Assisted Living is normally defined as housing for elderly or disabled people that provides (some) nursing care, housekeeping, and prepared meals as needed. It can be considered long-term care, depending on the person and their needs.
Assisted living facilities can also be called residential care, congregate housing, adult congregate care or domiciliary care. Most all would be considered appropriate for someone who only needs a little care each day.
Some of that assistance might be with dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting, but do not require the intensive medical and nursing care.
Assisted living arrangements
In most circumstances, assisted living residents typically have their own semi-private or private apartments. These apartments can be unfurnished or furnished, with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen (or kitchenette). Other room arrangements could be
- private studio apartments
- one-bedroom private apartments
- one-bedroom shared apartments
- dormitory-style bedroom arrangements
Services offered by assisted living providers can vary. However, here is a selection of common services:
- Activities of Daily Living assistance (ADLs)
- Educational opportunities
- Exercise activities
- Socializing opportunities
- Wellness programs
- Transportation & outings
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Health services (including medication assistance)
- Organized recreational activities
- Laundry services
- Meal programs
- Social services and religious activities
- Around the clock security
Most assisted living facilities also have home health and hospice providers available from third-party resources available for their residents.
What’s the difference between them?
Along with activities of daily living, both provide common support, such as:
- Medication management
- Life enrichment
- Supportive services
- Secure environment
- Well-balanced meals
Difference between the two
Medical services are the biggest difference between these two types of care.
Typically, a resident of a nursing home will require 24-hour care. Most often, they have serious medical or health situations, which requires skilled nursing or therapy.
How is assisted living paid for?
These are the most common ways that this type of care is paid for. (Also, could be a combination of several.)
- Long term care insurance
- Life insurance
- Veterans benefits
- Selling or renting a home they own
- Reverse mortgage
- Bridge loan
- Private pay