Types of Assisted Living Facilities Available

If you are working with your parents in search of the most appropriate assisted living community, you certainly wonder what options are available to you. Through this article, we present a discussion of the types of assisted living facilities available to older Americans today.

The types of assisted living facilities in operation in California and across the United States are:

  • Large assisted living facilities
  • Small assisted living facilities
  • Demographic specific assisted living facilities
  • Assisted living in continuing care retirement community

Large Assisted Living Facilities

The first real wave of assisted living facilities in the United States were larger communities. Larger assisted living facilities still dominate the marketplace today. Large assisted living facilities range in size from dozens of residents to hundreds. 

Large facilities have a range of different types of living arrangements for its residents. These are:

  • Single room apartments
  • Studio apartment
  • Private rooms
  • Semi-private rooms

Some larger assisted living facilities are structured with one type of residential unit. Others offer multiple living options like apartments and single rooms and so forth.

Small Assisted Living Facilities

A trend in more recent times is towards smaller assisted living facilities. These oftentimes are converted single family homes. 

Smaller assisted living facilities typically have somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to 10 residents. Normally, residents reside in individual rooms in these types of smaller assisted living facilities.

Demographic Specific Assisted Living Facilities

Another type of assisted living facility is one that is dedicated to a particular demographic cohort or group. Examples of demographic specific assisted living facilities include:

  • Assisted living communities for veterans
  • Assisted living communities for women
  • Assisted living communities for people of a particular religious faith

Assisted Living in Continuing Care Retirement Community 

The final type of assisted living facility is one that is part of a continuing care retirement community. A continuing care community is one that offers a variety of different types of residential options for older individuals. These are:

  • Senior housing units
  • Assisted living units
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Memory center

The point behind this type of comprehensive community is that an older individual can enter through a senior housing unit and its independent living format. If that person becomes needful of assistance with some tasks associated with daily living, he or she can transition to an assisted living unit and so forth.

Common Elements of All Types of Assisted Living Facilities

There are some common elements found in assisted living facilities of all four types discussed here. The size or demographics of a particular assisted living facility will impact to some degree the offerings at a specific community. Nonetheless, the more commonplace elements of an assisted living community in California and across the United States include:

  • Dining and meals
  • Fitness classes
  • Educational, informational, and enrichment programs
  • Social gatherings
  • Entertainment and other events
  • Informal socializing between residents

Types of Services at an Assisted Living Facility

No matter the size nor the demographic focus of a particular assisted living community, there is a commonplace set of services available in these types of senior living centers. These are:

  • Housekeeping
  • Meals
  • Laundry
  • Transportation services
  • Social programs 
  • Fitness or exercise programs
  • Enrichment programs
  • Provision of a healthy lifestyle for residents
  • Social engagement for residents
  • Assistance with dressing
  • Assistance with grooming
  • Entertainment
  • Staff availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Some medication management assistance

The provision of services at an assisted living community are specifically tailored to the particular needs of an individual resident. This is the way a service plan is devised at all types of assisted living communities discussed previously in this article.

Costs Associated With Assisted Living Communities

Many people conclude that there can be pretty significant cost differences between the different types of assisted living facility. For example, some people conclude that larger assisted living communities are more expensive. Other people feel the exact opposite, believing that smaller assisted living communities will be more expensive.

In the final analysis, costs can vary between different assisted living communities not so much because of which category they fall into but because of elements and attributes like:

  • Geographic location of an assisted living facility
  • Specific accoutrements of an assisted living community
  • Type or types of individual living options within an assisted living community
  • Unique programming alternatives at an assisted living community

If you are considering moving into an assisted living community, or if you are the adult child of a parent who may be considering transitioning to assisted living, you will want to tour different types of facilities. This includes touring larger and smaller assisted living options that may be available in your community. You may also want to consider checking out what might be available in a demographic specific assisted living facility, like an assisted living community designed for older women seeking this type of supportive residential situation.