PALA specializes in Personal Care Homes and Assisted Living Residences serving the seniors of Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association
105 North Front Street, Suite 106 
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Consumer Information

The Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association is committed to assisting and helping families when it comes time to place their loved one in either an Assisted Living Residence or Personal Care Home.

PALA knows that with all the information out there regarding senior care, it is not sometimes an easy or clear-to-understand decision.

As the only Association in Pennsylvania devoted exclusively toward these two levels of care (Assisted Living and Personal Care), PALA is a priority resource that families should look to when determining if a loved one should look toward Assisted Living and Personal Care.

Based off of our expertise, membership relationships, and contacts in the industry, one of PALA's main focuses is assisting both families and our membership Communities in finding the right fit for all involved!

It is PALA's stated mission that our members have a "resident-centered" care focus, and PALA is here to assist both families and caregivers in that focus.

We encourage families, when looking to place their loved one in either an Assisted Living or Personal Care Home, to look for a general philosophy of care based on 10 principles - principles that make personal care home and assisted living residents the top priority.

These 10 principles should be below, along with more detailed information on what exactly constitutes Assisted Living and Personal Care in Pennsylvania.

The residence should:

  • Offer cost effective quality care personalized for the individual's needs
  • Foster independence for each resident
  • Treat each resident with dignity and respect
  • Promote the individuality of each resident
  • Allow each resident choice of care and lifestyle
  • Protect each resident's right to privacy
  • Nurture the spirit of each resident
  • Involve family and friends in care planning and implementation
  • Provide a safe, residential environment
  • Make the personal care home or assisted living residence a valuable community asset


What is Personal Care?

Personal Care Homes promote maximum independence and dignity for each resident and encourages participation of a resident's family, extended family, friends and neighbors. Communities are staffed appropriately based on the resident population and are accessible 24 hours a day to meet both scheduled and unscheduled resident needs. The term “Personal Care” may also be sited as personal care homes, adult congregate living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, senior residences, etc. depending on the name chosen by the owner/corporation.

To access more information regarding Pennsylvania Personal Care Home Communities, please CLICK HERE.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living provides a unique combination of residential housing, personalized supportive services, socialization, nutrition and healthcare. Personal Care may offer similar amenities as independent living communities, with the additional services provided for assistance of with his/her personal care needs. It is designed to meet the individual needs of those requiring help with activities of daily living, assistance with medication distribution but do not require skilled nursing care.

Many of the services provided will be documented as “assisting, monitoring, supervising” options for seniors residing in this alternative living environment. Depending on the community chosen, some homes offer a variety of services based on the resident’s level of care. Charges vary based on the accommodations purchased and the number of services required and the charges related to each service at the individual homes.

Prior to beginning your search for a new residence, it is recommended that you assess your financial ability to pay the required monthly fee. In addition, we recommend that you speak with your medical doctor to determine whether he believes this alternative living arrangement will meet your medical needs. Be certain to discuss with the community what options are available to you if you become debilitated and may require leaving the community. Also ask if the community is capable of caring for your medical needs as necessary.

To access more information regarding Assisted Living Residences in Pennsylvania, please CLICK HERE.

What Services are Usually Provided?

  • Companionship and independence in a secure atmosphere
  • Three nutritious meals and snacks served in a common dining room
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Coordinated transportation
  • Varied social and recreational activity program
  • Emergency call systems
  • Assistance with medication management
  • 24-hour security with round-the-clock personal care attendants


Who Lives in Personal Care Home and Assisted Living Residences?

Personal care homes and/or assisted living residences (PCH and/or ALR) are appropriate for seniors who can no longer live on their own for reasons such as: safety, mobility and peace of mind. They provide an important choice for consumers, and their families, who want supportive housing and services. PCH and ALR's are resources that allow seniors to remain active with family, friends and community. Many consumers and their families choose PCH and ALR's because it values the independence and dignity of individual residents while providing cost effective and needed services.

***Feel free to contact PALA (717.695.9734 or via for our PALA membership listing and our available listing of key contacts in regards to placing your loved one in an Assisted Living Residence or Personal Care Home in Pennsylvania!

What Does PCH and ALR's Cost? Who Pays For It?

Rates vary, but all major studies and statistics available show that Assisted Living Residences and Personal Care Homes are far more affordable when compared to skilled nursing homes. Generally residents pay for their costs from their own finances. Occasionally they require the assistance of their families financial support to cover the costs related to their stay in a PCH and ALR setting. Some seniors have health insurance programs or long-term care insurance to subsidize their rent.

Some individuals may be eligible for the PCH supplement also known as SSI (Supplemental Security Income).
Click here for SSI information: 

Veterans may qualify for the aid and attendance benefit through the Veterans Administration.
Click Here for VA information: 


Who Licenses Personal Care Home and Assisted Living Residences?

Assisted Living Residences and Personal Care Homes in Pennsylvania are licensed and regulated by the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Human Services Licensing. New homes are inspected prior to opening and both new construction and existing homes/communities must meet and maintain the standards mandated by the current PA Code.

To access more information regarding the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Human Services Licensing, please CLICK HERE.

To access regulations (Chapter 2800) regarding Pennsylvania Assisted Living Residences, please CLICK HERE.

To access regulations (Chapter 2600) regarding Pennsylvania Personal Care Homes, please CLICK HERE.