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In the past, a nursing home was the only option for aging adults with challenges that made it unsafe for them to live alone. Senior living options have expanded over the years, offering older adults more choices based on the level of care they need. Assisted living communities are one of these options.

What Does Assisted Living Provide?

Assisted living communities are geared toward seniors who may have minor cognitive or mobility issues that interfere with their ability to do daily tasks.

Assisted living typically includes personal care services like:

  • Bathing

  • Getting dressed

  • Getting into bed

  • Taking medications as instructed

  • Getting to and from meals, activities, and the restroom

These retirement communities also include amenities like:

  • Meals

  • Utilities

  • Maintenance

  • Transportation

  • Group activities

  • Housekeeping

Assisted living communities are not health care facilities. They do not provide the same level of medical care and personal assistance as nursing homes. People with Alzheimers, significant medical conditions, or severe mobility issues are better suited for nursing homes or memory care units.

Male doctor assisting male seniors getting up from bed

Is Assisted Living Right for Me?

If you need help with everyday activities, but don t require daily medical oversight, an assisted living community could be a good option. These retirement communities can help older adults who value independence, but are at risk of danger or discomfort living alone.

According to the National Center for Assisted Living:

  • More than half of assisted living residents are over 85

  • 64% of residents need help with bathing

  • 57% of residents need assistance walking

  • 48% need help getting dressed

  • 40% need help getting to the restroom

  • 29% need help getting into bed

Some common health conditions in assisted living residents include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Arthritis

  • Dementia

  • Heart disease

  • Depression

A retirement community might also be right for you if you re feeling isolated or lonely. Research shows how important it is for older adults to have a supportive community of friends. Being around people can lower your risk for issues like depression, memory issues, heart disease, and cancer.

Doctor assisting female senior out of bed from the side

What Is the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes?

Assisted living communities are based in home-like settings. Residents typically have their own apartments and share common areas. They receive help with personal care. Many assisted living communities have an onsite physician that residents can use for an additional cost. Residents can choose to participate in activities.

Nursing homes are more clinical in nature. They provide a wide range of medical services in addition to personal care. Seniors and people with disabilities who require ongoing medical supervision but don t need hospitalization may live in nursing homes. Common medical conditions in nursing home residents include dementia, stroke, mental disorders, heart conditions, amputations, blindness, and nervous system disorders like Parkinson s disease.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

The average monthly cost of assisted living is $4,051 according to a 2019 Genworth survey. Rent varies by location, amenities, and level of care. Some assisted living communities require entry fees.

Cost can also change as needs change. For instance, some facilities include memory care units. This level of care is more intensive and more expensive.

Groups of seniors talking to each other and caretaker assisting male senior in wheelchair

How To Pay for Assisted Living

Most people use a combination of financial resources to pay for assisted living. Medicare does not pay for assisted living. Medicaid sometimes covers specific expenses in a Medicaid-approved facility. Medicaid coverage starts after you've depleted personal funds.

Typically, assisted living residents cover rent with:

  • Personal savings

  • Real estate profits

  • Social security

  • Annuities

  • Long-term care insurance

Benefits of Assisted Living Communities

These types of retirement communities can be a good option for older adults with minor physical and mental challenges.

Some benefits of assisted living communities include:

  • Privacy of your own apartment with the option to socialize in common areas.

  • Staff who help you with personal care so that you re not dependent on a loved one to assist with these needs.

  • Not having to worry about planning, preparing, or cooking meals.

  • Linen and light housekeeping services are typically included in rent.

  • Option to participate in activities and events.

An assisted living community isn't always the answer for older adults who want or need to move out of their home. If you don t require assistance with everyday activities, independent living communities can provide the safety in numbers” and connection with others that many seniors desire at a more affordable price.

Have Questions About Senior Living?

If you re not sure what type of retirement community is best for you or your loved one, we can help. Holiday Retirement has a 50-year history of empowering older adults to live healthier and happier lives. We'll help you determine what senior living situation makes most sense for your wants and needs.

Assisted Living


Click the Photo Above to View Assisted Living vs. Independent Living Differences

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