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What is the difference between assisted living communities and independent living communities?

When it comes to deciding the best option for retirement living, there are many to consider. Whether you’re looking for a place to spend your retirement or you are a caregiver exploring options for your loved one, finding the right place based on your specific needs can be a bit tricky to navigate. At Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living, we want to make it easy for you.

The most common types of retirement living communities are Assisted Living Facilities and Independent Living Communities. Each comes with a unique setup including living accommodations, amenities, care and support services and cost.

Facility Structure, Size & Amenities Provided

Assisted Living Communities are typically the option with the fewest residents. Most assisted living communities are apartment style living quarters with a communal dining room and recreation room for group activities.

At Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living we have living options that include studio-type apartments as well as double occupancy rooms for people who would prefer living with a spouse or roommate. Dining, Cleaning and Laundry Services are all included in the flat monthly fee. We also have several common gathering areas including our serene lake front patio, therapy gym and our beautiful dining room for residents to enjoy.

An Independent Living Community usually consists of private residences such as single family homes or individual apartments. Each home typically has their own kitchen and laundry setup for residents to complete these tasks on their own. These are also known as Active Senior Communities or 55+ Communities – very common in Florida. Most of these communities do not have onsite staff other than routine maintenance to the general property. All care for the individual home is the responsibility of the resident.

Medical Care and Additional Support Services

The largest difference between the two options for retirement living is the amount of medical care and support provided by each.

For the active senior who may need some assistance with medication administration or meal preparation, an Assisted Living Community would be a great option. These communities are a great fit for the active senior who still enjoys a level of independence but may want the added comfort of support services on site in case a need arises. At Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living, we have highly trained care staff that can tailor their support to the level of each resident. We are also well-equipped for medical emergencies and are just minutes away from a top-rated hospital.

There is typically no medical staff on site in an Independent Living Community. Often residents will hire their own caretakers or in-home nurses to tend to their individual needs. Many of these communities tend to be located near a local hospital or retirement home.

Cost and Coverage

Because of the higher level of care and attention needed, Assisted Living Communities typically have the higher monthly cost. However, there are many programs such as VA pensions and Long-Term Care Insurances to assist, and many insurance providers will cover part or sometimes all of the cost depending on the plan.

Each Assisted Living Facility differs in cost based on the size of the community, location and the amenities offered. At Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living, we provide a resort-style living experience with affordable pricing options suitable to your budget. We also work with many insurance providers to assist in the cost of our fee. We keep things simple with our all-inclusive monthly fee so there are no surprises or hidden costs.

The cost of living in an Independent Living Community can vary greatly depending on the type of home, whether you rent or buy and the associated fees of the community. These homes are not usually covered by any health insurance policy or government subsidy. The resident often bears the entire costs associated with the home.


Finding the right place to spend retirement does not have to be a complicated process. Whether it is an Assisted Living Community or an independent living community we want to help you find the best fit for your unique needs. At Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living, we are happy to assist you in your search. Give us a call or set up your tour today!

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