The term assisted living has slightly different meanings where in the world you happen to be talking about it. In the main, however, it is a Western concept that means some people – usually with a vulnerability of some sort – are able to live semi-independently in their own rented homes which are part of a wider complex or organisation that offers support. A typical example might be, for instance, a block of flats or bungalows which are supported by a team of concierge, care or nursing staff. As such, assisted living facilities are a type of housing solution first and foremost. The degree to which they offer support differs depending on the facility as well as individual needs. However, the design of each housing unit should have ongoing and changing assistance requirements built into its fabric.
Community living is where a group of people reside among one another to form a community that is based on certain shared demographics, interests or ideologies. In some cases, lots of people live under the same roof sharing everything which is usually referred to as a commune. In other instances, looser interpretations are commonplace where a group of families and individuals live close to one another but independently from each other, only helping out each other on an informal basis here and there. Essentially, community living boils down to residing in a community that requires people to take an active part in. Therefore, it differs from simply living in a town or city close to other individuals but who you have no meaningful interactions with.