Start the Assisted Living Search


Last Updated: Jan 26, 2023


Assisted Living is a type of senior care provided in a non-medical facility that is licensed to provide services, supervision and assistance to seniors. It is suited for Seniors who want to live independently, but need assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming and minor house chores.



In This Article:

Assisted Living Definition
Who Needs It?
What Are The Services Offered?
What Are The Costs?
How Do You Pay For It?
Who Regulates the Care Facilities?
How Does It Differ from A Nursing Home
Where Can You Find Care?



Assisted Living Definition

This senior care services provides care to residents who do not need 24-hour medical assistance and supervision. However, this type of senior care facilities may also provide incidental medical services under special care plans.

These care facilities are not required to have nurses and/or doctors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, although most assisted living facilities have medical staff on site or on call. Caregivers are always available round the clock to ensure that all residents receive the utmost care they deserve, giving seniors and families peace of mind.

These senior care facilities have different sizes. Majority of the care facilities are small, which are also referred to as Residential Care Homes (house-looking properties) that provide senior care in a home-like setting. This type of facility has 6 senior residents or less and typically have a “1 Caregiver to 3 Resident” ratio. There are also those large Communities (large hotel or resort-looking properties) that provide daily activities and social interaction among their senior residents. These large communities have 25 or more residents and typically a “1 Caregiver to 8 Resident” ratio.



Who Needs It?

Typically, seniors who are alert, independent and do not require 24 hour medical assistance consider assisted living as the best senior care option. Residents of these senior care facilities and communities usually need help with one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Seniors in these homes or communities enjoy being socially and physically active without having to worry too much about responsibilities.



What Are The Services Offered?

These senior care facilities offer meal service, personal care assistance, housekeeping, transportation service, social activities and pleasure trips. Basic medical services such as medication assistance, medical records maintenance and monthly wellness check-ups may also be available.

Senior activities and programs in these facilities may vary depending on the actual size of the facility. Usually, large communities offer a wider range of senior activities and programs as they have more senior participants. Read Types of Senior Care Services to learn more.



What Are The Costs?

The average cost of Assisted living across the U.S is $3348 per month. The costs can range from $1426 per month to as much as $6532 (or more) per month.

The monthly fee for this type of care may vary depending on the location, level of care needs and size of the facility or community. Care and Rent can be very expensive, that’s why it is important to plan and prepare for your aging loved ones future.



How Do You Pay It?

Typically, seniors and families use private funds to pay for Assisted Living. However, some facilities accept long-term care insurance. Check your senior loved one’s long-term care insurance policy to see if this type of care is covered.

If the senior is a war veteran and/or a spouse of war veteran, he or she might be able to get pension from the Veterans Administration to help pay for care. This special pension is called VA Aid and Attendance Pension Program. Read VA Aid and Attendance to learn more or contact your local VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000.

Generally, Medicaid does not pay for this type of care but in some states, Medicaid may pay for a limited stay in the facility. Keep in mind though that you will have to qualify since Medicaid has very strict guidelines. Contact your local Medicaid office to learn more about your state’s Medicaid program.



Who Regulates the Care Facilities?

Assisted living facilities are regulated by the Department of Social Services and inspected by state officials. Every state has it’s own policies and guidelines. If the quality standards are not met, the state will not issue a license to the facility or for existing care facilities, the license will be revoked. This helps ensure the quality of senior care services in all care facilities.



How Does It Differ From a Nursing Home?

Assisted Living is a non medical facility for active and alert seniors who want to maintain independence for as long as possible but may need help with one of the activities of daily living. On the other hand, Nursing Homes are for seniors who require nursing assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week due to the higher level of care needed.



Where Can I Find Care? provides free senior living options to help seniors and families find the best-matched facilities based on budget, location and care needs. Contact one of our Senior Care Advisors now to get started for free advice and options. Comprehensive online listings with facility photos are also available. View listings in your area now.


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