With so many senior living options available in today’s market, it’s easy to become overloaded with choices. As you look for long term care, you will see both assisted living facilities and assisted living homes. But do you know the difference between the two? It’s important to understand the level of care and the quality of life that each offers to your loved one.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are a senior care option for older people who are unable to live on their own. A facility offers 24/7 personal care support services, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Cooking
  • Toileting
  • Medication management

Most assisted living facilities have varied service levels, such as independent living,  skilled nursing care or memory care units for Alzheimer’s or dementia residents.

Typically facilities house anywhere from 40 to 300 beds in either private or semi-private apartments that may be fully furnished and possibly include a small kitchen area although three healthy meals and snacks are usually provided by the facility. Seniors can socialize and eat with other residents in a central dining room. Transportation services, social activities, and other events are scheduled to keep residents socially active. 

The prices for many assisted living facilities usually are 30% higher than residential assisted living. For memory care it typically increases monthly costs by 20-30%.

Assisted Living Homes

An assisted living home is for seniors who would rather live in a more cozy, home-like environment, generally at a slightly reduced price generally. Similar to a senior care facility, assisted living homes offer basic personal care, food services and activities with social engagement. Many homes offer dementia or other forms of memory care.  Also, many of these homes provide medical care through their own registered nurse or a mobile medical service.  These homes generally resemble residential houses that are tailored to deliver assisted living services.

Assisted living homes are generally much smaller facilities providing care for up to 10 to 15 seniors. In this way, they’re able to offer a more personal and intimate environment for your elderly loved ones. Assisted living homes may also be referred to as:

  • Residential Care Homes
  • Board and Care Homes
  • Personal Care Homes
  • Group Homes
  • Adult Family Homes
  • Adult Foster Care

Services Offered

Assisted living homes are perfect for seniors who prefer to live in a warm community environment and do not need constant medical and personal attention. Here are some of the services provided by most residential care homes:

  • Meal preparation
  • Eating 
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Medication management and medication administration
  • A semi-private or private room
  • Some facilities offer financial and healthcare management

Which Solution is Right for You?

As a provider of assisted living services, Vista Living has a great deal of experience helping families make the right choices for care for their loved ones.

Firstly, ensure that the home or facility has the level of care that your senior needs. If your loved one needs 24/7 attention, only home health agencies, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities offer this kind of service. Generally, facilities might have more specialized care options but, being larger, they might lack more of the community feel of a home. 

The licensing of senior living communities varies by state and therefore there are varying degrees of quality of care and qualifications of healthcare providers, so make sure you do your homework on the facilities you are considering. Ask for any to see recent surveys of the facilities, review references thoroughly and read reviews online. Also, visit and compare different types of homes.

The majority of families make decisions based on the ease of visiting family members. Assisted living homes generally are more widespread and there are more local options available. Most, if not all, families think that location is a major factor in selecting an assisted living facility for your loved one. 

Pricing for Assisted Living Homes

For this smaller residential assisted living setting it generally costs 30% less than the larger facilities. Remember that the prices depend on the services offered, the quality of the caregivers and the location of each facility!

For any additional questions on assisted living care, please contact us, we would be happy to help.