The notion of the “ideal” assisted living model is based on a continuing commitment to autonomy and choice, social engagement, privacy and dignity, and to age in place in the least restrictive environment. Underlying these values is the distinction between a “medical model” of care that is typical of nursing home care, and a new, more “social model” of care that can be provided in settings with less regulation than nursing homes and are designed to be more homelike. Over the past two decades, assisted living has become the fastest growing sector in long-term care. This reflects the fact that many higher income older adults are willing to pay substantially ($2,500 to $9,500 monthly) to receive the services they need in an environment that supports their autonomy, dignity and privacy. However, with rapid growth comes many challenges.

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The following 4 part series on assisted living extends specific topics discussed in the earlier report, “The Ideal Assisted Living: What it should be and Why?”