Nurse with senior resident at Assisted Living community, from the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes in California

The Ins and Outs of Assisted Living

An introduction to assisted living facilities and assisted living home care.

 If your loved one needs help with certain day-to-day activities, assisted living may be right for them. How do you know when it’s time to switch from in-home care to an assisted living facility? What if your loved one needs memory care too?

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is for older adults who need help with certain day-to-day tasks (known as activities of daily living), but who can still manage some activities on their own.

This level of care is provided in a residential setting, which offers senior-friendly housing and peace of mind knowing someone’s there to help if needed. Here, residents receive more support than they would in a senior independent living community, but less than they would in a skilled nursing facility.

For example, highly-rated assisted living communities usually offer:

  • Caregivers on staff to offer help with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, medication, and getting around.
  • Access to 24/7 on-site nursing services.
  • Transportation to off-site medical appointments.

To see if this level of care could be right for your loved one, talk to their doctor or a geriatric specialist.

Can my loved one receive assisted living at home, or do they need to be in a facility?

Typically, assisted living is provided in a residential facility, where many seniors live in their own rooms or apartments. In addition to 24/7 security and nursing services, these facilities usually offer a range of convenient services. That can include:

  • Meals
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Laundry and linen service
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Recreational and spiritual activities
  • Exercise and wellness programs

For many residents, these communities also provide a sense of social connection, an important aspect of healthy aging.

What are the typical costs, and how does it compare to home care?

In a 2021 U.S. survey, the median cost of assisted living was about $4,500 per month. For seniors who need round-the-clock supervision and care, that’s usually less than the cost of 24/7 home care. The majority of these costs are paid through personal finances of residents and/or their families.

Costs can vary widely based on location, the size of rooms and amenities, your loved one’s unique needs, and whether they’re eligible for Medicaid. Call around to facilities near you to ask about pricing.

Do some facilities offer both assisted living and memory care?

Yes. Some communities also offer memory care. So if you or your loved one needs support for Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, make inquiring about memory care one of your first questions for any facility you’re considering.

In California, the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes provides specialized assisted living and memory care to help residents live life to the fullest, at every stage of life.

Not in California? Here’s a checklist to help your search for Alzheimer’s and dementia care near me.

How can I find a facility near me?

Try contacting your state’s resources for a list of communities, or use an online tool like or

If you’re in California, visit the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes to learn about our services. Surrounded by lush greenery and bay views, and with expert caregivers available whenever they’re needed, the Pavilion offers safety and peace of mind in an inspiring setting.

Further Reading:

  • For Seniors in Need, a Home at Last
  • Care for Elderly Patients with Dementia
  • Nursing Homes, Retirement Homes, and Senior Homes: What’s the Difference?
  • Live-In Care, Independent Living, or Assisted Living: What’s the Right Choice?