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What’s the difference between personal care and assisted living?

When choosing between retirement and senior living options, there is no shortage of options available right now. The freedom, flexibility, and peace of mind available to older adults and their families is truly game-changing.

But along with flexibility and options can come a LOT of questions. There are so many options, it can be difficult to understand the differences between them, or to prioritize what’s most important. In particular, we very often hear about confusion in the difference between personal care and assisted living. 


A comparison between personal care and assisted living

Before we look at the differences between personal care and assisted living, let’s take a look at what is similar between the two, and how they impact the quality of life for seniors.


Personal care and assisted living: What’s similar

Oftentimes as we get older, certain daily tasks become more challenging and we need a little extra help. In those instances, both personal care and assisted living can help. 

Personal care and assisted living can both provide assistance with the following tasks: 

  • Grooming. We all take pride in our appearance, but sometimes fatigue or conditions like arthritis can make personal grooming a bit of a challenge. Personal care and assisted living can each provide certified nursing assistants or aides to help you with personal grooming tasks like brushing/styling your hair, putting on makeup, getting dressed, putting on earrings and jewelry, and more. 
  • Toileting and Bathing. Along with grooming, regular bathing and hygiene are important to help us feel and look our best. Letting these areas go can cause stress and depression in seniors. And we want you to look and feel your best! Both personal care and assisted living can help you in these key areas. 
  • Medication Management. 89% of seniors age 65 and over report taking a prescription medication, and many take multiple medications, plus vitamins, pain pills, and more. It can be difficult to keep track of them all, let alone how many pills to take and when. And taking the wrong pill at the wrong time, too many or not enough pills can be extremely dangerous (even deadly). Personal care and assisted living can provide assistance with medication reminders to ensure you safely and properly take your medications. 
  • Meal Assistance/Reminders. Our appetites change as we get older, and many seniors see a decreased appetite in their later years. In fact, many seniors may even forget to eat meals! This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and can even interfere with your medications if it happens regularly. Both personal care and assisted living can provide meal reminders (and with assisted living, can even escort you to mealtimes) to ensure you eat three balanced meals per day. 

Personal care and assisted living: The differences

While personal care and assisted living share some core similarities, they are also quite different. Here are some of the most critical differences to consider when choosing the best option for you or your loved one: 

  • Location. Personal care services are most often delivered in your loved one’s home. An aide or certified nursing assistant (CNA) will visit your loved one at home at a set duration (eg. once per day, three times per week, etcetera) to perform any and all of the tasks noted above. Assisted living; however, focuses on the living -- with assisted living, your new retirement community is your home, and the person assisting you with those tasks noted above is a member of the team. 
  • Additional components of care.. With assisted living, you don’t just get help with personal care tasks like the ones noted above -- you can get assistance with transportation to your doctors appointments, maintenance in your home, and more -- all on site at your retirement community, and available to you often without the need to schedule far in advance.
  • Quality of life enrichment. While a personal care aide visits you or your loved one perhaps once a day for an hour or so, assisted living means that you enjoy the personal care assistance noted above, the additional components of care noted, plus SO much more that adds to your quality of life. From gourmet meals in our fine dining room, to museum visits, movies in our on-site movie theater, walks on our lovely grounds, crafts, exercise, and so many more activities, life is always full in assisted living here at Winnwood Retirement Community. 


See firsthand why assisted living is your best option for retirement.

At Winnwood Retirement Community ,we are proud to provide exceptional quality of life, amenities, activities, living arrangements, and so much more to our residents. Our resort-like lifestyle provides you or your loved ones with everything they need to enjoy their retirement years. To learn more or schedule a tour, contact our team today

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