National Study Looks at Seniors in Assisted Living

    • March 30, 2004

From 1998 to 2002, researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health led by Rosalie A. Kane, DSW, conducted a national research study of apartment-style assisted living for seniors.

Researchers studied 600 residents of 60 assisted living facilities in urban, suburban and rural areas of six states (Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas) to gain better clarity on:

  • The physical environments of these settings and how services are provided for residents.
  • Associated costs and health outcomes.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Home Care Research Initiative national program.

Key Findings

  • Few residents with high needs for ADL assistance were living in assisted living settings at baseline.

  • Residents were more likely to remain in assisted living if they lived in an environment with physical features that promoted functioning.

  • In 1999, half of the residents were paying $2,000 or less per month, and 15 percent were paying $3,000 or more per month for their apartment and services.

  • Residents were satisfied with assisted living, especially with their privacy, the apartment's attractiveness and disability features, and items about control and choice in daily life.

  • Forty percent of the residents were no longer in the same assisted living facility one year later, due primarily to discharge to a nursing home or death.