What’s the Difference: Assisted Living, Personal Care, and Life Plan Communities?

As people age, sometimes we need a little more help with our daily activities and chores than when we were younger. Older adults can enter into specifically designed assisted living and personal care neighborhoods to meet their ongoing needs. Still, if you thought those two terms were completely interchangeable, you would be mistaken. 

In neighboring states, assisted living and personal care communities used to be completely interchangeable terms to describe a level of senior living care. However, in 2011, Pennsylvania required that these terms have clear definitions to help people seeking care know what each provides. With so many assisted living and personal care communities out there, understanding each option will help you make a more informed decision regarding your or your loved one’s future. 

Okay, now to mix things up a little more! Life Plan Communities — formerly referred to as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) — contain all of the above and beyond!

Still with us? We will explain each in further detail. 

What Makes a Personal Care Home?

When it comes to defining the differences between personal care and assisted living, the biggest discrepancy is the level of care provided. Personal care homes and communities focus on providing access to housing, meals, medication management, and personal care tasks. These services help you maintain your independence and standard of living while receiving any help and support you need when you need it. 

In personal care neighborhoods, the residents are still in charge of their lives and daily activities. The services provided by the community staff aim to maintain their accustomed standard of living and help them with anything they might need. 

What Makes an Assisted Living Community?

For a community to be considered assisted living, they would offer the same services as a personal care community with the addition of health care services — like skilled nursing staff and other supportive services. 

What Makes a Life Plan Community?

A Life Plan Community, like Pickering Manor, provides the most comprehensive offering of all, several types of living options conveniently on one campus: Independent Living (Apartments and Cottages), Assisted Living or Personal Care, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing (long-term and short-term). Because the needs and interests of the residents are different, each neighborhood at Pickering Manor is specifically designed to support the needs of the residents based on the level of care needed. 

Offering more than one level of care is not all these communities offer; we also focus on overall wellness and a healthy, active lifestyle — all while being connected to the community. 

Choosing Life Plan Communities provides peace of mind to many retirees who live independently today but seek the comfort of knowing that personal care and/or skilled medical care is available when needed. Having all these living options in one place truly defines “age in place.”

Getting Help When You Need It

Sometimes, physical limitations can make things like taking a shower, getting dressed, or grooming more difficult than they once were. With a personal care home, we have staff available to help you with these tasks while helping you maintain that desired sense of independence. The Pickering Manor staff can also help you with regular health checks and ensure you have the appropriate medications for your ongoing needs. Ease your mind knowing if you one day need full care; we have a Skilled Nursing Neighborhood with 24-hour care and a Memory Care neighborhood that was intuitively and mindfully designed for those who are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Not ready for Personal Care? Check out our Apartments or Cottages and enjoy worry-free living. 

Whatever the need, we’ve got you covered! 

Find Your Home at Pickering Manor’s Life Plan Community!

At Pickering Manor, we provide the perfect balance of care while encouraging our residents to maintain as much independence as possible. While health services are a priority, we also offer opportunities to enjoy active, engaging, and meaningful lifestyles. Check out our wide variety of living options today! 

Learn more about our Life Plan Community in Bucks County, PA, and take a tour of the facility today!

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