Masonic Assistance

The Ins and Outs of Assisted Living


By Laura Benys


For more about the Masonic Homes of California, visit

If your loved one needs help with certain day-to-day activities, assisted living may be right for them. But how do you know if it’s time to switch from in-home care to an assisted living community? Here are some helpful pointers.


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 like the Masonic Homes of California or Acacia Creek, which offers senior-friendly housing and the peace of mind that comes from 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, assisted living communities usually offer:

  • Caregivers on staff to help with things like dressing, bathing, medication, and getting around
  • Access to 24/7 on-site nursing services Transportation to medical appointments

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

When Should I Consider Assisted Living?

In general, if your loved one needs help with daily tasks or has safety concerns like a tendency to wander, their doctor may recommend a full-time senior memory care or assisted living facility.
The Masonic Homes of California offers three level of care to best fit your loved one’s current situation.

For example, the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes in Union City provides:

  • Round-the-clock supervision and care
  • Special dementia-safe layout and design to minimize confusion and prevent wandering
  • Expert therapies and activities to improve residents’ quality of life

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 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, such as:

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

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

What Are the Costs, and How Do They Compare to In-home Care?

The cost of assisted living facilities can vary greatly, depending on the exact level of services required and the location of the facility. The most recent survey from the National Council on Aging put the average cost in California at more than $5,000 per month, as of 2021. (In San Francisco, it was $6,319.) That doesn’t necessarily take into account one-time entrance fees. For seniors who need round-the-clock supervision and care, assisted living residences still usually pencil out to being less than the cost of 24/7 in-home care. Remember, though, that costs can vary widely based on location, amenities, your loved one’s needs, and whether they’re eligible for Medicaid.

Do Some Facilities Offer Both Assisted Living and Memory Care?

Yes, some assisted living 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 objectives. The Masonic Homes of California offers both assisted living and memory care services.

How can I find an assisted living residence near me?

Check out online tools like If you’re in California, visit the Masonic Homes to learn about the range of assisted living and memory care services offered there.

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