What Are the Different Types of Adult Assisted Living?

Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer Hicks
Assisted living facilities provide residents help with daily activities.
Assisted living facilities provide residents help with daily activities.

Adult assisted living provides care and services for adults who need help with daily tasks but do not need the full services of a nursing home. Those who choose adult assisted living move from their homes to apartments or small units within larger facilities. Facility types include general retirement communities with assisted living wings and dedicated facilities that only provide assisted living services. The types of care vary depending on the residents’ needs.

Seniors are supervised by professional caregivers in assisted living.
Seniors are supervised by professional caregivers in assisted living.

Retired people who seek assisted living typically are unable to remain in their homes due to disabilities and medical conditions. When staying at home becomes a safety risk, adult assisted living provides the dignity of living in private, individual units while relying on daily assistance. Regardless of where the assisted living housing is located, services usually include help with bathing, dressing, and eating meals. Some facilities provide dining rooms for residents who have difficulty preparing their own meals.

Due to disabilities and other medical conditions, people often opt to move into assisted living quarters.
Due to disabilities and other medical conditions, people often opt to move into assisted living quarters.

In addition to the basics, other services might include laundry assistance, medical appointment or medication reminders, transportation to shopping and religious services, and recreational activities. Often social work services are available to help with health-care planning. Residents receive mail as if they were living in a traditional apartment building, and security maintains the safety of the grounds.

Assisted living allows patients some independence, but also provides on-site medical care.
Assisted living allows patients some independence, but also provides on-site medical care.

When adult assisted living is part of a retirement community, those who need daily assistance can socialize with other adults who simply live in the community for convenience or the opportunity to interact with others. When a facility provides only assisted living, all residents receive some form of assistance depending on their needs. In all cases, adults are able to socialize with one another in a supportive setting.

All adult assisted living programs charge monthly fees similar to the rent an adult would pay for an apartment. When veterans seek assisted living, they apply for government assistance and typically are directed to specific centers in their communities that specialize in assisted care for veterans. Low-income, nonveteran retirees often live in communities that receive government subsidies, which help keep rents low for those unable to afford higher rents.

The majority of seniors in adult assisted living are single, but some programs also accept married adults. Couples who choose assisted living do so when one spouse develops a disability or medical condition and the couple does not want to be separated. Married couples are eligible for larger units or apartments to accommodate both people, and the degree of daily assistance depends on what the pair is unable to do together.

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    • Assisted living facilities provide residents help with daily activities.
      Assisted living facilities provide residents help with daily activities.
    • Seniors are supervised by professional caregivers in assisted living.
      Seniors are supervised by professional caregivers in assisted living.
    • Due to disabilities and other medical conditions, people often opt to move into assisted living quarters.
      Due to disabilities and other medical conditions, people often opt to move into assisted living quarters.
    • Assisted living allows patients some independence, but also provides on-site medical care.
      Assisted living allows patients some independence, but also provides on-site medical care.