Learning About Assisted Living

image for assisted living article Assisted living is a housing option. It is for people who need help with daily living. Many residents are older adults. They do not need high level health care such as a nursing home. They need help with personal care.

Each resident’s needs are different. Therefore, assisted living offers many services. Assistance matches a person's needs. Services may include:

  • 3 meals a day
  • Help with medicine and access to healthcare
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Rides
  • Help with personal care—such as bathing, eating, dressing, using the toilet, and waking
  • Exercise and education
  • Laundry and linen service
  • Social and religious activities

Residents typically live in their own apartments. They share common areas such as dining.

The Cost of Assisted Living

The cost of assisted living varies. It depends on the room size and services. The average cost in 2018 was about $4000 per month. This can vary by location and level of service.

What to Look For in Assisted Living

If you are looking for assisted living, here are some tips:

  • Be honest about your physical, financial, and lifestyle needs. If you are unsure, contact a geriatric care manager. Visit the Aging Life Care Association's website (http://www.aginglifecare.org). Ask for a referral.
  • Visit as many facilities as you can. Get a sense of what is in your area.
  • Consider how close the facility is to those who will visit you.
  • Select your top two or three choices. Return to those facilities. Talk to residents and staff. Ask lots of questions. Try some of the services offered. Eat a meal or take an exercise class.
  • Ask for a copy of the resident agreement or contract.
  • Ask to see the inspection reports—for licensing or certification.
  • Call the local long-term care ombudsman’s office. Ask if there are complaints about the facilities you are interested in.
  • Make a surprise visit to the facility. Visit at different times and days.
  • Choose the facility that best fits your needs.

Assisted living offers many benefits. You can live on your own and also get help with daily living. You can also have security, privacy, and companionship.


Aging Life Care Association


Advocacy Centre for the Elderly


Eldercare Locator—Administration for Community Living. Available at: https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx. Accessed October 11, 2021.
Assisted living: weighing the options. AARP website. Available at: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/basics/info-2017/assisted-living-options.html?cmp=RDRCT-2daa59a2-20200402. Accessed October 11, 2021.
How much does assisted living cost? American Seniors Housing Association website. Available at: https://www.whereyoulivematters.org/how-much-does-assisted-living-cost. Accessed October 11, 2021.
The basics of assisted living. National Caregivers Library website. Available at:
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Accessed October 11, 2021.
What is assisted living? About Assisted Living website. Available at: https://www.aboutassistedliving.org/what-is-assisted-living. Accessed October 13, 2021.
Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 10/13/2021

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