Assisted Living Statistics (2023)
In this article, we delve into assisted living and nursing home statistics to shed light on how many seniors receive long-term care, what age groups are represented in assisted living facilities, and the costs associated with different types of long-term care. Here’s a full breakdown of the topics we will cover in more detail.
- How Many People Reside in Assisted Living?
- What Age Are People in Assisted Living?
- Life in an Assisted Living Facility
- How Long Do Most People Live in Assisted Living?
- How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
- How Do People Pay for Assisted Living?
- States with the Most Assisted Living Facilities
Key Assisted Living Statistics
- 818,800 Americans reside in assisted living facilities.
- 1.2 million Americans reside in nursing homes.
- There are over 30,000 assisted living communities and over 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S.
- Half of all assisted living residents are 85 years-old or older.
- The median monthly cost of assisted living in the U.S. is $4,500 per month. This is roughly half the cost of a private room in a nursing home ($9,034).
- California (5,900), Florida (2,400), and Washington (2,000) have the most assisted living communities in the U.S.
How Many People Reside in Assisted Living?
There are roughly 818,800 Americans residing in assisted living facilities.
It’s worth mentioning that assisted living facilities and nursing homes are not the same. Assisted living facilities provide a more social experience for seniors who are generally still active but need a little help with day-to-day tasks.
Nursing homes provide a higher level of care for those who require full-time monitoring and medical assistance. Many people transition from assisted living to nursing homes when a higher level of care is required.
- In the U.S. there are over 30,000 assisted living communities and around 1.2 million licensed beds in these communities.
- The average assisted living facility has 39 beds.
- 70% of assisted living residents are women.
- 478,500 people are employed in the assisted living sector.
- 1.2 million Americans currently reside in nursing homes, nearly 50% more than the number who live in assisted living communities.
- Over 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S. have over 1.7 million licensed beds.
What Age Are People in Assisted Living?
Half of all assisted living residents are 85 years of age or older. Here’s a breakdown of assisted living residents by age group.
Life in an Assisted Living Facility
In most situations, residents in assisted living facilities need help with just a few activities and do not require 24-7 assistance, although staff are typically always available. Here is a breakdown of common living activities and how often residents require assistance with them.
In addition, most assisted living residents have medical conditions.
- 48% of high blood pressure
- 42% have Alzheimer’s or other dementias
- 31% of heart disease
- 29% have depression
- 17% have diabetes
How Long Do Most People Live in Assisted Living?
After making the transition to assisted living, the average American lives for 27 months.
The median length of stay in an assisted living facility is 22 months. From there, the median stay in a nursing home is 5 months. Keep in mind, that these numbers represent the median. There are those who live much longer and bring up the average.
- The mean length of stay in a nursing home is 13.7 months.
- 53% of people die within 6 months of being placed in a nursing home.
- 25% of all deaths in the U.S. occur in nursing homes.
- On average, people are 83 years old when being placed in a nursing home.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
The median monthly cost of assisted living in the U.S. is $4,500 per month. This is roughly half the cost of a private room in a nursing home ($9,034). Here’s an average monthly cost breakdown of different types of elderly care.
A homemaker is someone who performs tasks around the home such as preparing meals, shopping, picking up mail, cleaning, and doing light yard work. A home health aide can assist with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming.
Living in a nursing home is the most expensive type of care because residents are offered 24-hour personal care by nurses or specialists in some cases. Nursing homes on average cost $297 per day in the U.S.
How Do People Pay for Assisted Living?
A common misconception is that Medicare pays for residence in long-term care facilities. In reality, Medicare only pays for the first 100 days in a nursing home and only if the stay follows a period of being hospitalized for at least three days.
In most cases, people pay privately for long-term care. They might utilize their personal savings, a pension or another retirement account, earnings from investments in stocks and bonds, or proceeds from selling a home.
Some people purchase long-term care insurance policies that help cover the expenses associated with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care. These policies can be quite expensive and have many variations.
Medicaid can provide some relief for qualifying low-income individuals. Veterans may also be eligible for some benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Other methods of affording long-term care may include tapping into home equity with a reverse mortgage, family contributions, or a combination of multiple resources.
It's important for individuals and families to plan ahead for long-term care needs and explore different financing options to ensure they can afford the care they may require as they age. Consulting with financial advisors and elder care experts can be helpful in making these decisions.
States with the Most Assisted Living Facilities
California (5,900), Florida (2,400), and Washington (2,000) have the most assisted living communities in the U.S. Here’s a full breakdown of the number of assisted living facilities in each state as well as the maximum capacity each state can handle:
|State||Assisted Living Facilities||Max Capacity|
Assisted living statistics provide valuable insights into the eldercare landscape in the United States. With approximately 818,800 residents in these facilities, primarily aged 85 and older, they serve as an essential step in the continuum of care for many seniors.
While the median monthly cost of $4,500 makes them a more affordable option compared to private nursing home rooms, be cognizant that some individuals transition to nursing homes when their care needs intensify.
Nonetheless, these statistics underscore the pivotal role of assisted living in senior care and reflect the diverse range of options available as our society ages.
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