The Difference Between Assisted Living and Personal Care in Pennsylvania

Nov 8, 2022

Personal care provides daily support and many services and amenities for residents living in the community. With this lifestyle’s similarities to assisted living, many people wonder what the difference is. In Pennsylvania, are there any differences between these lifestyles? While the 2 lifestyles are similar, there are some differences.

What Is the Difference Between Assisted Living & Personal Care in Pennsylvania? 

According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, assisted living and personal care have 3 main differences: concept, construction, and level of care. 

Assisted living communities have the sole purpose of “aging in place,” where residents can continue to receive support as their needs change with a high level of care. Personal care communities can also have this goal, or some are designed for shorter stays. 

Assisted living communities must offer living amenities such as kitchenettes and private bathrooms. Personal care communities can offer varying amenities, though many choose to provide the same services and amenities.

If you’re interested in senior living for you or a loved one, learning about what these lifestyles offer can help you make a final decision. It’s important to research and determine what you or your loved one need support with.

A male and a female senior are sitting at a table for dinner while a female in a navy blue uniform is serving their food.

What Is Assisted Living? 

Assisted living is a lifestyle that provides daily care and support, helping older adults live life to the fullest. Many people assume that assisted living is similar to a conventional retirement home, but this lifestyle offers every resident a customized care plan catered to their needs.

Assisted living is ideal for older adults needing extra help during the day. Someone may not need 24/7 care, but they may struggle with specific tasks.

The daily tasks they completed for years, like laundry, dressing, or cooking, may become more difficult. Assisted living allows seniors to live as independently as they like, with the knowledge that someone is available to help them when necessary. 

What Does Assisted Living Provide? 

The goal of assisted living is to make life easier for older adults, letting them focus on the things they love. They can make new connections, discover new hobbies, and enjoy new experiences.  

Help with activities of daily living is a core part of someone’s care plan in an assisted living community. While they may be able to complete these daily activities, they could be strenuous or leave them winded. 

The activities of daily living include: 

  • Ambulation: Your ability to move from one place to another & support yourself while walking. 
  • Continence: Your ability to control bladder & bowel function. 
  • Dressing: Your ability to pick out clothes & dress without support. 
  • Feeding: Your ability to prepare food, cook it, & feed yourself independently. 
  • Personal hygiene: Your ability to meet your hygiene needs independently, including bathing, brushing, & grooming. 
  • Toileting: Your ability to get to & from the toilet, use it properly & clean yourself aftward. 

Besides helping with activities of daily living, assisted living offers many services and amenities for residents to enjoy. 

What Is Personal Care? 

Personal care is similar to assisted living, providing daily assistance with whatever tasks residents need help with. Someone in a personal care community receives all the support they need while getting to live as independently as they like. 

Personal care offers many ways for residents to live an enriching life, including: 

  • Housekeeping & laundry
  • Daily meals
  • Group activities
  • On-site salons
  • Libraries
  • Recreation rooms
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Wellness centers
  • Transportation off campus for appointments & shopping

What Does Personal Care Provide? 

Like assisted living, personal care supports residents with daily tasks, letting them live independently with help available when needed. This care can be as minimal or intensive as necessary, depending on someone’s needs.

A resident’s care plan in a personal care community is based on their unique needs. If someone’s needs change, this care plan is adaptable to provide more support, helping them get the care they require without having to move.

Some of the services provided in a personal care community include: 

  • Connection with healthcare providers (doctors, pharmacies, podiatrists)
  • Medication management
  • Memory-building activities
  • Occupational & physical therapy
  • Safety & security monitoring
  • Exercise & other engaging activities
  • Mental health services
  • Recreation & social outings
  • Socialization & friendship opportunities 

With how similar assisted living and personal care are, what’s the difference between these lifestyles? 

Learn More About Personal Care

Personal care can help provide the daily support you or your loved one needs. If you’re interested in personal care, you don’t need to make an immediate decision. You can contact a community or visit them to see their services

Contact Chestnut Ridge Wallingford to learn more about the care we provide.