The goal of an assisted living facility is to provide 24-hour support as needed in a safe environment while allowing residents to maintain as much independence as possible. These facilities are designed to create a safe, home-like environment where residents can live in private accommodations while receiving assistance with daily tasks as needed. Maintenance-free living and socialization make life easier for residents, and the support can help prevent injuries, illnesses and improper personal care to keep residents healthier with a better quality of life. 

Who Should Live in an Assisted Living Community?

An assisted living community is ideal for seniors who need help with basic activities of daily care, such as bathing, going to the bathroom and getting dressed. It’s a suitable option for people who can’t safely live on their own anymore and could benefit from access to round-the-clock assistance from caregivers. The focus of assisted living is personal care rather than medical care. Residents are still typically active and live a relatively independent lifestyle, but they need a little assistance to maintain their lifestyle. 

Seniors who need more support, such as 24/7 nursing care, might need a skilled nursing facility. Assisted living caregivers often aren’t equipped or allowed to handle ongoing medical care, such as feeding tubes or progressive diseases. Those needs go beyond the scope of personal care into medical care, which is more aligned with the goals of a skilled nursing facility. 

What Services Do Residents Receive From Assisted Living?

Residents in assisted living communities receive as much or as little assistance as needed based on their situation. Caregivers typically write an individualized care plan based on a needs assessment to define what type of support each resident needs. The facility typically offers a wide range of services designed to give residents the support they need to live as independently as possible while staying safe and healthy. However, not every resident needs every service or type of support. 

Common services provided by assisted living communities include:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Medication management
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping, laundry and linen services
  • Maintenance
  • Transportation
  • On-site recreational activities and off-site outings
  • Exercise facilities
  • Wellness programs

Assisted living facilities often have on-site therapy options, including physical, speech and occupational therapy. They might have visiting medical specialists that see residents regularly, and the facilities often have on-call nurses or doctors in case a medical situation arises. However, most of the services focus on the goal of assisting with personal care needs to create a safe environment that allows active seniors to maintain their independence.