Assisted Living is a Broad Term

Assisted Living is a Broad Term

It’s no surprise that this term is confusing to many people.  Even people within the Senior Housing and Care industries use the term “Assisted Living” to describe services that are actually offered in many different settings.

Broadly speaking, the term “Assisted Living” can mean that “care services are available” at some particular level.  This term is often used where a distinction is necessary to differentiate between “retirement or independent living” where care services are not so readily available (or not available at all) and a community or facility in which services are readily available.

The term “Assisted Living” may be used to describe:

  • Personal and/or nursing services received in a retirement or assisted living community
  • Care received in an adult family home
  • Care received in certain areas of a skilled nursing facility
  • Care received in your own private home

 Assisted Living in a Retirement or Assisted Living Community

In this instance, assisted living typically refers to assistance with activities of daily living such as:

  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Eating / Meals
  • Transferring or mobility assistance (getting up out of a chair and walking)

Additionally, licensed senior living offering “assisted living” services typically provide:

  • Medication monitoring or distribution
  • Housekeeping & laundry services
  • Activities and social opportunities

A limited number of senior communities specialize in care for older adults with medically complex needs, such as diabetes or who need assistance with more complex medications.  Other communities specialize in care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias. Some retirement living and assisted living providers license their entire building. Other providers license only a certain number of apartments to comply with these licensing and regulatory requirements.

Assisted Living in an Adult Care Home
Adult Care Homes are private homes that care for two to six individuals. The adult care home industry uses the term “assisted living” much in the same way as the retirement and assisted living industry.  The adult care home industry is also a highly regulated industry that must follow very specific laws and procedures.

Assisted Living in a Skilled Nursing Facility
Skilled Nursing Facilities (also known as nursing homes, transitional care units or rehabilitation facilities) may offer “assisted living” services in part of their building or within a neighboring community.  Most services promoted as “assisted living” within skilled nursing facilities are focused on dementia care.

Assisted Living in a Private Home
Finally, in-home care and chore service agencies have recently started using the word “assisted living” to explain personal care services delivered in a person’s private home.  When arranging for Assisted Living services at home, it is critical to discuss what services a provider does and does not offer.  Consider arranging for a nursing assessment to define the types of personal and nursing care needs an individual has now and may need in the future.

If someone you know requires care within an Assisted Living Community or care within an Adult Care Home or Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, please contact CHOICE Advisory Services at 1-800-361-0138