assist living resizedWhen you begin to look for senior living, you’ll soon find out that there are all sorts of options to choose from. These options can be confusing and overwhelming, so here they are in plain and simple terms! Independent Living (IL) communities are geared for seniors who do not need any assistance in their daily living. These communities offer cottages and/or apartments for rental. Activities that are offered will vary between communities, communities may offer a great deal, while others will offer some activities and others will offer no activities. As far as meals are concerned, some communities will offer a meal(s) while others will not. The amenities offered by the community will impact the price you pay.


Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer long-term contracts that guarantee lifelong shelter and access to specified health services. A staff of medical professionals provides different levels of care, from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing care. A lump-sum entrance fee is usually paid upon admission and residents move in while they’re independent and age in place. These communities offer many activities and amenities for the residents. The CCRC contract covers shelter, residential services (meals, activities, amenities) in addition to long-term nursing care without an increase in monthly payments.

Personal Care (PC) communities provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as eating, toileting, transferring (walking), meals, bathing and continence. These communities usually provide an array of supervised activities for the resident. Unlike a CCRC, a large, up-front fee is not required. Monthly rental costs are based upon the size of the resident’s accommodation and the level of care that is needed for the resident. Prior to admission, communities will perform an “assessment” of the potential resident to determine the level of care that is required. If the potential resident needs assistance with more ADL’s, their cost will be higher and vice versa.
Assisted Living (AL) communities are similar to Personal Care communities in providing residents with assistance with Activities of Daily Living. In Pennsylvania, there are a few differences between Assisted Living and Personal Care Communities. An Assisted Living Residence room is akin to a studio apartment in that the resident will have a private living space with their own kitchen and bathroom.
Assisted Living Residences also offer services so that a resident may advance to a nursing home level of care should that become necessary. In Personal Care, if a person’s health needs become too great, they may be transferred to a skilled nursing facility, since a Personal Care Home is prohibited from providing acute medical care.

Memory Care (MC) communities are designed specifically for people with moderate to severe dementia. They offer all the amenities of Assisted Living and Personal Care communities along with a secured living environment, which prohibits residents from wandering away. Oftentimes, an Assisted Living or Personal Care community will have a Memory Care community on site. There are also communities devoted exclusively to Memory Care.

If you or someone you know is considering a move to a senior living community, call Graceful Senior Solutions. As the owners of Graceful Senior Solutions, Clark and Jane Shuster are dedicated to helping seniors and their families throughout the Delaware Valley. No matter what type of community you may need, Graceful Senior Solutions will reduce your stress and guide you through the community search and selection process. Their services are provided at no cost. Fees are paid by participating communities. For additional information, call 215-539-9185 or visit

More Health Articles

  • What’s a Geriatric Assessment?

    “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” -- Lucille Ball Lucy seldom gave good advice. Each episode when Ricky, Ethel, or Fred took her advice, they...

  • “DIEP” Breast Reconstruction Restores Natural Looking Breasts

    Microsurgical Procedure Uses Fat from Abdomen (Like Tummy Tuck) to Rebuild BreastMany women who have had a mastectomy as part of their cancer treatment feel that breast reconstruction is an...

  • A Father Helps His Son Step Up

    Barry R. Ettl, Jr. of Allentown has a typical case of cerebral palsy (CP) but — at age 45 — he is getting stronger every day, which is not the usual progression of things with CP. Barry was...

  • A Safe Transition from Hospital to Home

    COVID-19 has dominated not only the headlines, but also the headspace of people across the planet. Physical restrictions and perceived limitations have dramatically altered the routines of...

  • A Study of Loneliness, Isolation and Remedies

    Loneliness and Social ConnectionsAARP conducted a national survey of adults 45 and older to gauge the extent of their feelings of loneliness and isolation. Additionally the study made...

  • Advice for Coping with the Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for older adults, says St. Luke’s clinical therapist Amie Allanson-Dundon, but there are ways you can enhance not only your own mental health,...

Contact Us

Please enter your data here. Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
Please provide us with a phone number or email so we may respond to your request.

Full Name(*)

Please type your full name.


Invalid email address.


Invalid Input- please enter in form: 123-456-7890

How may we be of service?(*)

Please tell us how big is your company.

If you wish to subscribe enter your full address.

Invalid Input

Please enter the characters shown.(*)
Please enter the characters shown.
Invalid Input