In Pennsylvania, What's the Difference Between Assisted Living and Personal Care?

Differentiating the Terms

The terms Assisted Living and Personal Care are typically used interchangeably, and in many ways, they are similar. Both aid with the activities of daily living (ADL's), such as bathing, dressing, and grooming, personal maintenance, and medication management. However, communities that are licensed with the official designation of Assisted Living Residence (ALR) must, by Pennsylvania law, meet a variety of specific requirements regarding building construction, size, staffing, and training. Interestingly, many of the larger Personal Care Homes (PCH) communities in the state meet many of the ALR requirements anyway, both in construction and regarding care level.

To break it down, here are the services offered by the two types of communities.

Personal Care

  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Assistance with daily activities

Assisted Living

  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Assistance with daily activities
  • Provides skilled health care services to supplement the personal care


Assisted Living According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The two terms' definitions, services, and regulations vary depending on the state.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Office of Long-Term Living further discerns the two in the following three areas.

  • Concept - assisted living residences allow residents to age in place, so as their needs change, they will not need to relocate to another facility.
  • Construction - assisted living residences must provide residents with a private, lockable room, with a private bathroom and kitchen. Personal care residences are not required to offer these.
  • Level of Care - assisted living residences must guarantee residents skilled nursing care if their needs surpass standard assisted living services.


Personal Care at The Solana Doylestown

At The Solana Doylestown, for instance, trained staff is on onsite 24 hours a day to ensure that the health and safety needs of residents are always met, and every one of our Personal Care residences is equipped with an emergency response system.

The Solana also provides a highly trained Health and Wellness Navigation team that works personally with each resident to anticipate health and wellness needs and address them.  They guide residents through the many programs, services, and amenities that we offer, focusing on all 8 Dimensions of Wellness to ensure overall physical, psychological, and social wellbeing. Our Navigation team also helps steer residents through any medical challenges they may face. The team aids with prep and follow-up to for outpatient or hospital care and will coordinate appointments and post-acute care. If a resident needs help in transitioning to a higher level of care, the Navigation team will assist with that as well.

With all our exceptional services and amenities, incredible dining, and Health and Wellness Navigation, The Solana Doylestown is perfectly positioned as a Personal Care community that allows residents to live a life of freedom and flexibility and effectively age in place.  


Curious to Learn More?

Looking for Assisted Living or Personal Care? Talk to one of our senior living experts regarding how The Solana Doylestown can support you or a loved one.