Types of Senior Housing, Care Facilities & Licensing


Educating yourself on the types of options for yourself or a loved one starts with knowing what each setting provides. Also, using a local Senior Living Advisor will be most helpful in navigating which options are the best fit.

Independent Senior Living Communities: 1-3 Meals/day, housekeeping, transportation, activities

Assisted Living Communities (ALF): 3 Meals/day, housekeeping, transportation, and activities. 24/7 Care staff available to assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, Grooming, Medication Administration, and Escorts to and from meals and/or activities.

Residential Care Facilities (RCF): 

Provide similar services as ALF in a smaller setting. Typically accommodate 2-person transfers, Hoyer lifts, catheters, and tube feeding.

Memory Care Communities:  

Licensed as RCF and provide the same basic services listed under ALFs. Staff is trained and experienced in working with those diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments. Activities are focused on improving cognition & memory.

Adult Foster Care Homes (AFH): 

Provides assistance with ADLs in a home-like setting with up to 5 Residents maximum. Typically 1 staff member provides care, cooks meals, and cleans. Minimal to zero activities are facilitated in an AFH although there are some that do provide routine activities.

Night-time care is not available in most AFHs unless they have an additional staff member on duty at night.

Respite Care: 

Short Term stay of 30 days or less in an ALF, RCF, or MCC in a furnished apartment or room.

Home Care: 

Caregiver assistance with ADLs, grocery shopping, transportation, and companionship in a private home or on-site in most Independent Living Communities. Paid out of pocket or through a Long Term Care Insurance Policy.

Home Health:

Provides services at home or in an ALF, RCF, or AFH. Assistance with bathing a few days a week, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy, Wound Care, IV Therapy, Injections, Catheter Changes, Tube Feeding, and more. Services are ordered by a physician, are covered by Medical Insurance, and are typically provided following a hospital or skilled rehab stay.

Intermediate Care Facility (ICF): 

An ICF is a facility that provides, on a regular basis, health-related care and services to individuals who do not require the degree of care and treatment that a hospital or SNF is designed to provide but require more assistance than an AFH, ALF or RCF can provide.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF): 

A nursing facility providing 24-hour non-acute nursing, medical, and rehabilitative care.

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