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What Is the Average Length of Stay in Assisted Living?

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What Is the Average Length of Stay in Assisted Living?

Are you planning for your future and wanting to know how much you ought to save for your future care needs?

Maybe you are a senior or family member looking into what it will take to make the move into an assisted living facility. 

No doubt you are curious, “What is the average length of stay in assisted living?” 

While there is no one-size-fits-all style answer to this question, with some help, you can determine some factors that might alter the length of stay. 

Read on to find out the national numbers when it comes to the assisted living average length of stay and what might affect it. 

Table of Contents

How Long Does the Average Person Stay in Assisted Living?

The average length of stay in assisted living has dropped significantly over the past two or so years. 

In the past, the national average has been around two years. Today, the national average is closer to one year. 

Different factors can play into how long someone spends in assisted living. 

Lengths of stay change from person to person based on things such as:

  • Age

  • Pre-existing health conditions

  • Gender

For instance, while women typically stay longer in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, they are more likely to be discharged to an in-home solution than men, who are more likely to move to another facility or into spousal care, if it is available. 

Many factors, including gender, can greatly affect the amount of time someone spends in an assisted living facility.

3 Factors That Affect the Average Length of Stay in Assisted Living

Other factors can radically impact how much time one spends in an assisted living facility such as:

  • Seniors delaying their move into assisted living

  • Seniors become dissatisfied with their care

  • Financial needs make it difficult to remain in care

#1: Seniors Delaying Their Move

In years past, staying two or more years in an assisted living facility was not uncommon. Today, the average stay lasts only about a year. 

Oftentimes, seniors do not want to move into an assisted living facility in the first place. 

There are valid reasons for the apprehension such as:

  • Seniors and families are opting for longer in-home care options.

  • Due to Covid-19, seniors are leaving facilities so that they can spend time with family.

  • Seniors and families do not see a need for moving from their current homes.

  • Seniors and families see the need for a change but prefer to remain at home. 

At Senior Services of America, we know that these concerns are real and valid.  Having said that, our residents tend to find that, upon moving into one of our communities, they are met with incredible new friends, superb care, and a community that loves and values them.

Seniors and Families are Opting for In-Home Care Options

One of the major contributors to this change is that some seniors and families are putting off the move and choosing in-home care options instead. 

This could be because they feel that their current needs are manageable at home. 

Some choose to remain at home so that they can spend more time with family. 

Or they prefer the lifestyle they currently enjoy and fear that moving to an assisted living facility might change their level of independence and ability to do the things that they enjoy. 

Here at Senior Services of America, we value your freedom and independence. Our communities provide the assistance you need to maintain the highest possible quality of life while equipping you with the tools that you need to live safely and comfortably. We offer you and your family all of the resources you need to decide what is best for you.

Seniors and Families Want to Remain at Home Due to Covid

Ever since Covid-19 swept over the world and turned everything on its head in early 2020, families and seniors have sought in-home care options. 

Many assisted living facilities closed their doors to visitors, or at least severely limited visitations due to the advice of CDC guidelines and that left many families feeling that in-home options were better.

Many families and seniors prefer to remain near each other to create more time for family connections. 

Thankfully, as the end of the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be coming closer, many assisted living facilities are opening their doors to visitors once again. 

While our first priority is your health and safety, we know that visiting with your loved ones is important and our facilities are accepting visitors, with some restrictions and regulations. This policy is subject to change at any time.

Seniors And Families Do Not See a Need to Move From Their Current Home

Some families and seniors simply do not see a need to make a move to an assisted living facility. Oftentimes feeling that the care needed can be adequately provided in-home, whether from family or an in-home provider. 

While in-home care might be a good solution for some folks, most families and seniors don't realize that moving into an assisted living facility can provide benefits that dramatically improve quality of life.

Seniors And Families See The Need to Move But Prefer to Remain At Home 

Sometimes the need to move to an assisted living facility is abundantly clear but the family or senior still prefers to remain at home. 

This can be for several reasons such as:

  • Fear that freedoms and independence will be taken in a facility

  • Fear of being unable to visit with friends and family in person

  • Lack of financial resources

  • Fear that current lifestyle will be impossible in a facility  

While these reasons can be real concerns for some, many people find that assisted living is actually a better all-around option. 

For instance:

  • Senior Services of America places a high value on our residents' freedoms and we work hard to ensure that everyone is equipped to live as safely and independently as possible. 

  • Many facilities, including ours, are opening up to visitors and encourage family and friends to connect in person and through provided video-chatting. 

  • Assisted living facilities are far more affordable than many realize, especially when you factor in financial assistance, insurance, and more. 

  • While moving to an assisted living facility naturally changes the resident’s lifestyle, it is possible to keep much of your previous lifestyle intact while adding in enriching activities and experiences. 

While there are valid reasons to opt out of assisted living, oftentimes the pros of making the move far outweigh the cons. Contact an advisor at one of our communities to find out if assisted living could be right for you.

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#2: Seniors Are Dissatisfied With Their Care

Families and seniors often leave assisted living facilities where they are not satisfied and seek other options, whether it be another facility or a different type of care

It is important to consider what levels of care the facility can offer. Some seniors may find themselves dissatisfied with their care because their needs have changed and their community can’t meet their new level of care. 

While all residents in assisted living facilities receive basic care, some may require a higher level of care over time. 

Many facilities are equipped to offer different care levels. In order for you or your loved one to receive the best care, it’s important that you have a general understanding of the different care levels and what level the assisted living facility you’re interested in offers.

Level One/Low Care

Level one care is the basic care that all residents receive. 

Someone receiving level one care can usually perform most activities of daily living (ADLs) on their own, without assistance but might need reminders to do them. 

They are mostly independent and need minimal assistance.

Level Two/Intermediate Care

Someone receiving level two care is still mostly independent but might need assistance with a few ADLs. 

For instance, they might be able to ambulate on their own, but they need assistance bathing. 

Or, perhaps they can bathe on their own but are a fall risk and need someone close by to ensure safety.

Level Three/High Care

Residents receiving level three care typically need substantial assistance with everyday tasks. 

They often need frequent reminders and assistance to complete basic ADLs.

These residents often need assistance from more than one caregiver and are minimally independent. 

Sometimes, when a family or senior is not satisfied with their care, investigating the different levels of care available in their facility and seeking to change to the appropriate level can be all they need to do. 

#3: Seniors Cannot Afford to Stay

While there are multiple programs and insurance options available to help cover the costs of assisted living, sometimes finances are just too tight to make the move.

Sometimes insurance doesn't cover the specific facility or care needed. 

As the market fluctuates, prices can rise and fall, leaving families and seniors thinking they need to seek more affordable options. 

What you may not realize is that assisted living can be more affordable than comparative in-home care. Contact an advisor at one of our communities to find out about options for financing assisted living.

Average Range of Care Cost

While every facility and individual care plan is unique and therefore incurs unique costs, the average range of costs falls somewhere between $2,500 and $10,000. 

The average monthly cost of assisted living is $4,300. 

While these numbers might seem high, it is important to remember that, when living in an assisted living facility, many living expenses are covered under these costs. 

For instance, your monthly cost for assisted living typically includes things like:

  • Housing and utilities

  • Food

  • Medical supervision

  • 24-hour staff

  • Assistance with various needs

  • Enrichment activities

  • Community experiences

  • Community amenities

  • Housekeeping 

  • Personal help

  • Transportation 

Assisted living is often one of the more affordable care options after taking into account the costs for all the above as well as in-home care on top.

The Most Common Options for Transitioning Out of Assisted Living

Transitioning into a different type of care after assisted living is not highly common. 

Even less common is making the transition back to in-home care. 

Usually, families or seniors choose to change their care because they need more than their current facility is able to provide. 

Some need to seek higher levels of care that are not available in the typical assisted living facility.

Memory Care

Memory care is often thought of as the next level of care after assisted living. Memory care is often a great solution for residents who are battling dementia or other memory issues. These facilities are tailored to these specific needs and provide specialized, safe spaces for seniors. 

At Senior Services of America, we understand the need for memory care, which is why our memory care facilities are created to provide as much independence and safety as possible.

Skilled Nursing

When the need for care becomes intensely medical, making the move to a skilled nursing facility can be a great option. 

Skilled nursing facilities typically have nurses on staff 24/7 and usually provide specialized care for each resident. A skilled nursing facility is a great fit for someone who needs frequent medical supervision.

Senior Services of America Provides Assisted Living Care for As Long As You Need

Deciding what type of care you or your loved one needs and knowing how long they might need it can be a stressful, difficult process. 

We want to help you choose the best option for you and your family. 

Senior Services of America is here to walk with you through each step of your assisted living journey. 

From helping you understand what assisted living is to helping you understand alternative options, we are here for you. 

Our communities are designed to offer you or your loved one independence and comfort while meeting their unique needs and creating a safe environment.

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Senior Services of America

800-689-0493

1201 Pacific Avenue Suite 450 Tacoma, WA 98402 US