Types of Assisted Living

Today's seniors are presented with a dizzying array of choices regarding senior housing options. Is “aging in place” the best or would assisted living be a better choice? What about memory care? What are my options if I'm disabled? We're here to help you unravel assisted living for adults of all ages and supply you with the knowledge to make the best decisions regarding care.

Aging in Place

Aging in place is what many older adults want. According to a survey conducted by AARP, 86% of those 65 and older want to stay in their home as they age. Aging in place means you can safely, independently and comfortably live on your own, in your home, for as long as possible. Aging in place may include adding services such as in-home care, skilled nursing, live-in-care, transportation and other support.

Aging in place with in-home care can ease the burden on caregivers or family who may be the sole support of the older individual. Adult children may not live in the area or are busy raising their own young families, making it difficult to meet their loved one’s needs. 

Assisted Living

There are over 28,000 assisted living communities in the United States. These communities can vary greatly between small communities of 25 residents and large ones with 300 or more individuals. Living arrangements include private and semi-private apartments, with some offering kitchenettes and private bathrooms.

Assisted living facilities feature many services and amenities, such as full-service beauty salons, housekeeping and restaurant-style dining. The goal is to have everything close by with minimal need to drive outside of the community. Additionally, staff and medical personnel are there to manage medications and support Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

Memory Care

There are many stand-alone memory care communities that support only those with Alzheimer's, dementia or other memory loss issues. It may be confusing to learn that some assisted living communities have special memory care units on campus. One reason is because it allows couples to dwell in the same community. For example, if the husband has dementia but the wife does not, the community may still allow them to live together in a couple's apartment.

Memory care staff are specially trained to tend to those with memory loss issues. Memory care communities have many safeguards to prevent wandering and other safety concerns. Residents have the opportunity to engage in activities and programming designed for their needs and to help them maintain a life of dignity.

Care Homes

Care homes, also called residential care facilities or group homes, are smaller private facilities. Care homes include:

  • Private or semi-private living space
  • Help with personal care
  • Meals and dining
  • Support with ADLs
  • Round-the-clock care

There is no medical or nursing care provided. Care homes are very much like assisted living, but due to their small size may have:

  • More home-like amenities
  • Fewer activities
  • Smaller staff (but can have better staff-to-resident ratios)
  • Fewer large-group social gatherings 

Care homes are a good choice for those who do not need regular medical care, but need help with ADLs, enjoy smaller groups and value their independence.

Seniors and Adults with Disabilities

Physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional, and sensory impairment disorders are the four main types of disability. Many assisted living, skilled nursing and nursing homes can offer supportive care for those living with a disability.

Assisted living and in-home care are two good options for seniors living with a disability and have a high level of independence. Both offer medical support, help with ADLs, medication management and other services. In-home care can also offer more complex medical care and support personal care needs. Assisted living is more of a long-term solution, while in-home care may be better suited for rehabilitative care for those with short-term disabilities.


Find the Right Care for the Ones You Love

BrightStar Care can help you navigate the assisted living landscape. For those looking for a different type of care that lets adults with disabilities and seniors remain at home safely, we offer Companion Care, Personal Care, Skilled Nursing, Respite Care, 24-hour and Live-In Care and more.

To learn more about the various assisted living options, please contact a BrightStar® Senior Living or BrightStar® Care Homes location near you or call 866.618.7827.

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