Anyone who is preparing to move into an assisted living facility is likely wondering how long do most people live in assisted living. Assisted living services offer seniors the care and support they need while preserving their independence. However, many families wonder about the duration of these services for their loved ones.

Understanding the typical length of stay in assisted living and the factors that influence it can help you make informed decisions about the appropriate level of care.

How Long Does Assisted Care Last?

Assisted care is often the first step someone takes when transitioning from living at their home. The decision to move to any facility for seniors is often a hard one. Fortunately, assisted living centers afford many of the same environments and amenities that seniors are used to.

There are around 30,000 assisted living communities in the United States. Seniors who move to those communities are often in fairly good health but need occasional help with basic activities like preparing meals and cleaning clothes. Some of the more common factors that determine how long someone stays in one of the centers include family support, health, and other factors.

  • Family support. Relying on family members for support can place a strain on the family. One parent may move into a child’s home only to realize that more help and resources are needed. An assisted living center resident may have family move to town so they can move back into a home. Every situation is different, and the availability of family support is one factor that determines how long someone stays in these communities.
  • Level of care. Assisted living communities generally do not provide the round-the-clock medical services that nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities do. If declining health requires more intensive medical care, someone at an assisted living facility may need to transition to a nursing home. Nursing homes are generally for people who are less mobile and less independent.
  • Financial resources. The high quality of life afforded at assisted living facilities comes at a cost. Some people may initially have the funds to pay for those services, only to later find out that they can no longer afford to stay. There are often multiple options for paying for assisted living care, but it may not be an option for everyone.

As long as someone remains fairly independent and relatively healthy, an assisted living environment is often ideal. Declining health that requires round-the-clock medical care may hasten the departure of some residents. Guests who enjoy the living environments and qualify for life afforded by some assisted living facilities may find that they prefer to stay for several years or much longer.

How Is Long-Term Care Paid For?

Affording assisted living can be managed through several financial options. Long-term care insurance is one effective method. This type of insurance may cover expenses for assisted living, nursing homes, or memory care. Family support is another avenue. Some families choose to pool their collective resources to support their elderly loved ones.

Retirement income from 401(k)s, mutual funds, stocks, pensions, and Social Security benefits can provide a steady stream of funds to cover assisted living costs. Seniors who still retain their original homes might consider renting out their homes to generate rental income. This could potentially cover the monthly expenses of assisted care living without needing to sell their house outright.

It is important to remember that Medicare doesn’t cover the costs of room, board, or non-healthcare assisted living services. It can be utilized for medical services provided by a third party, though. These could include services like prescriptions, care planning, cognitive assessments, as well as hospital stays.


Q: What Is the Average Age of All Assisted Living Residents?

A: The average age of people living in assisted living residences is 84. These figures include individuals who are in assisted living facilities that provide basic services like laundry cleaning and meal preparations. Due to the advanced age of the average resident, many assisted living residences offer memory care that can slow the advancement of cognitive decline and memory loss.

Q: What Age Do Most Seniors Move to Assisted Living?

A: People are often in their late 60s when they move to assisted living, although they could make their first move well into their 80s as well. The most common age range at an assisted living facility is 85 or older. Many assisted living facilities set age minimums that are typically around 60 to 65. Assisted living conditions are often ideal for people who are still independent but struggle with daily chores like cleaning, eating, and staying tidy.

Q: What Is the Average Life Expectancy of Someone in a Nursing Home?

A: The average life expectancy for someone who is placed in a nursing home is between 14 months to nearly three years. People who are placed in nursing homes are typically already in decline. Nursing homes provide medical care throughout the day and night. One reason someone may transfer from an assisted living environment to a nursing home is due to health problems.

Q: What Are the Disadvantages of Assisted Living?

A: Anytime someone leaves a familiar environment like their home and neighborhood, the transition can be difficult. Many adults are understandably reluctant to make such a drastic change to their environment late into life. It can take time and many conversations to allay those concerns. Another disadvantage is that the assisted living center resident may see their family less often than they are used to, although that perception isn’t always true.

Schedule Your Assisted Living Center Visit Today

Many aging seniors can benefit from an elder care facility or community. Seniors often experience feelings of isolation. An assisted living community designed for them can foster meaningful connections with their peers.

At Rocky Mountain Assisted Living, we pride ourselves on providing the highest levels of care to our valued residents. To enrich their lives, we offer scheduled outings, on-site entertainment, and nighttime checks. We would love to provide a loving and safe environment for you or a loved one. Please reach out to us to schedule a tour of our homes. Someone will reply promptly.