Assisted living communities are geared toward seniors who want to remain independent but also need help with daily tasks. There is no one definition of assisted living; it covers many services and programs (including individualized care plans!). These housing communities offer a safe, secure residence where residents can live independently and access supportive services as needed. There is a lot of confusion about what assisted living facilities offer. To help clear that up, here are some surprising facts about assisted living.

Are Assisted Living and Nursing Homes the Same?

Assisted living is different from home care or nursing homes in that it provides assistance with everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating, or housekeeping rather than supervised medical care or custodial services. Residents have their own private apartments and share common spaces like libraries, lounges, dining areas, and gardens. Some assisted living facilities provide meals as well as housekeeping and laundry services. Here is some helpful information about assisted living in general, along with some data about these wonderful communities.

What Services Do Most Assisted Living Facilities Provide?

Assisted living is often confused with nursing homes, but the two are very different. Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care, including bathing assistance, dressing assistance, and medication monitoring. Assisted living facilities are generally not staffed 24/7 and do not provide medical services. Some assisted living facilities provide assistance with bathing or dressing, but this varies by location. Assisted living residents also do not receive medical care from staff. They get help with daily activities like cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, transportation, and medication management. In most cases, people start at an assisted living facility when it is no longer safe for them to live at home alone. Then, when their medical or physical conditions start to deteriorate, they move to a nursing home for medical care and more extensive daily living assistance.

Can Assisted Living Extend Your Life?

Some research indicates that people who live in assisted living communities live an average of three years longer than those who live alone. This may be because assisted living residents benefit from a community of peers who can provide social support, including help with medication management. No data shows that assisted living extends the life of seniors with dementia. Ultimately, assisted living can impact someone’s life, if not for how long they live, then for the quality of life they have left. Without data to support their claims, many people believe that receiving help reduces stress on seniors and ensures that they have their needs met, which can lead to a longer life. It ultimately depends on the individual and the type and quality of care they receive.

Do Assisted Living Facilities Have More Male or Female Residents?

Assisted living communities have more female residents than male residents. Research shows that 70% of residents are female and the majority are 85 or older. This is not surprising when you consider that women often live years longer than their male counterparts on average. In general, people are living longer than in previous generations as well. This means that people are entering assisted living later in life, which can contribute to the lower number of men in assisted living.

How Long Do People Live in Assisted Living?

Residents in assisted living come from all walks of life and have many different reasons for moving into an assisted living community. Some move into assisted living after a hospital stay, some move to assisted living after losing a spouse, and others may move straight from a home into assisted living. People can live in assisted living for as long as needed. There are no time frames for a stay in assisted living. However, the average stay in an assisted living facility is 22 months. Then, most residents switch to nursing homes because they need more complex care that involves medical treatments.

How Do You Pay for Assisted Living?

Medicare, private insurance, or a combination often cover assisted living costs. Most assisted living facilities are privately owned and provide services through contracts with states. Residents who do not qualify for Medicare or choose not to use it can pay for assisted living with private or out-of-pocket insurance. Residents who qualify for Social Security can use their benefits to pay for assisted living. If residents are not receiving Social Security, their children or other family members can use their benefits to pay for assisted living.


Assisted living communities are great options for seniors who want to be as independent as possible while receiving help with daily tasks. While assisted living facilities offer many benefits, they vary greatly in terms of cost and services provided. When researching assisted living facilities, remember that the cheapest option may not be best for your loved one. Assisted living communities to provide a safe, secure residence where residents can live independently and access supportive services as needed. To get the best care for your loved ones, contact Garden Care for assistance. Call us at 303-566-1085 to schedule a consultation today.