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Weighing Your Senior Living Options: CCRC vs. Independent Living, Assisted Living and Personal Care

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When it comes to choosing senior living options for yourself or a loved one, it can be incredibly confusing. These days, it may feel like there are countless options for senior adults depending on their interests, ability level and care needs. Which one is the right option for you or your loved one? And what happens if a community is right for you right now but your health needs change in the future? What’s the best way to compare communities and pick the right one for you? 

“It’s easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a senior living community that’s right for you or a senior you love,” says Gregory M. Stevens, President of Vantage Point Retirement Living, Inc., headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania. “The first step in narrowing down your options is choosing the type of lifestyle you want and need in a community. At Vantage Point, we view senior living lifestyles as a spectrum based on your independence level and how much assistance you need on a day-to-day basis. Our communities offer a variety of lifestyles to meet any senior’s needs, allowing us to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to Pennsylvania’s seniors.”

The three main lifestyles serviced at a senior living community are Independent Living, Personal Care, and Memory Care. Communities can offer one or multiple lifestyle options, or a comprehensive range of services in a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community). In order to help you determine what lifestyle might be right for you or your loved one, we’ve explained the various lifestyles and community types below. 

Independent Living

Independent Living is a level of senior living that is, as the title suggests, for independent and active seniors. These communities offer freestanding homes or luxury apartments that are maintenance-free and often come with perks like weekly linen and housekeeping services. Residents also get the benefits of never having to cook again if they don’t want to, as meals are provided. Unlike active adult communities (which are communities where individuals have to be 55 years or older to reside), Independent Living communities are a little more like a resort. There are health and wellness services on site, often a variety of dining options, scheduled activities and outings, 24-hour security and so much more. 

Independent Living is right for … seniors who are still healthy, active and want to live independently, but want to give up the responsibilities of homeownership so they can better enjoy their retirement. It’s also perfect for seniors who want the friendships and community feel that come with this type of lifestyle.

Personal Care

The terms “Personal Care” and “Assisted Living” are often used interchangeably, but in the state of Pennsylvania, there is a difference between the two. A Personal Care community provides a maintenance-free lifestyle, a familial feel with meals included, but it also offers assistance with personal care tasks and medications. Residents of a Personal Care community live in bedrooms that can be shared with up to three others, and have common spaces shared with other residents (some communities, like Vantage Point communities, provide residents with private apartments).

Personal Care is right for … individuals who need a minimum level of assistance for daily life but who want as much independence as possible. 

Assisted Living

Assisted Living communities are designed for seniors who need extra assistance, which can range from the tasks of daily living to ongoing medical care. Nurses and staff members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to provide care whether it’s scheduled or an emergency. As with other communities, Assisted Living residents live in private apartments with a bathroom and sometimes a kitchenette. Assisted Living communities offer a broader range of “age in place” options, allowing residents to remain in the community even when their health needs increase.

Assisted Living communities are right for … individuals who need assistance with the tasks of daily life in order to live independently, and who want the peace of mind knowing that higher-level health care services are available whenever needed. 


Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are growing in popularity across the country. A CCRC is a community that has all care options located on campus, from Independent and Assisted Living to Memory Care and Skilled Nursing. CCRCs allow residents to truly age in place, and sometimes have options for residents to remain on-campus even if they run out of money. These types of communities require a high up-front cost (upwards of $100K), as well as monthly rent, but otherwise there are no additional costs – no matter how your health needs change.

CCRCs are right for … individuals who want the peace of mind that comes from truly aging in place in a community without having to leave friends and familiar faces. 

At Vantage Point, we’re proud to offer communities that care for Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care residents. We’d love to meet you and see how our lifestyles fit your needs. For more information on these communities email [email protected] or call 610-321-1977.

For more tips and advice on senior lifestyle topics, be sure to explore past articles on our blog.

Experience That Matters.

With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, Vantage Point Retirement Living, Inc. is a senior living development and management company that has been ensuring area seniors enjoy vibrant, carefree and healthy lifestyles since 1995.

The company is widely recognized for its hands-on, personal involvement within its associated communities, as well as for offering amenities and services that allow seniors to lead stimulating, active lives.

Vantage Point Retirement Living is a family-owned and -operated organization born out of a passion and enthusiasm for seniors. While Vantage Point Retirement Living may be considered a family business, its leadership team has decades of industry experience behind them – bringing together the best of both worlds to provide area seniors with the most extraordinary retirement living experience.

Extraordinary Lifestyles.

Whatever your interests and needs may be, exceptional living is just the beginning at a Vantage Point Retirement Living community. Whether it be Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Assisted Living or The Compass Memory Care™, living at a Vantage Point Retirement community empowers you to take control of your life while embracing your future with confidence and peace of mind.

We currently own three gorgeous communities in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, with four more under development and set to open in 2020.

Values You Can Trust.

In an industry increasingly dominated by large, national corporations, Vantage Point provides a trustworthy, local and family-oriented alternative for people seeking a community they can proudly call home – for themselves or a loved one. Our core values of trust, teamwork, family, friendship, individuality, dignity, respect and compassion enable us to create best-in-class communities designed to enhance the health, well-being and overall quality of life for seniors and their families.

To learn more about Vantage Point Retirement Living and the extraordinary lifestyles we provide, contact us today!

Written by Vantage Point Retirement

Vantage Point Retirement Living is a family-owned and -operated organization. In an industry increasingly dominated by large, national corporations, Vantage Point provides a trustworthy, local, and family-oriented alternative for people seeking a community they can proudly call home, either for themselves or for a loved one.

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