Assisted Living

What is assisted living?

Assisted living offers private living units for older adults and help with daily activities such as:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation
  • Taking medicine

Basic health services may or may not be available, depending on the facility.

What services are available?

Services vary, but the following services are commonly offered:

  • Rooms

    You may have your own room, suite, or apartment, or you may share with a spouse or roommate. The rooms may have kitchens with a small refrigerator and a microwave.

  • An emergency call system
  • Three meals a day and snacks
  • Housekeeping and help with laundry
  • Help taking medicine
  • Social activities and outings

Some facilities also offer:

  • Barber and beauty shop services
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Healthcare or other services from nurses, social workers, or dietitians

What are the pros and cons of assisted living?

Before making a decision, it’s good to weigh the pros and cons of any housing option. Some of the pros and cons of assisted living are:

  • Pros:
    • Assisted living provides needed services while offering some level of independence.
    • You may continue to live near your family and friends.
    • Staff may be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies.
  • Cons:
    • There are not many facilities available for older adults with low incomes.
    • Over time, you may need more help than the facility can provide, so you may have to move again.
    • Many assisted living facilities are so large that they can seem impersonal.
    • Children can visit, but you may miss living with different age groups.
    • Not everyone can get into an assisted living facility. Most facilities ask that residents be able to get to and from the dining room with little or no help. Not all facilities accept people who cannot control their bladder or bowels. Some facilities are just for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Assisted living is not for people who need 24-hour nursing care.

To find out about services for people over the age of 60 in any area of the country, call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116. You can get more information from:

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-02-02
Last reviewed: 2013-11-29
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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