Most older people will not end up as residents in an assisted living facility. I heard from a placement business in New York that 1.2 million people nationwide were residents in an assisted living facility. This includes nursing homes but not senior living communities (which simply means age restricted ie. 55+). According to the National Center for Assisted Living, the average resident is 86.9 years old, most likely female (74 to 26), and needs help with at least two ADL’s (activities of daily living). This comports with what the CFO of one of the largest providers of independent living told me about his company, although their marketing would seem to show a younger, more active population. 77% have moved from a private home, apartment or family member’s residence. The average length of a stay is a little over two years, with 59% moving into a nursing home and 33% dying. The steep price tag that comes with assisted living sounds a lot more manageable when the relatively brief stay is considered. Many say the need for assisted living will increase as the baby boomers retire and grow old but need is much different from ability to pay!