Assisted Living or Personal Care

What is the Difference Between Assisted Living & Personal Care?

For individuals looking to move out of their home for more care but not yet needing a nursing home, the state of Kentucky offers two levels of care. These two levels are called “Assisted Living” and “Personal Care”. The best way to describe the difference between the two is that Assisted Living is a social model and Personal Care is a medical model.

The Assisted Living environment is simply a home with amenities. Assisted Living provides a socially stimulating environment in which assistance with activities of daily living are provided by staff. These may include bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and eating. Assisted Living can offer its residents medication reminders, however Assisted Living cannot provide medical assistance unless it is out-sourced as they are not a licensed medical facility. Any medical needs must be addressed by an outside source and usually incur additional costs.

Personal Care communities offer the same social environment and services as Assisted Living but with the added benefit of a licensed medical staff. Like Assisted Living, Personal Care is not a nursing home. Personal Care provides assistance with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and eating while also providing medication administration and nursing care. Personal Care is licensed by the state which requires an annual survey as well as regulations that must be followed by the facility. 24/7 nursing presence is not required by the state, however some communities do offer it.

In order for a resident to be qualified for these two levels of care, they must be ambulatory (able to move on their own and transfer with minimum assistance), able to self-manage incontinence and capable of feeding themself. An initial assessment is conducted to determine a potential resident’s qualification.