Personal Care vs. Assisted Living The terms Personal Care and Assisted Living are often used interchangeably; however, in 2011 the State of Pennsylvania instituted legislation that separated care communities into the two separate categories.
Many persons are more familiar with the term Assisted Living because it has been in existence for longer than Personal Care, but also because Personal Care sounds more like a description and less like a type of community.
So the question is what is the difference between a Personal Care and an Assisted Living community?
The primary difference is that if residents in a Personal Care community would require the services of health care, formerly known as skilled nursing, they would have access to a health care center within the organization. At an Assisted Living community there is no health care center, so additional services are brought to that resident for as long as possible. If a heath care stay is needed, they will be discharged to a health care center with availability.
Living Branches is licensed as Personal Care because we are a Life Plan Community (formerly known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community), meaning our communities offer residents the full range of care services: Residential Living, Personal Care, Health Care, and Memory Care. We are licensed as Personal Care because residents requiring a higher level of services have two available health care centers within Living Branches.
Beyond that distinction, Personal Care and Assisted Living communities are similar. By definition, they provide housing, food, and assistance with activities of daily living for the residents.
At Living Branches, Personal Care is so much more than a place to sleep and eat. Residents enjoy their independence and expand their intellectual, emotional and spiritual horizons, while receiving supportive services like medication administration, housekeeping, laundry, etc. for an abiding sense of calm and security.