If you spend even a short time investigating senior living communities, you encounter the terms “independent living” and “assisted living.” And maybe you’re wondering what exactly is the difference between the two options. The differences—and similarities for that matter—between independent and assisted living are about meeting people’s needs during various parts of the aging process.

As we get older, we typically need more help and fewer obstacles in daily life—some of us more than others. That’s where having options is ideal for many seniors. Those who need help have it. Those who don’t still have access if things change yet can remain independent as long as possible.

What Is Independent Living?

At Copeland Oaks, independent living is all about empowering residents to stay independent and fulfilled as long as possible. We provide 24/7 on-demand care and support when needed but also give residents the space to enjoy retirement when they don’t.

Our residents enjoy a safe environment with convenient access to dining, medical care, entertainment, and more—all without the hassles of major home maintenance, snow removal, and lawn care.

Independent living is to provide a safe space that is free from invasive support. Most seniors who take advantage of independent living want autonomy but also like help close at hand if needed.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living provides regular support to those who need help with day-to-day activities, yet don’t require 24/7 intensive care. In Copeland’s assisted living apartments, residents receive help with medication management, meals, bathing, dressing, and transportation but mostly live life as they would alone. Some seniors choose to have a few meals taken care of every day but still like having the option of cooking.

Similarities Between Assisted and Independent Living

No matter what living arrangements, Copeland residents enjoy access to our spacious 250-acre campus, all-inclusive pricing, private rooms, 24/7 nursing, and pet-friendly facilities. Plus, we offer spiritual, social, recreational, and educational activities that appeal to nearly every interest. Arts and crafts, music, a woodworking shop, and a community garden – even free classes at the nearby University of Mount Union.

A few other similarities between assisted and independent living include access to these amenities:

Wellness Programs

Copeland gives all residents ample opportunity to stay fit and engaged with life, including a range of exercise programs, an aquatics center, hiking and nature trails—and even a well-stocked bass fishing lake. Learn more about our focus on wellness.

Activities & Events

All residents can explore their creativity on campus and enjoy music performances by local and regional bands, vocalists and musicians, and more. Learn more about our on-campus activities—we truly have something for everyone!

Dining Options

Residents can enjoy a meal at one of our three dining venues—our main dining room (for Catered Living residents only), our Lakeview Terrace, and The Bistro at Copeland Oaks. Explore our dining options.

Spiritual Practice

While associated with and proud of our United Methodist connection, we value ALL faiths and individual approaches to spirituality. We offer residents Vesper services, Bible studies, growth and support groups, and more. See how our faith and spirituality services help us better serve our residents.

Differences Between Independent and Assisted Living

To quickly review, seniors who live in independent living require little support, whereas those in assisted living need daily intervention. That is where the primary difference lies in the two options—along with living arrangements and costs.

Support Levels

Residents in independent living don’t receive day-to-day assistance with household maintenance and chores. Nor do they have daily help to maintain their health and personal hygiene. They have access to transportation but may have their own vehicle.

Seniors in assisted living do require a daily level of intervention and support, including help with medication, bathing, dressing, and transportation. While they have their own private living space, they typically need access to transportation and no longer drive.

Living Arrangements

Copeland Oaks has three independent living options: Our peaceful ranch-style villas are nestled in a tranquil neighborhood setting, our Lakeshore Apartments offer a room with a view, or our Catered Living apartments in our main Beeghly Building.

Assisted living residences include two apartment-style options—a studio and a spacious 2-room suite.

Residents in Catered Living receive one complimentary meal a day, light housekeeping, and direct access to common areas, while still maintaining independence.


Those in independent living don’t have the daily care requirements of those in assisted living—and the level of specialized care required for assisted living impacts the overall cost.

In the case of independent living, the choice of villas or apartments also influences the difference in costs. However, pricing for BOTH independent living and assisted living is all-inclusive at Copeland Oaks, so you’re never caught off guard. Copeland Oaks also offers a retirement calculator to help determine how close you are to meeting your retirement goals.

Senior Living Options at Copeland Oaks

We understand that each person has unique needs and can change over time. That is why we have several senior living options—plus a great selection of onsite amenities, activities, and services. We welcome you to come and experience Copeland’s campus for yourself. Schedule a tour today!