There are 2,170 assisted living facilities in Florida. This number can and does change rapidly as new communities open and older ones close. Yet Florida’s large population of seniors ages 65 and over calls for many options for senior care, and assisted living offers services for those who need some extra help while retaining their independence.

Varieties of Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living communities aren’t all alike. Some are small with only five to 10 residents living together in what may once have been a private home. They receive help from a few caregivers, at least one of whom often lives on the premises to provide 24-hour support. Medium-sized communities allow for more varied care options and activities, and Florida offers many mid-range options for seniors who don’t want to live in communities that are too small or too large. They can choose a home for about 20 residents or a place with 60 or so people.

Some assisted living facilities are home to more than a hundred seniors. These usually offer a wide range of apartment floor plans to choose from, many care levels and a huge variety of activities and amenities that smaller communities can’t provide. Seniors must assess their priorities and needs when choosing the right assisted living community for them.

Characteristics of Assisted Living Communities

No matter how large or small an assisted living community is, though, most share some basic characteristics. In assisted living, residents receive help with their activities of daily living, which include bathing, dressing and grooming. Medication management and administration are usually available as well as mobility assistance. Staff members in most communities handle housekeeping, laundry and maintenance chores and serve three meals per day. Many offer snacks as well.

Assisted living communities also typically provide scheduled activities, such as games, entertainment, crafts, clubs, exercise and social events, to keep seniors busy and engaged. Many even offer group outings, wellness programs and on-site salon services. Some communities are pet-friendly.