What Is the Average Age for Individuals Entering Assisted Living?

Author: Sarah Williams

Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

The average age for individuals entering assisted living communities and nursing homes is 84, per a 2023 study. However, statistics vary among sources, with many researchers and facilities providing an admission age range between the mid-70s and mid-80s.   

Average Age of Assisted Living Occupants

The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts finds that most individuals move to assisted living, memory care or independent living at age 80 or older. Conversely, the National Association of Realtors reports that the average age for transitioning to senior housing is younger, at 75. 

According to the National Center for Assisted Living, half of all assisted living residents are 85 or older, and only 6% are younger than 65. Of the over 800,000 assisted living occupants nationwide, around 13% are between 65 and 74, and 31% are aged 75 to 84. The median length of stay in assisted living is 22 months.

Factors Affecting Move-in Age

Many seniors receive support at home — from informal caregivers or in-home care agenciesbefore moving to an assisted living facility. Some may also stay in communities on a temporary respite basis before moving permanently. However, older adults don’t always move from home to an assisted living facility; some transition back into a community setting following a nursing home or hospital stay.Many assisted living facilities have minimum age criteria. Additionally, some have waiting lists, which can delay admission dates. Although eligibility criteria vary among states, Medicaid and Home and Community-Based Services waiver programs won’t typically fund assisted living care for those under 65 unless they have a disability or impaired vision.