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If you, or a loved one, has decided it is time to change your living situation and move into a place where you will receive more help and care, you have already done the hardest part. Next, you will need to decide where you would like to go. There are many options to consider that offer a range and variety of living arrangements, care options, amenities, and benefits, the two popular choices being Assisted Living Facilities and Group Homes.

What is “Assisted Living”?

Assisted living is a type of housing that offers the residents a variety of medical and personal daily care, in a living setting that could be an apartment, an individual room, or a shared space ( Though services offered can vary from place to place, housekeeping, laundry, personal care help, and meals are general services most places offer. Some places will have staff to help with bathing and dressing, and other personal needs.

Some facilities have extra perks available, such as an on site hair salon or barber shop ( Some places have movie theaters, pools, gyms, and even shopping centers.

Assisted living facilities often have a large number of residents in their community, which offers the chance for lots of socialization, and making friends. There are often scheduled events to help encourage activity, exercise, and interaction.

The main thing that is important is that assisted living facilities help residents remain as independent as possible, while having ever increasing levels of care available should it be needed. Usually, there will be medically trained staff on duty in the case of an emergency and also to help with care as necessary. Many assisted living facilities offer higher levels of care that can be added as the resident becomes in need of them, which can mean less moving around in the future.

What is a “Group Home”?

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Group homes are similar to assisted living homes, but offer a smaller communal living situation. Usually in a house, group homes have a smaller number of residents and feel more like an intimate setting (

With a smaller number of residents needing care, a group home setting can offer more one-on-one time with caregivers. Housekeeping, laundry, and meals are provided for. Some places offer transportation to appointments and events. Staff is trained to safely offer personal care assistance with activities such as bathing, and dressing as well.

A group home does not usually offer the same number of medical services that an assisted living facility can offer, as the facilities are able to have more equipment and staff on hand. The level of medical care available in a group home can vary according to employee training, and often requires the visit of a licensed professional, such as a nurse practitioner.

Since this is a more intimate setting there are less people to socialize with and any issues getting along with your roommates could mean being uncomfortable in communal spaces, such as the kitchen, yard, and living room.

Assisted Living vs. Group Home

Assisted living facilities and group homes have a lot in common, such as the offering of housekeeping, laundry, meals, rides to appointments, and medication reminders. Here are the key things that make them different:

Assisted Living

  • Living quarters can range from a single or shared room to a whole apartment.
  • Has a larger number of residents.
  • More equipped to offer a larger range of medical care including residents with dementia and Parkinson’s.
  • More opportunities for socializing in events.
  • More extra amenities.

Groups Homes:

  • Living quarters usually consist of a room in a house with shared common space.
  • Small number of residents
  • Typically less cost
  • More homelike environment

Which One is Right for You

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The level of care you, or your loved one, requires can help you decide what kind of place would fit those needs best. In general you will want to look for a place that is clean with a staff that is pleasant and happy. Keep your loved ones’ interests in mind, for example if they love gardening, try to find a place with an accessible garden and garden club, or if they enjoy yoga, consider a facility that offers senior yoga classes.

Call some likely facilities and schedule a meeting and tour to get a feel for the staff and other residents. Let your point of contact know what you are looking for in a facility and they should help you determine if they are a good fit. If you are in the Metro Detroit area be sure to give Sandyside Senior Living a visit!

Sandyside Senior Living

This information was provided by Sandyside Senior Living in White Lake, Michigan. Sandyside specializes in advanced care for seniors with dementia, Parkinson’s, and all age-related illness.

Interested in learning more about Sandyside Senior Living? Contact Sandyside online, or call at (248) 698-3700.

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PHONE: (248) 698-3700