Pros and Cons of Moving to an Assisted Living Community

Aug 16, 2019
Senior couple with a house key

Making the decision to move yourself or a loved one into an assisted living facility is often fraught with fear and misgivings that can make the move more difficult than it has to be. As you begin to consider the possibility of assisted living, take a good look at what you can actually expect, not what you have heard or imagined it will be like. While you can expect life to change in assisted living, it is often for the better and the more you know before you go, the happier you or your loved one will be long term. Understanding some of the pros and cons of assisted living is a good place to start.

Pros of Moving to an Assisted Living Community

Help on hand:

Assisted living is, by definition, a place where residents receive the help they need with meals, medications, daily personal hygiene and dressing, housekeeping, and transportation. While assisted living does not provide skilled nursing care, on-site medical professionals may be available.


There are many levels of care available in assisted living communities, so as needs change, more or less assistance can be provided. This seamless adaption to changing needs is especially great if you or your loved one have early dementia or health concerns that may not yet require nursing care.

Lower cost:

Assisted living communities are less costly than nursing homes. As long as continuous medical care is not required, assisted living is a good option for living safely and comfortably. The National Institutes of Health explains how to finance long-term care in the article, “Paying for Care.”

Privacy and independence:

In assisted living you have your own apartment with your own furniture, pictures and so on. You may also have a kitchen where you can prepare meals if you like, or just a kitchenette with a sink and refrigerator. Like your home, your apartment is your personal space and is not open to others without your consent. You retain your independence and freedom to enjoy life without all the hardships that come with maintaining a home and lawn.


One of the best aspects of assisted living is that you are not alone, but part of a community of people with similar life experiences and desires. You will make new friends and have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities like arts and crafts, field trips, exercise classes, music, and dancing in common areas. If you choose, you can also enjoy meals with friends and forget about doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen! Whether at home or in an assisted living community, the NIH has a great infographic offering ways to combat loneliness.

Safety and security:

Assisted living communities offer a level of safety and security you cannot get living alone in your home. Having staff available 24/7 in case of an emergency offers peace of mind to residents and their families. Facilities also offer a range of features to keep residents safe from in-room alarms to the latest fire response equipment to disaster plans for a range of emergency situations. Newer assisted living communities were also designed and built for seniors so there are no stairs to climb, hallways and rooms are well-lit, and accessibility is built in.

Cons of Moving to an Assisted Living Community

Transitioning can be difficult:

Even if you are looking forward to the move to assisted living, you can expect the change to bring feelings of loss or sadness. If you or a loved one are not excited about the move to assisted living, these feelings may be more pronounced, and you may even feel abandoned or unloved. But the truth is, any major life change can bring on these feelings and they are normal. How you deal with them is the key to your happiness. The National Center for Assisted Living at the American Health Care Association offers an in-depth look at how to smooth the transition to assisted living in its guide, “Moving Into An Assisted Living Residence: Making a Successful Transition.”

There will be rules and policies:

Living alone allows you to make your own rules, but living in a community means the rules are in the best interest of everyone. Keep in mind that many rules are prompted by state of federal regulations and are intended to ensure the safety of all. For a better understanding of the regulations in your state, take a look at the NCAL’s “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review.”

Cost can be a drawback:

Because Medicare does not cover long-term care, including assisted living, those who lack a private source of funds like a pension, retirement plan or savings account may be unable to afford assisted living. Nationally, assisted living costs about $48,000 annually. You can also check costs in your state by reviewing the NCAL’s “Cost of Care Survey 2018.”

Sharing space may be difficult for some:

When you have lived alone for years, suddenly having to live with others may feel like a loss of privacy; and might even feel familiar, like the way you felt on the first day of kindergarten, the first day at a new job, or other life changing events. To minimize these feelings, investigate what facilities in your area offer including:

  • Private apartments – studio, one- or two-bedroom options for couples.
  • Single-person rooms with a private bathroom.
  • Suites with private bedrooms and shared baths.

While you’re making the decision to go or stay, keep in mind that many assisted living facilities strive to be communities where people can get together, make friends and have fun. It may take a while to get used to, but statistically, the odds are you will be happier there then alone at home.

Overall, one recent research study showed residents and prospective residents experienced a range of benefits including a greater sense of well-being, more control over their lives, and better health than people who remain in their homes. Many even wish they had made the move to assisted sooner! Before you begin touring potential facilities, download AARP’s care Giving Checklist, “Assisted Living What to Ask, ” to help you get all the information you need to make your decision.

For information about Countryside, call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

assisted living near me

Subscribe to our blog.

Recent Posts

Home Safety for Older Adults: A Checklist of Top Considerations

Home safety for older adults is top of mind concern for loved ones and adult children. According to the AARP Home and Community Preference Survey,  79% of seniors (ages 50 and above) prefer to live at home as they age, but only about 34% recognize they may need to...

When One Partner Has a Dementia Diagnosis and the Other Doesn’t

A dementia diagnosis is a devastating event in any marriage and one that really changes everything going forward. Suddenly there are so many unknowns, so many new concerns, and so much sadness that the healthy spouse may be overwhelmed. One of the greatest of the...

What Services Do Memory Care Communities Provide?

Making the decision to move yourself or a loved one to a memory care community should be a well-informed one. All memory care communities are not created equal, but the best have several things in common. When comparing memory care communities be sure to include the...

How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

Having a conversation about moving parents to assisted living can go a lot easier when everyone is open-minded, empathetic and has good information about assisted living communities. Today’s modern assisted living communities have come a long way so before sitting...

A Checklist for Independent Living: Is it right for me?

All the changes in senior independent living have made it a much more desirable option for older adults who want to shed the responsibilities of living at home and really make retirement the best it can be. But it’s not for everyone. Before you decide, however, use...

Independent Living Value vs Cost

In general, how much something costs is often considered its value, but when it comes to independent living value, it’s essential to peel back the layers and look deeper into what value really means. When deciding where to live in retirement, at home or in independent...

5 Things to Look for in an Independent Living Community

An independent living community can be the perfect retirement solution when you choose the right senior living community. That’s why it is so important to thoroughly vet your options before making your choice. One of the best ways to do that is by touring independent...

Four Wonderful Things to Expect in an Independent Living Community

Retirement is the time of life to really make every day one to remember, whether it’s traveling, revisiting an old hobby, relaxing at home with friends and family, writing a book, or taking classes just to learn something new. All those things you never had time for...

Share This