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What is the Average Length of Stay in Assisted Living

When considering assisted living, it’s typical for adults to wonder how long they or a family member can expect to be there. Assisted living is considered a long-term senior living option, but many factors determine the average length of stay in assisted living.

The average length of stay in assisted living is about 22 months, although lengths of stay can range from just under 2 years to 3 years.

While it’s impossible to know for sure how long you or a family member will be in an assisted living community, having a general idea of the average stay in assisted living can help you plan both financially and logistically for the next few years.

Services Offered at Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are often the ideal solution for older adults who are independent with most activities of daily living (ADL) but need help in a few areas, like bathing, dressing, or using the restroom. Assisted living communities offer a full range of ADL services, but residents pick and choose the support they need based on their individual needs. The benefit of assisted living is that as your needs change, you can add more support.

The services offered in assisted living communities are relatively consistent across the board and include:

  • Assistance with showering or bathing, ranging from standby assistance for safety or hands-on help
  • Laundry and light housekeeping services
  • Medication management (ordering and set-up or administration of medications)
  • Assisting with cooking or an optional meal program
  • Transportation to and from appointments
  • Life enrichment activities including exercise, social engagements, entertainment, cognitive activities, and more

When is Assisted Living Necessary?

According to a report published by the CDC, 70% of new residents lived independently before moving to an assisted living community. Most older adults start thinking about assisted living when their health or mobility has declined, making it difficult for them to independently care for themselves and their home the same way they have in the past. If someone is struggling to take medications as prescribed, losing weight unintentionally, experiencing more falls or injuries, or worried about experiencing an emergency while home alone, those might be signs that it’s a good time to think about assisted living.

What Impacts Length of Stay in Assisted Living?

The reason it’s so hard to pinpoint how long a person might stay in an assisted living community is because so many factors will play a role. Knowing the average length of stay in assisted living is helpful, but you should also know that your experience will be unique to you and your needs and medical status.

Overall Health

One factor that influences average stay in assisted living is your overall health. Residents who are in good health overall typically spend more time at home before moving to assisted living, which shortens their stay on the front end. Additionally, they may be able to stay in assisted living longer without needing skilled nursing or memory care, which extends their stay on the back end.

Being in poor health could affect that in reverse: you may need assisted living sooner and you may need to transfer to skilled nursing or memory care earlier. According to the CDC, 59% of residents who leave assisted living move to a memory care or skilled nursing unit, where they’re able to receive a higher level of care. This shows that overall health and the need for greater support is the primary reason why people leave assisted living. These settings are designed to be more secure for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia as well as provide more extensive services like medical treatment, incontinence management, lifts for those who are unable to bear weight, and more.

Family Support

Support and family preferences also play a role in how long a person will stay in assisted living. If your needs increase while you’re living at home and you have help available, you may be able to stay home longer than someone who doesn’t have family nearby or whose family is unable to help due to their own health issues, work, or other commitments. The same is true when it’s time to transition to memory care; having family to help in assisted living can delay the move in some cases.

Availability at Assisted Living Communities

Finally, availability at an assisted living community can influence your length of stay, too. As an example, if there are no apartments open in the assisted living community of your choice, you might stay home longer while you wait for a spot to open up. This is why it’s important to start your search for assisted living early. This way you have the time to pick the right community for you and reserve a spot versus quickly joining the first community that has availability.

Assisted Living at the Villages of Windcrest

The Villages of Windcrest in Fredericksburg, Texas, combines luxurious apartments with holistic wellness to deliver your best retirement years yet. You can expect the team to encourage your pursuit of passion and promote healthy body, mind, and spirit – including autonomy over your schedule and lifestyle.

Our robust services include assistance with activities of daily living, resort-style dining options, concierge services, maintenance, transportation, and more. Residents choose the floor plan that best meets their needs, ranging from a luxurious studio to a spacious two-bedroom apartment.
Ready to take the first step and explore your assisted living options in Texas? Contact the team at The Villages of Windcrest today.