The average age of an assisted living resident is 87 years old. While some people make the transition to assisted living communities as soon as they reach the minimum age, usually between 60 and 65, most wait until they need additional care or until they can no longer remain in their own homes without assistance. According to the American Health Association, more than half of assisted living residents are 85 years of age or older, while approximately 27 percent are between 75 and 84 years old. Older people are recognizing that assisted living can provide them with a great opportunity to enjoy many social activities, take classes, and receive help with daily lifestyle habits and tasks such as cooking and cleaning, all while still having the ability to maintain some independence.
State Medicaid programs can cover home and community services (HCBS), such as personal care and support services provided in assisted living communities. New specialized communities, such as assisted living centers for LGBT people, are now emerging in cities and towns across the country, specifically so that older people can live the life they want in comfort during this new phase of their lives. Assisted living facilities today look more like resorts, elegant gated neighborhoods, and spa-like retreats rather than what many people perceive as home. As the population of older people continues to grow, the need for more assisted living facilities is likely to increase dramatically. The assisted living industry is expected to accommodate many more residents in the next 10 to 20 years.
The bottom line is that many older people move at a younger age because assisted living can be fun and add value to their lives. This usually means choosing between staying in your current home or moving to a new home, such as an assisted living facility. There are some older people who will make the decision to transition to assisted living on their own, while others need support from friends and family. Today's assisted living facilities are completely different from those of their previous predecessors, and more and more older adults are choosing to move to these centers on their own at a younger age. No matter whose idea it is, there are millions of families who discuss the idea of assisted living every day and one of the most important questions that parents often ask is when the right age for assisted living may be.
After an average stay of about 22 months, approximately 60% of residents will leave assisted living to transition to a skilled nursing facility.