What is Assisted Living?



What is Assisted Living?


Assisted living refers to services provided to adults who need help with activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting) and can occur in one’s own home or may occur in a community dedicated to these services.  In contrast, nursing facilities may be appropriate when an individual requires around-the-clock nursing care, such as administration of intravenous medications or wound care.  

For many people, the idea of leaving home and moving into a long-term care facility has very negative connotations, such as the concept being placed in a nursing home, resulting in a loss of independence, control, and dignity.  Some of us have heard negative stories about neglect and poor care in the nursing homes of past eras, and this is surely one of the reasons the term “nursing home” has fallen by the wayside.  Unfortunately, these negative stereotypes about long-term care facilities discourage many people from seeking out the services they desperately need.  It is really important to have a clear understanding of all of the different options for care that are available in your community and to recognize the differences between independent living, assisted living, board and care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, among other options.  Don’t just take our word for it.  Go and visit these facilities on your own, and you can begin contacting these organizations through links on this website.  We at DrKnows are confident that if you invest time and effort into understanding your options that you will realize how these care organizations are striving to help individuals maintain their independence, dignity, and quality of life.

Some of the confusion about the concept of assisted living arises from the fact that there is no uniform definition for these residential facilities in the United States.  Rather, these facilities are licensed and regulated on the individual state level, and each state may have its own unique description and licensing regulations.  In California, for example, skilled nursing facilities are regulated through the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) while most of the other organizations fall under the authority of the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

Often, patients and family members struggle deciding when additional assistance is appropriate or necessary.  Certainly, when personal safety is in jeopardy, additional help and supervision become imperative.  If safety continues to be a severe concern, then state adult protective service agencies may intervene, and the individual and family may forfeit the right to make these arrangements.  If your loved one is refusing appropriate care, it may be helpful to emphasize that he will prefer to be involved in the decision-making process rather than having a state agency make this decision on his behalf.  Consult a DrKnows Care Advisor about the types of assistance that may be necessary for you or your loved one.  Call DrKnows toll free at 1 (844) DrKnows – that’s 1 (844) 375-6697.


Overview to Residential Care Communities Choosing Assisted Care

About DrKnows

DrKnows is dedicated to providing FREE assistance to individuals and families seeking any type of care service for patients of any age.
or search our care provider listings.

I'm looking for

You can also call us toll free at 1 (844) DrKnows -
that's 1 (844) 375-6697.
A DrKnows Care Advisor can help you find the best qualified care provider for your loved one - whether you are seeking a residential care facility, a home care agency, an independent in-home care provider, or a day program.
For more information about DrKnows, including how to find the right type of care to meet your needs and expectations, please visit our DrKnows User's Guide. If you are a care provider who would like to partner with us, please visit our Care Providers page.

Explore your options for care. Connect with a DrKnows Care Advisor.

DrKnows provides FREE support to families in need of care.

Request Call

Or call Toll-Free 1 (844) 375-6697