Assisted living is a form of senior care that provides residents with supportive services and assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include things like bathing, eating, hygiene, and dressing. Assisted living services may also include basic first-aid and assistance with medication management. It does not include regular medical care, rehabilitation services, or skilled nursing care. Assisted living communities typically offer both semi-private and private rooms, a robust activity schedule and social opportunities for residents, and will have communal areas for residents to enjoy such as a fitness center, lounge, courtyard, or pool.
Assisted living facilities (ALFs) are sometimes confused with nursing homes, another long-term residential care option for seniors. But, the two differ in a few key ways. First and foremost, nursing homes provide a higher level of medical care than what one will find in an ALF. Nursing homes are intended for those with a serious medical condition that requires around-the-clock care, or those who need that type of care in the short term as they recover from an illness, injury, or surgery. Assisted living facilities provide supportive services and assistance from trained staff, but the goal is to help residents remain as independent as they wish while ensuring they have the assistance they need.
Additionally, while nursing homes are a clinical setting, ALFs are a more social community setting. Thus, the primary focus of nursing homes is resident health, while ALFs are intended to support relatively active and independent seniors.