The biggest pro of living in an assisted living community is that it provides assistance with activities of daily living, and the biggest con is the cost. Reviewing the pros and cons can help seniors decide whether assisted living is the right choice for them or if a better solution is available to meet their needs. 

An assisted living community serves as an intermediary between independent living and around-the-clock care, providing assistance and life enrichment. While the exact services and amenities provided by assisted living communities vary, many offer assistance to seniors with:

  • Medication management
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Social enrichment programs

Pros of Assisted Living

The biggest benefit of moving into an assisted living community is that seniors can receive assistance with daily activities. For seniors who begin to struggle with mobility as they age, assisted living allows them to live on their own while regularly receiving any help they need, often around the clock, in an environment built with seniors in mind. This helps maintain a sense of independence, allowing seniors to live their way without having to ask for help from their adult children, friends or other family members. Giving them that control over their lives often helps seniors cope with their newfound limitations.

Another major pro of moving to an assisted living community is that it provides seniors the chance to socialize with their peers. Socialization boosts happiness, and often, seniors with increasing limitations find themselves feeling isolated. By moving into a community with others who need the same assistance, seniors have the opportunity to make friends and pursue their interests while still having their needs met. Often, seniors in assisted living report feeling a strong sense of community, especially in assisted living communities offering robust daily social enrichment activities. These communities also usually have shared amenities, such as libraries, gyms, cafes and courtyards, for additional socialization opportunities.

Cons of Assisted Living

By far, the biggest con of moving into assisted living is the cost. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national median monthly cost of assisted living is $4,500. This is just the median; many locations have much higher monthly costs. In Washington, for example, the monthly median cost of an assisted living community is $6,000. In contrast, Georgia’s median monthly cost of assisted living is $3,535, nearly half of what someone would spend in Washington. Some states offer financial assistance for the cost of assisted living or for some of their services through Medicaid waivers.

Another major con of moving into assisted living is that often, assisted living doesn’t offer the type of care seniors may need. Those requiring skilled nursing may need a more intensive living solution than assisted living provides. While assisted living often provides basic medical care, it may not be enough for those with chronic health conditions or for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Assisted living provides a living space for seniors in good health who need help with activities of daily living, so it may not be right for those needing regular skilled care. Additionally, assisted living comes with the disadvantage of limited privacy, as the assistance provided often means the staff frequently enters rooms or apartments to check on residents.