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Financial Wellbeing of Senior Home Care Residents

New Survey Studies Financial Wellbeing of Senior Living Residents

This article is from the ALFA website. ALFA supported research out of Boston College presents a detailed look at the economic situations of seniors living in private pay independent living and assisted living communities. Presenting information important to both providers and consumers, the comprehensive survey studied resident satisfaction, financial concerns, and other topics.


The survey was designed and conducted by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College. Studying 2,616 respondents in assisted living and independent living communities, the survey collected data on income and assets at the time of the survey as well as past information relating to living arrangements, care provisions, and financial gifts given. The survey tackled a vast variety of topics including senior living costs, resident satisfaction, methods of paying for the community, evidence of spending down or giving away assets, financial concerns, and the geographic mobility among the residents.

Key results from the survey reported by the CRR include:

  • Residents in independent living and assisted living communities are generally mid- to high-income households who receive most of their income in annuitized forms: Social Security, pensions, and private annuities. Investment income is also relatively common among the residents.
  • The majority of residents report that they are self-reliant, with few relying on family to pay for their community and care. While about one-third of the residents report paying for their expenses out of their income alone, many report actively spending down their assets for their care.
  • Overwhelmingly, residents feel as if they are getting good value for their money.
  • There is substantial geographic mobility among the residents from their previous residence, which was typically an arrangement where they lived alone or only with a spouse.
  • Many residents received non-financial assistance before they moved to their current community, either from family or another type of care community.
  • Combined independent living/assisted living communities seem to attract residents from longer distances than do freestanding communities.

The results of the Residents Financial Survey were released in four volumes, all of which are available for download on ALFA’s website.  ALFA, ASHA and NIC sponsored the research.

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