What is Assisted Living?
What’s in a name?
Other common names for assisted living include:
- Residential care
- Board and care
- Congregate care
- Adult care home
- Adult group home
- Alternative care facility
- Sheltered housing
Assisted living is a residential option for seniors who want or need help with some of the activities of daily living—things like cooking meals, getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night, keeping house, and traveling to appointments.
An assisted living facility may be a good choice if you need more personal care services than you can get at home or an independent living retirement community, but you don’t need the round-the-clock medical care and supervision of a nursing home.
Assisted living facilities offer the safety and security of 24-hour support and access to care. Day or night, help is only a phone call away. However, privacy and independence are encouraged. A good facility will develop a personalized plan that meets your needs and accommodates your disabilities, while giving you the freedom to do what you can for yourself. In general, assisted living is in a residential type facility, ranging from converted homes or apartment complexes to renovated schools. Some provide apartment-style living with scaled down kitchens, while others provide rooms. In some, you may need to share a room unless willing to pay higher cost. Most facilities have a group dining area and common areas for social and recreational activities.
In the U.S., each state has its own specific licensing requirements for assisted living, so you’ll want to check to see what services can be provided.
Services at a typical assisted living facility
- Three meals a day served in a common dining area
- Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, and walking
- Housekeeping services
- Access to health and medical services
- Round the clock security
- Emergency call systems in each resident’s living space
- Exercise and wellness programs
- Medication management
- Laundry services
- Social and recreational activities
- Staff available to help with scheduled needs, as well as unexpected issues