often have the option to personalize the space with their own décor and furniture.

Assisted Living: Just like independent living communities, residents in assisted living communities often reside in private rooms or apartments with the option to personalize. Utilities are typically included as well as transportation, routine housekeeping and laundry services. When shopping for communities, be sure to ask what services are included and what is considered a-la-carte.


Independent Living: Per the name, independent living communities focus on preserving the independence of the resident. Residents enjoy social and wellness programming and can enjoy communal meals and free transportation options. At Melrose Meadows, we also offer attached garages to residents who still choose to drive themselves.

Assisted Living: Assisted living is a communal lifestyle so residents dine with other residents and have several opportunities to socialize with others through social and wellness programs, cultural and educational activities. While assisted living staff will generally keep track of when a resident is outside of the community, they are normally free to come and go as they please.

There are benefits to both lifestyles but choosing the right fit depends on the resident’s needs. If they just need an easier to manage lifestyle but don’t require medical attention, independent living could be a great choice. However, assisted living is a great option for seniors who need some more assistance and monitoring but want to maintain an active, social lifestyle.

Melrose Meadows is a certified assisted and independent living community in Iowa City, Iowa. We pride ourselves on providing a senior living community that supports an independent lifestyle in a vibrant all-inclusive setting. Schedule a tour today and let us help you navigate the options for your future.

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