Moving your loved one to a Somerset retirement home is a stressful experience for many families. You love your relative and you want them to have the best quality of life for as long as possible.

That means choosing the right level of care for their needs. And to do that, you need to understand what a personal care facility can offer relative to an assisted living community. That way, you can ensure that your loved one gets the care they need and the right support for years to come.

Here’s a look at the key differences between the two and how you can choose the right option for your loved one.

Definitions You Need to Know When Choosing a Somerset Retirement Home

Before you look into Somerset retirement home options, it helps to know a few key definitions. This will make it easier to understand what each respective facility has to offer and how well it suits your loved one’s needs.

Under Kentucky regulations, personal care homes are licensed as long-term care facilities by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services, Office of Inspector General, Division of Health Care. Assisted living facilities are licensed by the Kentucky Department of Aging and Independent Living and are considered private business entities.

In basic terms, a personal care facility is an establishment in a permanent building with resident beds, offering basic health services, continuous supervision, social activities, and so on. These are facilities licensed to provide nursing services to residents.

An assisted living community, on the other hand, refers to a number of independent living units on the same site certified to provide services to five or more adults. These include assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), housekeeping, and assistance with self-administration of medication. They may provide basic first aid but are not licensed to provide advanced medical care.

What is a Personal Care Community?

A personal care community is built around a medical model of care, encompassing healthcare and nursing services (like medication administration rather than just reminders) as well as social living activities.

Basically, a personal care community is a medical facility. Because of this, staff have the authority to communicate with your loved one’s doctors and pharmacies. They’re also equipped to provide nursing care and keep medical records on site, including resident charts and medication records. All resident care falls under nursing oversight.

What is a Kentucky Assisted Living Community?

While a personal care community is built on a medical model of care, an assisted living community in Kentucky is built around a social model of care. This means that assisted living communities focus on retaining a resident’s ability to live with relative independence and manage their own lives, with a bit more support than they would have if they lived in their own home.

A good way to conceptualize this is to consider the way an assisted living community manages medication compared to a personal care facility. A personal care community is licensed to provide nursing services, which can include everything from basic medication administration to insulin injections. In an assisted living community, staff may remind someone to take their medicine, help them read the label, or help them open the container or store the medication safely.

However, assisted living staff are not allowed to touch the medication, determine appropriate dosage, administer dosage, or give medical advice on the appropriateness of medication. These services must be arranged with an outside provider. If your loved one needs those services full-time, they are no longer within the scope of an assisted living facility’s care and are moved to a personal care facility.

Can a Somerset Retirement Community Be Both?

A Somerset retirement community may be both a personal care community and an assisted living community. However, as previously noted, these two types of facilities require different licensing and different staff. Plus, the type of patient who needs a personal care facility may be starkly different than someone who thrives in an assisted living community.

Because of this, most retirement communities operate as one or the other. It’s important to know which one you’re getting, as the services are quite different.

When are Personal Care Kentucky Communities are the Right Fit?

Remember, personal care facilities are essentially medical facilities licensed to provide nursing services, including specialized nursing services like memory care.

This means that personal care communities are most suitable for someone who needs regular medical attention. This includes seniors who are not able to administer their own medications even if they are otherwise independent, as assisted living facilities are not allowed to administer medication on a patient’s behalf.

What if You Need Dementia Care Somerset?

When choosing the right care options for dementia, Somerset communities offer you plenty of options. However, this depends on the level of care your loved one needs.

Continuing care and personal care retirement communities are intended for people who can live independently, though the degree of individualized care depends on the facility’s approach. An assisted living facility is for someone who can no longer live independently and needs extensive memory care, a patient whose dementia is relatively advanced.

The right choice for you depends on the relative progression of your loved one’s dementia. Someone whose dementia was caught early and treated early, or someone whose dementia is progressing relatively slowly, is far more independent than someone with advanced dementia. For someone like that, preserving independence while offering needed support is the best option, and an assisted living community is perfectly suitable for their needs.

On the other hand, if your loved one’s dementia is advanced, or if their dementia progresses rapidly, they will need specialized, dedicated medical care. At that point, a personal care community or dedicated memory care facility is the best choice.

Choosing the Right Senior Living Kentucky Retirement Community

Ultimately, the right senior living community in Kentucky depends on what your loved one needs. You can assess this with two litmus tests: your loved one’s independence and the level of daily medical care they need.

If your loved one is relatively independent and only requires basic support at a higher degree than you could offer in their own home, then an assisted living community is a good way to keep their independence. However, if your loved one requires consistent medical care, even if they’re largely independent, they should be in a personal care facility. A good example of this is a senior with diabetes who cannot administer their own insulin–personal care staff can do that, but assisted living staff cannot.

As a rule, personal care communities are a better fit for seniors who need more medical care. They’re also appropriate for seniors who will need extensive medical care in future years. If your loved one just needs reminders for medication and someone to check in on them, assisted living will do the job. But once consistent medical care is on the table, a personal care facility is the right choice.

What separates good personal care facilities from great ones is their emphasis on care. Truly great communities provide seniors medical support, but they also ensure that your loved one has the supportive home and compassionate care they need to thrive.

The Best Somerset Retirement Home and Assisted Living

At Bluegrass Senior Living, our personal care model is built around just that–care. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one has 24-hour nursing support, and your loved one can thrive in a compassionate community that feels like home.

If you’re ready to help your loved one find the care they need, get in touch today to learn what our community has to offer.