What is an Assisted Living Facility?

What is an Assisted Living Facility?

Apr 18 2014

Assisted living goes by a variety of different names including assisted care, assistive care, residential care, supportive living, basic care, personal care, adult living facilities, and adult foster care. Whatever the name, the level of service in these communities is similar--providing seniors with their own space but offering assistance whenever possible.

Assisted-living communities are a good fit for seniors who need help with daily activities. Residences give seniors privacy and independence while also providing basic healthcare and assistance with personal care. These communities aim to provide an atmosphere both comfortable and engaging for their residents.

With assistance a phone call away, in addition to planned social and recreational events, seniors in assisted-living homes can get the support they need while maintaining a level of independence. Most communities have private or semi-private rooms and nearly all communities offer at least one common area.

Services at Assisted Living Facilities


Services in assisted-care communities typically include the following:

    • 24-hour assistance

    • medication assistance

    • on-site healthcare services

    • meal service

    • laundry

    • housekeeping

    • transportation

    • physical and occupational therapy

    • exercise classes



These communities will often support seniors in activities affected by diminished memory, muscle tone, flexibility and fine motor skills. Assisted living facilities will support seniors in getting healthcare and taking medications, shopping and cooking. More advanced care may also support seniors with hygiene, mobility, feeding and other basic daily tasks.

Communities typically create individual service plans for residents. These plans ensure each resident receives individualized care by outlining any needed assistance in a way minimizing the impact of care services on a resident's lifestyle--maximizing the resident's independence. Different communities may also provide memory care programs for seniors suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia and other conditions resulting in loss of cognitive function.

These senior care provisions are typical but not offered in each community. Check with prospective assisted-living communities to find out what level of care and service they offer. When you are ready to pay a visit to an assisted-living community, make sure to print out a copy of our Interview Questions for Your Assisted Living Tour. This handy checklist will ensure you get the answers and information you need to make an informed choice.

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  • Chicago, IL
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