Insights into senior living communities

The world of senior living can feel a bit foreign sometimes. It’s like a place we know we’ll visit some time, but we’re not sure when, or where we want to go — or perhaps we are looking at what might be available for aging parents. The options can feel overwhelming: which is right for you or for someone else? Long term care? Assisted living? Independent living? While the services offered in these categories vary from place to place, there are some basic similarities and differences. Let’s take a look. For a quick summary, jump down to the bottom of this article.

Independent Living

Independent and Assisted Living are two fairly common types of senior living communities. There are a lot of similarities, but also some important differences. The largest difference is that independent living does not usually provide access to the medical or nursing care that is typically available for assisted living communities.

Independent living communities are designed for seniors who are active and require little to no support with life’s daily tasks, such as cooking, personal hygiene, managing medications, or managing personal finances. There are many kinds of housing, ranging from free-standing homes through condos or apartment complexes. Amenities may be more luxurious than assisted living: think swimming pools, or yoga studios, but would not offer around-the-clock caregiver support.

Independent living offers the social benefits of living in a community, such as common areas like games rooms, libraries, computer rooms, business centres, or a common dining hall. Some suites may also offer a kitchenette for preparing meals.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities offer the same maintenance-free living, but with the addition of caregiver support and assistance with the activities of daily life. Staff usually create a regularly updated service plan that provides details about personal services for each resident. This might include dressing, grooming, showering, mobility, and medication management. Assisted living usually includes an emergency call system, and 24-hour security, as well as exercise and wellness programs, social and recreational activities, and perhaps transportation services for outings or medical appointments.

This is a good option for people who, for a variety of reasons, are no longer able to live on their own, but do not require full time nursing care. Amenities would likely be less luxurious than independent living.

Long Term Care

Long term care provides 24-hour professional supervision and care in a homelike, supportive environment for people who have complex care needs, and who can no longer be cared for in their own homes or in another living arrangement, such as assisted or independent living communities.

Among the services supplied by long term care homes are accommodation; medical and clinical support services; meals and snacks; physical, social, and recreational activities; or specialized services such as dementia or palliative care. Some long term care homes also provide short-stay respite care.

Comparison chart

Independent Living

  • No medical support.
  • People are mobile and independent. They might still drive.
  • A variety of housing styles from free-standing homes to apartments.
  • May offer more luxurious environment, health and wellness options, and concierge services.


  • Some medical and caregiver support.
  • People are fairly mobile but may require some assistance with day-to-day activities.
  • May have a personalized care or assistance plan.
  • Good for people who may not be able to live on their own, but do not require full time nursing care.
  • May offer activities and common areas such as libraries and dining rooms.

Long Term Care

  • Full time accommodation with 24-hour professional medical supervision and care.
  • People are no longer able to live at home, or in another living environment such as independent or assisted living communities.
  • Personalized care and assistance plans are provided.
  • Usually have structured activities that provide engagement for mind and body.

Which of these does Broadmead Care offer?

All Broadmead Care Homes offer long term care for seniors, veterans, and adults with disabilities:

* The New Home for Nigel House, which is under construction and anticipated to be open in 2024, will include an independent living component. For more information, visit the New Home for Nigel House webpage.