When it comes to choosing the right assisted living community, the services and programs available are an important consideration. Each assisted living community offers a unique variety of options, seniors simply choose what works best for them. As assisted living becomes increasingly customizable, basic facilities are able to offer services that compete with expensive luxury communities. Each senior has their own preferences and needs. Whether its hobbies, social clubs, or access to amenities, knowing the basics will help you decide what other accommodations will work.

  • Room Features

Each assisted living community offers furnished or unfurnished rooms that are either shared or private. All utilities are included in the monthly price, often with internet or phone services. Luxury communities often feature satellite television, private thermostats, and high-quality furnishings, as well as decorating services. Basic facilities may offer simple floor plans with modest bathrooms and closets as well as a small kitchenette.  Luxury communities may offer private balconies, large spaces for private entertaining, and spa-like bathroom accommodations.


  • Services

There is enormous variety in the services available yet there are some basics you can come to expect. Each assisted living community offers security and nursing staff with personal attendants to assist with daily activities. Medical and rehabilitation services may vary; however nearly every facility offers physical therapy, emergency services, and medication management. Meal services are standard as well, offering three meals a day in a dining room or served privately. Most facilities also provide monthly or bi-monthly housekeeping services and transportation to appointments.

Moderate to luxury assisted living dramatically expands on these basic services. Meal options tend to be the most notable as luxury communities provide gourmet and culturally diverse meal selections; some even offer 24/7 room service. Aside from typical laundry and linen services, residents can receive dry cleaning and personal shopping. Transportation services can extend from occasional field trips to senior cruises and even trip to Las Vegas. Residents can enhance their personal care by choosing a facility with a beauty parlor or full-service spa, including massage.


  • Amenities

A basic assisted living community features several areas for the health and happiness of residents. An average floor plan may feature a large sitting area, public dining room, and nurses station. Most include small gymnasiums for physical activity and therapy. A number of communities offer a computer lab or media room while others feature a library or classrooms for continuing education. Outside amenities are not always offered yet many communities feature a pleasant outdoor area for visiting and fresh air. Each community offers its own schedule of activities; however many can expect fitness sessions, arts-crafts, game nights, movie showings, and various clubs or groups.

Luxury assisted living sets itself apart dramatically in the amenities and activities they offer. Swimming pools, courtyards, and fitness centers with personal trainers allow extensive options for more active seniors. Outdoor accommodations tend to be more expansive with gardens, walking trails, and large entertaining areas. Entertainment rooms may even include a game room with video games and billiards. Luxury homes also offer more in terms of arts and culture with guest speakers, museum outings, and art classes.


As more baby boomers enter retirement age, the quality and selection of assisted living improves. Each community offers a large selection of characteristics that can make a perfect new home. It’s important to explore your options. Seemingly basic facilities could have everything you need without the big price tag of a luxury community. Remember, many additional services cost extra. Compare the cost of basic facility (plus services!) to an all-inclusive luxury home to decide what’s best for you!


Learn more about assisted living and other healthcare options at the main Assisted Living page or the main Caregiving page.

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About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.