Retirement Communities

3/23/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Any personal care community, located in Kentucky, is simply a long-term care facility; it has much in common with assisted living communities. Both provide housing, food, and assistance with activities of daily living for the residents. Licensed by the state’s Office of Inspector General, personal care communities are one of seven types of long-term care facilities in Kentucky. These personal care homes, as they are officially called, offer constant supervision of residents, essential health and health-related services, personal care services, residential care services, along with social and recreational activities. 

How does a personal care community help its residents?

Personal care communities have come a long way from the “nursing homes” of the past. While it’s true that they provide skilled nursing care, continuous medical monitoring, and, in some cases, specialized memory care, a personal care community offers much more than that.

Personal care homes give their residents various opportunities for socialization, including events and outings. And unlike the clinical atmosphere of a nursing home, they have interiors with lots of natural lighting and decorations that project the feel of a home.

Most personal care communities provide essential health services and medication management. Residents may have their own apartment or private rooms within the community, and they have the freedom to schedule their days as they please.

Those in memory care units typically live in a secured environment with extra monitoring. Still, they may move about the common areas, socialize, and engage in activities to the best of their abilities.

How do personal care communities differ from assisted living facilities?

Assisted living communities are for older adults whose primary need is socialization. They are a social model rather than a medical model. Residents in assisted living might have some medical issues, but they can manage by themselves for the most part. 

Residents of assisted living communities receive assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL) such as feeding, bathing, dressing, and toileting. They also get help with the self-administration of medications.

On the other hand, since personal care homes are a medical model, they are more appropriate for medically fragile seniors who need extra help with their medications, testing, and nursing services. Socialization is also an essential aspect of the personal care community.

Here is a summation of the differences between the two communities:

Personal Care Community

  • Licensed nurses
  • Resident services director with oversight of all nursing and clinical services
  • Medication management and administration
  • Authorized to communicate with physicians and pharmacies
  • Regular wellness assessments
  • Nursing care supervision of all resident care
  • Diabetic management
  • Can provide for in-house labs and x-rays through other organizations
  • Maintains resident charts and medication records
  • Long-term care insurance typically covers personal care

Assisted Living Facility

  • Does not offer nurses
  • Assistance with medical reminders only
  • Employees can neither determine dosage nor administer injections or other medication
  • Employees cannot take orders for medications
  • Can only do first aid before calling 911
  • Does not provide diabetic management
  • Cannot provide in-house labs and x-rays through other organizations
  • Few long-term care insurance policies cover assisted living

How do residents in personal care homes pay for their stay?

Medicare is health insurance for Americans 65 and older, but it does not cover the expenses of living in a long-term facility such as a personal care community. Residents cover their stay with a combination of the following funding sources:

  • Income derived from retirement plans, pensions, annuities, and Social Security
  • The equity in their home or other real estate
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Sale of stocks or bonds
  • Conversion of mature Certificates of Deposit
  • Family assistance
  • Outside financial sources
  • Veteran’s Aid & Attendance program
  • Settlement from the sale of an insurance policy
  • Liquidating a cash-value life insurance policy

Personal care communities can offer older adults the opportunity to age in place until a higher level of care is required. The primary difference between personal care and assisted living is in the nursing oversight and medication management provided at a personal care community.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff