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Best Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living communities can be a comfortable environment for older adults who need a little bit of help in their daily lives. Our research team vetted 17 national and regional assisted living facilities. Read our guide to choose the best assisted living facility for you by comparing services, on-site amenities, community focuses, resident experiences and locations.

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There are thousands of highly rated senior living facilities across the country, with many reflecting their local cultures through events and dining options. Assisted living facility costs, features and resident experiences may vary from state to state. Use the sections below to find and compare facilities in your area. For each location, we compared reviews, availability and other factors so you can find a safe, supportive community for yourself or a loved one.

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How much does assisted living cost?

In the United States, the median assisted living cost is $4,300 per month or $51,600 per year, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Keep in mind that assisted living costs often include housing, care and meals, which is why the prices may cause some sticker shock at first.

The median assisted living cost was $4,300 per month in 2020.

Where you live plays a significant role in how much you pay for assisted living, though. According to Genworth’s survey, the most expensive state for assisted living in 2020 was Delaware, with an average of just over $80,000 per year. The cheapest state for assisted living was Alabama, which came in at just under $38,000 per year on average.

Prices also depend on the level of care the resident in question needs. Someone who only needs limited assistance may not be charged as much as someone who requires 24/7 care. Realistically assess your or your loved one’s needs and abilities before comparing prices or selecting a facility.

Some other fees to watch out for include:

  • Entrance fees: Some facilities charge an entrance fee when a new resident moves in. This fee is typically placed in reserve to pay for future medical expenses. Residents can decide if they want the unused portion of this fee returned to them or a beneficiary after they leave the facility. A resident’s monthly rate may depend on whether they have the fee returned and how much of the fee is returned.
  • Service fees: Some facilities charge a flat-rate fee that doesn’t change, regardless of the amenities you use or the level of care you need. Others may offer a few package levels or services to select from. As you evaluate facilities, inquire about exactly which services are included and which incur added expenses.

What to look for in an assisted living facility

Choosing an assisted living facility is a major decision and never something to be done lightly. Careful consideration of your options can help you or a loved one live a safe, happy life in a caring environment.

Coping with a loss of independence is never easy, but most assisted living facilities provide private apartments or otherwise private housing so residents can live independently when they don’t need assistance. Here are a few things to look for in an assisted living facility.

  • Services: Assisted living facility residents have a wide variety of needs. See if the facility offers the services you need, whether that's memory care, a specialized diet, exercise programs or something else. If you anticipate needing more advanced services in the future, look for a facility that also offers skilled nursing or specific services. Likewise, consider whether amenities, like in-house hair salons, theaters and pools, are important to you. To help refine your options, create a list of "needs" and a list of "wants" that are nice to have but not necessary. The right community will check off all of your needs and many of your wants.
  • Cost: As an early step in your research, plan out your budget and how you intend to pay. Facilities may require upfront payment, monthly rent or payments for individual services. Some may accept Medicaid, but they might limit the number of Medicaid residents they accept or the length of time services are covered. If you're paying from your personal income, set a monthly budget for yourself and only compare facilities that fall within that price range.
  • Location: A good location helps assisted living residents stay connected to their greater communities. Close proximity to friends and loved ones is important, especially if your mobility or travel capabilities are limited. There are also state regulations to consider, especially when it comes to medical assistance provided by the facility. If you require significant medical care, check to make sure it’s available at assisted living facilities in your state.
  • Accommodations: The style, size and quality of a living space goes a long way toward the resident's comfort. Assisted living communities may offer semiprivate rooms, private rooms or full apartments. Try to browse pictures of a facility’s living areas online or schedule a tour to see the rooms in person. This should help you get a feel for both the privacy and comfort level there.
  • Community: Assisted living facilities offer a strong sense of community and culture for residents through social engagements with other residents and wellness activities or events. To get a vibe for the community, check out its activity schedule, clubs, or facilities dedicated to arts, exercise and other pursuits. Potential residents are often encouraged to visit, take in a meal, walk the grounds and engage with current residents to see if a community is a good fit.
  • Medical attention: Most assisted living facilities should have registered nurses on call 24/7. They might also have medical aides, attendants and other medical staff, including certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and medical directors.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living refers to a specific type of care at senior living communities. Assisted living facilities are designed to provide older adults the independence they desire and the care they need. This care is ideal for adults who don’t have major medical issues that require skilled nursing but still need some help completing their activities of daily living (ADLs). Some common ADLs include bathing, dressing and using the bathroom.

Assisted living communities usually offer many of the same benefits as retirement communities. However, people in assisted living communities receive additional support to complete common daily tasks and have access to nurses and other staff 24/7.

Other types of senior living facilities

Other types of senior living facilities are available for those who require different levels of care. While many facilities offer similar or overlapping services, some specialize in specific features or are designed to accommodate a certain care requirement. Understand the differences and compare your options before choosing the right type for your situation.

Choose the right type of facility for you or your loved one.
  • Independent living and retirement communities: These communities are designed for those who can live alone and care for themselves but appreciate the security of having an emergency alert system, living near others in their age group, being free from home maintenance requirements and having a stable monthly budget.
  • Skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes): Skilled nursing facilities provide 24/7 care to people of all ages who are chronically ill or need a high level of support. Those who cannot care for themselves can usually find the help they need in one of these facilities.
  • In-home care: In-home care can be a viable option for those who wish to stay in their own homes. In-home care staff can visit your home for short or long periods of time and perform both medical and nonmedical services. Live-in care is also available.
  • Memory care: Memory care communities cater to those with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, but they often operate in conjunction with an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Memory care units are typically a separate part of the building or property, and their specialized services may cost more.
  • Respite facilities: These facilities provide short-term assisted living for those who have suffered an unexpected injury or need temporary care. Respite care facilities often include some form of physical therapy or occupational rehabilitation.
  • Adult day care: Adult day care services cater to those who live with family members or other loved ones but cannot be safely left alone when their caregivers are at work. These facilities typically have some level of medical support on-site but focus more on offering a safe and active place for visitors during daytime hours.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?
Assisted living communities usually include light assistance with daily activities but not around-the-clock monitoring like nursing homes. Due to the need for consistent medical care, nursing homes are more like medical facilities, while assisted living communities are more similar to senior apartments.
How much does Medicaid pay for assisted living?
In most cases, Medicaid does not cover the cost of room and board in assisted living communities. However, certain medical assisted living services may be covered, such as nursing, prescription drugs and therapy.
How do you pay for assisted living?
Assisted living facilities are typically paid for from private funds, such as savings or real estate proceeds. Veterans benefits, long-term care insurance or Medicaid may also cover some of the costs, but Medicare typically does not cover any of the medical costs of assisted living. Senior living communities often have an advisor on staff who can discuss payment options in greater detail.
What qualifies someone for assisted living?
Assisted living facilities are designed for adults who need help with daily tasks but not full-time care. If you find yourself or your loved one struggling with everyday tasks, it may be time to consider assisted living.
Who can live in an assisted living facility?
Adults who are mobile and healthy are a good fit for assisted living facilities. Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities would be a better fit for people with severe impairments or the need for around-the-clock care. Some communities may also have age requirements for residency.
Does assisted living take all your money?
No, assisted living communities shouldn’t seize your money. Residents of these communities are independent in many ways and typically pay a month-to-month fee for services.
What services are offered in assisted living?
Available services will vary from community to community, but most provide some variation of medical care, wellness programs, activities, dining, housekeeping and community programs. Take tours of the communities you're interested in to learn more about the services they provide.

Assisted living services

You will have access to help with ADLs regardless of the assisted living facility you choose, but other amenities and services vary by facility.

Services

Facilities offer a variety of services for their residents’ convenience. Some of the most common include:

  • Housekeeping: Those living in independent or assisted living communities often receive once-a-week housekeeping service. Housekeepers typically perform only light cleaning tasks.
  • Laundry: At some locations, the housekeepers will do a load of personal laundry and supply fresh linens when they perform their other cleaning tasks. Residents typically have access to free on-site washers and dryers.
  • Activities: Most facilities offer activities and classes that are free to all residents. These programs help residents build a community and remain mentally and physically engaged.
  • Dining: Those in skilled nursing facilities receive all of their meals from the facility's dining room. Residents who live in an assisted living or residential community, where the residences often have kitchens, can usually select how many meals a day they wish to eat at the on-site dining facility. Dining service may be buffet-style or have table service.
  • Salon/Barber: Assisted and independent living communities often have a salon and/or barbershop on-site so residents don't have to leave the property to get a haircut.

On-site entertainment

Entertainment and activity types vary by facility. Admittance to these areas may have additional fees associated with them.

  • Common areas: Common rooms provide residents a place to gather for community activities or host a larger number of guests than can comfortably fit in their room or apartment.
  • Pool: Facilities may have pools for physical therapy, fitness and/or recreation. Individuals who suffer from joint pain may be especially interested in a facility with an indoor pool for year-round fitness activities.
  • Fitness center: A full fitness center with equipment designed for seniors or those with physical challenges helps residents maintain or improve their physical abilities.
  • Library: Well-stocked libraries offer residents a mentally engaging activity that doesn't require physical strength or leaving the property.
  • Computer lab: Residents who like to communicate with friends and family through email or social media will enjoy having access to a computer, and on-site labs usually have staff who can help residents with any technical problems.
Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
  1. Medicare. “How can I pay for nursing home care?” Accessed April 8, 2021.
  2. National Institute on Aging (NIA). “Paying for Care.” Accessed April 8, 2021.
  3. Genworth. “Cost of Care Survey.” Accessed April 8, 2021.

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    Assisted living facility author reviews

    Vi Living

    Vi Living owns and operates 10 continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) across the United States. They have CCRCs in Scottsdale, Ariz., Palo Alto, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Highlands Ranch, Colo., Aventura, Fla., Lantana, Fla., Naples, Fla., Glenview, Ill. and Hilton Head Island, S.C. Offerings and amenities vary slightly by locations, so potential residents should look at the website of the specific CCRC they are interested in. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Chicago.

    • Resident satisfaction: Vi Living conducts annual surveys to assess their residents’ satisfaction. In recent years, more than 90 percent reported overall satisfaction with the CCRCs.
    • Pricing options: Vi Living charges an entrance fee and a monthly charge. Different floor plans have different prices, so interested residents can choose a plan that fits into their budget.
    • Single payment: Residents at Vi Living locations pay a single monthly fee that includes their rent, water, electric, cable TV, maintenance and weekly housekeeping.
    • Pet friendly: Vi Living welcomes two pets per residence. Pets must be under 30 pounds.
    • Continuum of Care: Residents who can no longer live in their own apartment can move in to the CCRCs assisted living facility. Residents’ monthly fees will remain the same even if they need to move to assisted living.
    Atria Senior Living

    Atria operates several housing options for seniors, including independent living communities, assisted living facilities and memory care facilities across the United States and Canada.

    Read 18 Reviews
    Aegis Living

    Aegis Living was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Redmond, Wash. The company owns and operates respite care and memory care facilities as well as assisted living communities. They have locations in Washington, Nevada and California. They are working to expand their offerings in Washington.

    View Profile
    Elmcroft Senior Living

    Elmcroft Senior Living’s headquarters are located in Louisville, Ky., and the company has been in business since 2006. They have more than 100 senior care communities, including independent living and assisted living communities as well as memory care facilities. They have properties in almost 20 states.

    • Multiple levels of support: Many Elmcroft properties offer multiple types of care, so residents at Elmcroft can move between care facilities when their needs change. This feature minimizes upheaval in residents’ lives.
    • Price: Interested consumers can visit Elmcroft’s website to see the average rates for each of their community types. They can learn about assistance in paying for senior care and view Elmcroft’s payment plans.
    • Second Wind Dreams®: Elmcroft helps residents achieve their dreams with its Second Wind Dreams® program. The company believes that this program inspires and encourages its residents. They’ve helped residents reunite old family members or friends, return to a favorite location, learn new skills and more.
    • Facebook: Interested consumers can visit Elmcroft’s Facebook page to see examples of the events that take place in their facilities. The company is active on the social media site, often featuring residents’ activities and accomplishments.
    • Dining information: Aegis provides clear information on their website about the dining options available to their residents. They have special events featuring food from other cultures, theme parties and cooking contests for the chefs that are judged by the residents. Interested consumers can download a sample menu.
    Belmont Village Senior Living

    Belmont Village Senior Living was founded in 1997 and operates in seven states with 24 total communities, including both independent and assisted living communities as well as memory care facilities. Specific options vary by property, so interested residents and caregivers should inquire about the options at the location they are interested in. The company is headquartered in Houston.

    • We Make Aging Better®: Residents at Belmont who need some extra assistance with daily tasks are supported by the company’s We Make Aging Better® program. It has licensed nurses available 24 hours a day and Personal Assistance Liaisons (PALs) who coordinate the residents’ care and perform health assessments.
    • Activities: Belmont properties offer a variety of daily activities to engage residents mentally and physically. Activities include computer classes, movie nights, fitness classes, language classes, social events, art classes, mediation and more.
    • Housing options: Those who wish to live in one of Belmont’s independent living communities can choose from a studio, one- or two-bedroom apartment depending on their needs. Belmont can help new residents furnish their apartments if necessary.
    • Online resources: Interested consumers can access resources for both residents and caregivers on Belmont’s website. Resources include a list of recommended readings, helpful links and answers to frequently asked questions.
    • Free transition: Residents who wish or need to move from one community to another or to a facility with a different level of care can do so for free. They will not be charged an additional entrance fee.
    Sunrise Senior Living

    Sunrise Senior Living operates in over 300 communities throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Residential options include independent living, assisted living, memory care, respite care and skilled nursing facilities. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in McLean, Va.

    Read 28 Reviews
    Providence Life Services

    Providence Life Services is a faith-based non-profit company that provides senior living communities in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. The first nursing home associated with the ministry project opened in 1960.

    • Options: Interested consumers have several options if they choose Providence Life Services. The company’s properties include assisted living communities, memory care facilities, retirement communities and townhouse living, which is similar to many independent living facilities. They also offer hospice care.
    • Chaplain: Residents of Providence Life Service have access to counselors and chaplains to discuss their emotional and spiritual well-being.
    • Priority transitions: Individuals who live in one of Providence Life Service’s properties/facilities are given priority when moving to another Providence community. This means that if a resident of a retirement community needs additional assistance, they will be admitted to an assisted living community before someone who is not already a Providence resident.
    • Online resources: Providence Life Service’s website has several free downloadable documents to help interested consumers make decisions about medical care facilities. They also have a blog where visitors can read about news and developments related to Providence’s properties.
    • Trial period: Individuals who move into memory care facilities can do so with a two- or four-week trial period. This period helps caregivers make sure that their loved one will like the facility and the staff to ensure that the resident’s needs can be met at the facility. If for some reason a new resident isn’t a good fit, the Providence staff can help residents and caregivers find a more suitable option.
    American Senior Communities

    American Senior Communities has nearly 100 locations across Indiana and Kentucky. Their facilities include memory care, skilled nursing, respite stays, hospice care, assisted living and independent living communities.

    • New Energy Wellness: Both American Senior Communities residents and non-resident seniors can join the company’s gym, New Energy Wellness. The fitness center offers programs and equipment specifically designed for older adults.
    • Twilight Wish: American Senior Communities participates in the Indiana’s Twilight Wish Foundation, which helps seniors fulfill their dreams. Applications can be found on American Senior Communities’ website.
    • Online resources: Interested consumers can visit American Senior Communities’ website to access resources for seniors and their loved ones. The website includes a blog, podcasts, infographics and informational articles.
    • Options: American Senior Communities has a wide variety of facilities, allowing individuals to find an option that meets their level of need and budget. Interested consumers can visit the website of the specific community they’re interested in to see floorplans.
    • Facebook: Each American Senior Communities facility has its own Facebook page. These pages are active and feature stories about the residents and activities as well as resources for those considering assisted living communities.
    Brookdale Senior Living

    Brookdale Senior Living Solutions is a publically traded company that operates more than 1,100 communities in 46 states. The company operates independent and assisted living communities, memory care facilities and skilled nursing facilities.

    Read 77 Reviews
    Erickson Living

    Erickson Living operates more than 15 CCRCs across the United States. The company’s first community opened in 1983. Their communities offer a full spectrum of living options, from independent living to skilled nursing facilities.

    • Erickson Advantage®: Residents at any of Erickson properties have access to Erickson Advantage®, a health insurance plan. They are the only CCRC in the nation that offers its own health care plan.
    • Resident council: Every Erickson property has a resident council, made up of current Erickson residents, that works with the community’s leadership employees to make sure the all residents’ voices are heard.
    • Onsite physicians: Erickson employs physicians to work on location at their facilities. These doctors only work at the Erickson community, so residents receive personalized care.
    • Dining options: Erickson residents can choose from multiple dining choices onsite. These restaurant-style locations offer table service and a variety of menu items.
    • Moving assistance: Those moving in to an Erickson community can get help with their move. The company has a moving and realty program that can assist new residents with hiring movers, overseeing packing, pricing their current home and hiring a local real estate agent.
    Genesis HealthCare

    Genesis HealthCare was founded in 1985 and now has over 500 locations across the United States. It is a publically traded company headquartered in Kennett Square, Pa. They offer skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, memory care and respite care.

    • Driving rehabilitation: Those staying at a Genesis HealthCare facility after an injury or surgery as well as non-residents can receive specialized occupational therapy to assess individuals’ ability to safely drive and provide rehab and physical therapy if necessary and appropriate.
    • Online resources: Genesis’ website includes a Health Library where interested consumers can learn about medications, disease management, general wellness and other healthcare topics.
    • We Honor Veterans: Genesis HealthCare is a member of We Honor Veterans, a program that works to provide veterans with palliative and hospice care that respects and honors their service. The program is the result of collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).
    • Amenities: Genesis HealthCare facilities offer a variety of amenities and onsite features, including pet therapy, onsite salon/barber shop, gardens and dining options. Amenities vary by location, so interested consumers should visit the webpage of the specific facility they are considering to learn about that location’s offerings.
    • Free downloads: Interested consumers can visit Genesis’ website to download brochures about the facilities and service options as well as the company’s newsletter, which includes recipes, health news and resident stories.
    Holiday Retirement

    Holiday Retirement is a network of assisted living communities with over 260 locations throughout 43 states. These communities are all-inclusive and have affordable monthly rents. Numerous amenities are available, including chef-prepared meals, housekeeping and community activities. Holiday also offers a travel program, allowing residents to stay free at any of its locations for up to seven days.

    • Services: Meals, weekly linen service and housekeeping, utilities, regular cleaning and maintenance, transportation, mobile emergency response device, and a travel program are available.
    • Activities: These vary by community but may include painting classes, balloon volleyball, happy hours, knitting groups and tailgating parties.
    • Payment options: Holiday charges monthly fees.
    • Availability: Holiday Retirement has over 260 communities across 43 states.
    Life Care Services

    Life Care Services provides multiple care options, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, home care and Life Plan Communities. It has more than 130 communities nationwide that have activity and wellness offerings. Some services may include an entrance fee.

    • Services: Life Plan Communities, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and home care are available.
    • Activities: Residents can take advantage of wellness programs, cultural and educational activities and social opportunities.
    • Payment options: Monthly or upfront payments may be required. Pricing varies by community.
    • Availability: Life Care Services runs more than 130 communities across the U.S.
    Five Star Senior Living

    Five Star Senior Living is a nationwide network of senior living facilities. Each community features a unique calendar of events and locally sourced fine dining. View floor plans and amenities for communities near you on Five Star’s website.

    • Services: Independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, memory care, personal care and rehabilitation are available.
    • Activities: Residents can enjoy fine dining, book clubs, happy hours, games, dancing and ice cream socials.
    • Payment options: Monthly fees are required.
    • Availability: Five Star Senior Living operates 260 communities across 33 states.
    Senior Lifestyle

    Senior Lifestyle has living communities off the country. Communities may offer activities and wellness programs unique to the location.

    • Services: Independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, short-term care and affordable housing are available.
    • Activities: Residents can participate in intergenerational programs, happy hours, movie nights, ice cream socials and clubs.
    • Payment options: Monthly fees are required.
    • Availability: Senior Lifestyle has over 130 communities nationwide.

    Compare Top Assisted Living Facility Reviews

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