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Assisted living is housing and services for people who need some help with daily care. They may need help with things like dressing, bathing, taking their medicines, and cleaning. But they do not need the medical care that a nursing home provides. Assisted living allows the residents to live more independently.
Assisted living facilities sometimes have other names, such as adult care facilities or residential care facilities. They vary in size, with as few as 25 residents up to 120 residents or more. The residents usually live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas.
The facilities usually offer a few different levels of care. Residents pay more for the higher levels of care. The types of services they offer may be different from state to state. The services may include:
- Up to three meals a day
- Assistance with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, eating, getting in and out of bed or chairs, moving around, and using the bathroom
- Help with medicines
- 24-hour supervision, security, and on-site staff
- Social and recreational activities
The residents are usually older adults, including those with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. But in some cases, residents may be younger and have mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, or certain medical conditions.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
- Assisted Living (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
- Residential Facilities, Assisted Living, and Nursing Homes (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Housing Options for Older Adults: A Guide for Making Housing Decisions (Administration for Community Living) - PDF
- What Are My Other Long-Term Care Choices? (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- FastStats: Adult Day Services Centers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- National Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Study (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Assisted Living Facilities (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Long-Term Care (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Staff experiences of diabetes care in residential care facilities for people...
- Article: Variation in Residential Care Community Resident Characteristics, by Size of Community:...
- Article: Delivering Digital Healthcare for Elderly: A Holistic Framework for the Adoption...
- Assisted Living -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- AAAs (Area Agencies on Aging) & Title VI Aging Programs (USAging)
- Locate an Ombudsman (National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care)
- National Institute on Aging Also in Spanish