The Types of People in Assisted Living Facilities

If you’ve never been to or visited an assisted living facility yourself, you may be curious about what kind of people live there. The first thing to know is that the typical resident of an assisted living facility is often one who has suffered from a mild decline in their overall health, either by injury, illness, or simply just aging. They can experience some challenge in carrying on with daily functions like bathing or dressing, or they may have some form of mental decline. However, it is important to note that not all people in these types of facilities are older people.

There are assisted living facilities that help younger people with mental issues or who have impaired cognitive functions.

But who is the typical resident of an assisted living facility? Let’s look at some information to help us get a better understanding:

  1. The typical resident is female, around 87 years old. The resident is normally mobile, but can often need assistance with approximately two or three activities of daily living. She would also suffer from two or three of the Top 10 chronic conditions.
  • In 2010, 54 percent of people living in assisted living facilities were 85 years old or above; 7 percent were 75-84 years old; 9 percent were between the ages of 64 and 74; 11 percent were younger than 65.
  • Out of both genders, seventy-four percent of residents were female, while the remaining 26 percent were male.
  • Thirty-eight percent of assisted living residents got help with three or more activities of daily living.

Now, let’s take a look at an in-depth description of an Assisted Living resident.

At present, there are over one million people living in assisted living facilities, and the typical resident is a senior widowed-woman.

Generally, assisted living is mostly a private pay option for senior care, since Medicare doesn’t pay for any long-term options with custodial care, like assisted living. Because of this, a lot of residents often pay for the service or have families who will help to cover the expenses. While the number of seniors goes up, the number of residents in assisted living facilities has also risen. Since the level of care and type of facility can vary a lot among residences, assisted living gives people a much-needed option for senior care that isn’t normally as hands-on as a skilled nursing facility is.

To finish up, let’s look at some statistics from a 2010 study of Residential Care Facilities performed by the CDC:

  • 96% of first-time residents who moved in can drive.
  • 14% of residents spoke little to no English (56% of caregivers spoke the resident’s native language; 29% of residents who had limited English skills rely on family members for translation; for those with little skills in English 64% communicated through nonverbal cues, hand signs or gestures.
  • 70% of residents are female; the other 30% are male
  • The majority of residents (91%) were white, non-Hispanic, or Latino
  • Only 41% had an education level of college, some college or more, while 59% had a high school-level education or less
  • Finally, the majority of residents were widowed (63%); 14% had never been married; only 13% were married; 9% were divorced; and only 1% were legally separated.

So as you can see, the average assisted living resident is likely around the age that you may have assumed they were, but that isn’t always the case. Either way, we hope this information gives you an idea of who lives at an assisted living facility.