Assisted Living

Assisted Living is housing that provides individual spaces to a paying consumer. These facilities offer 24 hour on site staff, dining, and programs.Nursing services may be available and provided but with an additional fee. Assisted Living is defined as "a senior living option that combines housing, support services and health care, as needed. Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer's, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Residents are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in condition. The assessment is used to develop an Individualized Service Plan," according to the Assisted Living Federation of America.

Assisted Living is designed for residents who can not living on there own. They may need help with medicine, daily chores of life, or meals.

Assisted Living - Health Architecture

Very often 3 meals a day are served i n a common dinning room. Each resident has there own apartment with a kitchenette. Staff is usually available 24hrs a day and some may have licensed nurses. Around 40% of residents have some kind of cognitive impairment. Many Assisted Living communities have various social activities scheduled like: bingo, shopping trips, movies and ice cream socials. Alzheimer's units are sometimes also offered. The conceptual plan of an assisted living floor is typically a H shape

The average monthly cost of living in an assisted living facility is 3,131 or 37,572 per year.
There are 39,500 assisted living facilities in the US. About 1 million people live in assisted living.
4 Main program elements
  • resident unit
  • common area of floor, wing or cluster
  • common area for all residents
  • support space
Goals of Assisted Living
  • Maximized Resident Functions and Independence
  • Support for Residents Choise and Autonomy
  • Fostering Orientation and Familiarity
  • Provide for Residents, Visitation, and Staff Privacy
  • Provide an Opportunity for Social Interaction
  • Provide a safe yet Challenging Environment
  • Economic Value
Variables of Assisted Living
  • Building Gross Square Footage
  • Building Net Square Footage
  • Net Square Footage of Resident Space
  • Net Square Footage of Circulation
  • Type of Construction by Building Code
  • Type of Occupancy by Building Code
  • Acreage of Site
  • Typical Type of Floor Construction
  • Construction Cost
  • Cost per resident per day
  • Unit sizes and types
Design Strategies - Design Objectives
  • Resident has a place of there own - Private Residential Units, recognize the uniqueness of each resident, foster independence
  • Activities for Everyday Living - Self-accessed Personal Storage
  • Variety of Places - Variety in Residential Units, Variety in Activity Spaces, Variety in Dining Spaces
  • Encouragement of Activities with community and visitors - Variety in Places for Visitation, Provision of Social Kitchen, support family involvement
  • Public to Private Spaces - Residential Zoning and Articulation of Activity Areas, Residential Zoning and Articulation of restrooms, dignified restroom use
  • Non-institutional Image inside and outside - Residential Interior Finishes and Furnishings, Avoid Hard Architecture, Residential Scale of Interior Spaces, Residential Entry, Residential Exterior Imagery. appear residential in character, perceived as small in size
  • Eliminating Environmental Barriers
  • Spatial Clustering - Activity Visible from Residential Unity Entry, Coherent Organizational Zoning, Minimal but Coherent Circulation
  • Regulation of Noxious Stimuli
  • Minimization of Staff - Minimization of Presence of Staff Areas, Provisions for Staff Retreat
  • Accessibility - Provision of "in-between" spaces
  • Access of Outdoors - Variety in Outdoor Spaces, Positive Outdoor Space
  • Space and Construction Efficiency - Economical, Reasonable Human-Spatial Distribution
  • focus on health maintenance, physical movement and mental stimulation
  • serve the frail
Services available
  • three meals per day
  • housekeeping service
  • assistance with basic ADLs
  • Personal Laundry
  • Snacks
  • Medication Assistance
  • escort service within building
  • wellness activities
  • assistance with bathing
  • beauty/barber shop services
  • emergency call system
  • special diets
  • transportation to shopping
Characteristics of residents
  • 75-78% are women
  • 2/3 of residents have an income of less then 25,000
  • couples are not very common
  • average length of stay is about 28.5-30.8.
  • family help is one of the best forms of friendship and help
Small Studio:around 325 square feet and is similar to a hotel room. It has a little floor area and occupies little of the perimeter of the build but there isn't private sleeping

Alcove Studio:around 350-375 sq ft. Alcove studios have private sleeping area. However, it does require 16-18 feet of the building perimeter.

Small one-bedroom: 435 sq ft. requires 22-24 ft of the perimeter of the building.

Large one-bedroom: 550 sq ft. separate living and sleeping rooms.

Two-bedroom/one bath: 675-800 sq ft. used for single residnets, couples, siblings or unrelated individuals

Double Master: typically found in higher income markets

Suite Hotel Unit: 2 room arrangement around a bathroom like a hotel.

Shared Suite style unit: 3 or 4 bedrooms with a common living area, kitchen and some times a bathroom

Bedroom Unit: usually in a cluster like setting. each resident has own private room, all units located around a common area.

AAHSA: American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. 2010. Web. 03 May 2010. <>.
Diaz Moore, Keith. Towards A Language of Assisted Living, Understanding the Physical Setting Through Benchmarking. Milwaukee: Center for Architecture and Urban Planning Research, 1999. Print.

Perkins, Braford, J. David Hoglund, Douglas King, and Eric Cohen. Building Type Basics for senior living. Ed. Stephen A. Kilment. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2004. Print.

Regnier, Victor. Design for Assisted Living. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Print.

"Alternative Home Health Care - Serving Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida." Alternative Home Health Care - Serving Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2010. <>.