North Texas TORCH
Phone: 214-277-2413
Fax: 972-620-2259
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Assisted Living and Personal Care, What is the Difference?

North Texas TORCH is the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Organization of Residential Care Homes aka TORCH. It represents elder housing resources. Families are often interested in licensed assisted living facilities. These are elder housing settings, from small single-family properties to facilities housing up to 300 Residents. Consumers will hear a variety of terms – assisted living, personal care, group homes, and residential care homes. Some of these services providers offer housing for only three-or less-residents. If a provider states they are an assisted living community, then they must be licensed in Texas by Department of Aging and Disability Services(DADS).

  • Typically, assisted living communities can host up to 16 Residents in small-scale properties, most of which are single family residences in neighborhood settings. They most often offer family-style living accommodations for 6-10 residents. Licensing comes from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability,, DADS. Only a licensed facility can legitimately refer to itself as an assisted living. A licensed assisted living community will meet the most up-to-date local and state fire safety codes. These safety features are in keeping with the specific safety requirements of in-house Residents. There are Texas state regulatory requirements about care, activities, and engagement. They will also have quarterly drop-in visits by staff from the Texas Ombudsman’s Offices. Staff must meet records checks for offender status, nurse aide licensing status, and any personal history of neglect or abuse in prior employment
  • Some assisted living communities carry a certification for Alzheimer’s / Dementia care; this means they handle additional licensing requirements to meet that responsibility to elders by providing additional protective lock on their door.
  • Personal care homes host three or fewer residents and are unlicensed. This generally creates a care ratio of three guests to one care provider and offers the comforts of a familiar home setting. They are not inspected by licensing agency survey staff, and it is very rare to see fire and other alarm systems in those settings.

Assisted Living/Residential Care and Personal Care homes are generally in residential settings. They offer a more home-like environment. Both grew out of and somewhat away from nursing homes. Nursing homes came from traditional medical models to not only assure Resident health and safety, but also to meet the needs of Residents requiring dedicated medical oversight and, often, specialized care. An assisted living or personal care community will typically provide meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication supervision, assistance with activities of daily living (for most types) and an activity program. Many assisted living providers bring in necessary medical and related services for residents. Other amenities, such as transportation, may also be offered. These homes foster a sense of independence and are the perfect alternative for elders or those with mental or physical disabilities.

What are the licensing categories in Texas?

There are three assisted living facilities licensing categories. The differences between a Type A and a Type B facility are, quite simply, the Residents’ evacuation capabilities. In a Type A, Residents must be capable of independent action to save themselves. In a Type B, Residents must typically be saved. To assure that safety in evacuation, Type B properties must have fire alarms and sprinkler suppression systems.

Type A - In a Type A assisted living facility a Resident must be physically and mentally capable of evacuating the facility unassisted within thirteen minutes. This may include the mobile non-ambulatory persons such as those who are in wheelchairs or electric carts and who have the capacity to transfer and evacuate themselves in an emergency. This Resident does not require routine attendance during nighttime sleeping hours and must be capable of following directions under emergency conditions.

Type B - In a Type B assisted living facility a Resident may require staff assistance to evacuate and may be incapable of following directions under emergency conditions. They may require attendance during nighttime sleeping hours. The resident may not be permanently bedfast, but may require assistance in transferring to-and-from a wheelchair.

Type C - A Type C assisted living facility is a four-bed facility which meets the minimum standards and program rules for enrollment with the Department of Aging and Disability Services as an adult foster care facility .

What size facilities are permitted?

Small - Small facilities are defined as those with 16 residents or less.
Large - Large facilities are defined as those with 17 residents or more.

Personal Care Homes are defined as homes with three residents that are unrelated and does not have to meet any licensing requirements from DADS.

Where does the money to pay for services come from?

  1. Benefit Programs and Personal Resources for Private Pay Settings

    Social Security Retirement Income
    Veteran Aid and Attendance Programs
    This program is available for Veterans and spouses where either or both need aid and attendance. A look-back program is in legislative review in Congress and will probably come into place to assure more services. Families needing Medicaid at a later date require professional legal counsel on whether or not to bring this program into place (contact your VA office at your county court house for details and eligibility on this VA services program)
    Personal Retirement Programs
    Long-term Care Insurance
    Personal Insurance Policy Redemptions for Specific Medical Account Services

  2. Subsidy Programs (Income Eligibility Tests Required)

    CCAD - Medicaid-funded Community Care for Aged and Disabled (contact your local Department of Aging and Disability Services)
    CBA - Medicaid-funded Community Based Alternatives (contact your local Department of Aging and Disability Services)
    Regional MHMR - Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation programs (contact your local MHMR office)

Home of the Year

Professional Care Facility
1008 Springbrook Dr.
DeSoto, TX 75115


North Texas TORCH
Tel: (214) 277-2413
Fax: 972-620-2259