Is Residential Care the Same as Assisted Living?

Residential care is not the same as assisted living. Residential care offers older adults the long-term assistance and support they need to navigate the various stages of aging. Assisted living represents just one type of residential care. Other residential care facilities include nursing homes, board and care homes and continuing care retirement communities. 

What Services Do Residential Care Facilities Provide?

Residential care facilities provide different services, depending on the type of community. These are the most common types of residential care communities.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living residents receive help with activities of daily living (ADLs), meals, social activities and companionship. Many facilities also have amenities such as transportation, educational events, on-site health services and fitness centers designed to support physical and mental well-being.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide more intensive care than assisted living communities, including 24-hour supervision. Residents receive skilled nursing support and medical services as needed. Many nursing homes also provide specialty care services, such as physical and occupational rehabilitation.

Memory Care Centers

 Memory care provides emotional, physical and spiritual support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These communities often have specialized designs to keep residents safe and prevent wandering, a common concern with dementia patients. The professional staff also offers patient-centered care personalized for your loved one.

How Much Does Residential Care Cost?

Residential care has a baseline cost of $5,350 per month for assisted living, $8,669 per month for a semi-private nursing home room and $9,733 for a private nursing home room, according to the 2024 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Memory care is typically 25% more expensive than assisted living due to its services, such as specialized programs, training of staff and security measures, and offers a monthly median cost of $6,688.

Is Independent Living the Same as Residential Care?

Independent living is not the same as residential care. Independent living communities typically have condos or single-family homes for older adults who want to live in a safe, private neighborhood with others in their age group. They don’t offer help with activities of daily living, skilled nursing care or other services provided by residential care facilities.