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Types of Rooms Found in Assisted Living
Overview of resident rooms in assisted living and room layouts

Assisted Living Room Designs

Resident Rooms in Assisted Living

Assisted Living Facilities are sometimes called Residential Care Homes, and each differ in living room designs. They range from 100+ beds, 16+ beds to smaller care homes with less than 6 beds. Most are non-medical facilities that provide private or shared rooms, private or shared bathrooms, one, and two-bedroom apartments, couples apartments, condominiums, studios, and cottages. They typically serve persons 55 years of age and older.

Assisted Living Rooms and Apartments

Our assisted living room resource provides thorough information on the types of rooms that are available for residents. It gives you a gallery of photographs of existing community rooms from all over the country, data from a CDC study on residential care facilities, room design plans, and virtual tours. It's difficult to get a full grasp of what's offered, so we added useful information that will help you gain a broad but complete picture of living spaces of various sizes in various parts of the country. We've added several mediums to choose when researching assisted living room layouts. Enjoy the tour from your computer.

Some great resources:

Interactive Room Design

Virtual Tour of Assisted Living Apartment Living Room

Room Layouts of Studios, One and Two-bedroom Apartments

How to know which Assisted Living Room Layout is Best

  1. What type of home are you moving from?
  2. Which room layout will make you feel at home?
  3. How much can you afford?
  4. How much privacy do you prefer?
  5. Will you family and friends who visit often?
  6. How close is the facility to family and friends?
  7. What state is your health?
  8. Do you live with chronic conditions that will affect your physical and mental capabilities down the road?
  9. Do you still like to cook occasionally?
  10. Do you have a pet?

In a survey of residential care facilities conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010, the following types of living quarters were found at most assisted living communities: A studio or one-bedroom apartment was the most popular (41%), while rooms for one person was the next most popular (30%), rooms for two persons (25%) and 2 or 3 bedroom apartments came in the lowest on popularity scale at (5%). See the breakdown:

Types of resident living quarters
The data in this chart has been rounded and simplified.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)

Gallery of Living Spaces in Featured Communities

For your pleasure, we've added a photo gallery of assisted living facilities listed in our directory. We understand that images illustrate more than words. Take a few moments and look over the photos to decide which rooms call out and say, "home."

Saving Money with a Shared Room

Sharing a room in assisted living apartment

Residents have a choice of assisted living room sizes, layouts, and roommates. There are ample public spaces and activity rooms for residents so most people do not require a large private room. Renting an assisted living studio instead of a one-bedroom apartment reduces monthly fees by 15% - 20%. If a person is on a tight budget, sharing a room or an assisted living apartment can save 10% - 20% over a single unit.

Sharing a Room in Assisted Living

As shown below, most residents prefer assisted living apartments (41%) or alone in a one-bedroom room (32%) as compared to those sharing a room in assisted living. Shared rooms are for 2 or more persons (27%). Consider these questions:

  1. Do you need to cut costs?
  2. Do you prefer not being alone?
  3. Do you enjoy having constant companionship to increase mental and emotional stimulation?
  4. Do you prefer frequent conversation?
  5. Do you feel safer having someone around?
  6. Do you have a pet?
Which of these places best describes the resident's living quarters?
Responses of don't know (< 1%) and are not shown.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Resident Responses)
Does the resident currently share this (room/apartment) with another person?
Responses of don't know (< 1%) and are not shown.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Resident Responses)

Assisted living facilities are state regulated or have local standards and enforce a maximum number of occupants per residential accommodation not to exceed four persons per accommodation. A door must separate the bedroom from other spaces and include a clothes closet(s).

Accommodations can offer a bathroom per bedroom, or a bathroom shared by the residents of more than one bedroom, not to exceed four residents per bathroom. Some people value the companyand feel too isolated in a unit or room by themselves and welcome a roommate. From the CDC study, you can see that 25% of assisted living residents share a room.

Rooms for Couples

Is this person that the resident shares a room with the resident's spouse or other relative?
Responses of legitimate skip (75%) and are not shown.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Resident Responses)

It's common for a married couple or a "significant other" to move into an assisted living community together. Whether each person needs help with daily living activities or just an occasional hand with housekeeping, couples choose an apartment setting. There are several plans to accommodate an older couple's needs. As with all apartment or shared rooms, you will also have access to all common areas throughout the community.

While it is common for couples to share rooms, it is also common to have a roommate. The CDC study found that only 23% of residents who share an apartment, a room, studio or another type of living space have a spouse or in a partnership.

Do Rooms have Kitchens?

One good reason for moving to an assisted living facility is having someone else do the cooking. Healthy aging is a goal shared by nutritionist and chefs at the facility. Seniors, more than any other group, want a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition is the first line of defense for older adults who seek to maintain independence and protect them from illness and disease.Yet, time to time, a resident will want to cook at home, either in their room or apartment.

Kitchens may also be included, with a refrigerator, sink, and a cooking element or cooktop, but amenities like these are uncommon in rooms.The facilities reported on the CDC survey that 50% have refrigerators, 30% have ovens, 30% have hot plates or cooktops, and 40% have microwaves in rooms and apartments. Small refrigerators are usually permitted in each room.

Amenities reported by facilities
The data in this chart has been rounded and simplified.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)

Resident Safety in Rooms

Fall risk in assisted living

Choosing a facility for a safe living room and residence isn't enough. Residents need to know that the care facility takes complete safety measures to ensure that a person will not trip or fall, wherever they are in the assisted living community. Falling and breaking a hip is bad news and life-threatening for older adults and the elderly, no matter where they call home.

It's important for the people who provide housing for seniors to install fall prevention equipment and take other safety precautions when evaluating assisted living safety. Read more about resident safety in assisted living.

Safety attributes in Assisted living rooms and residences

  • Doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.

  • The floor plan is easy to follow.
  • Elevators are available.
  • Handrails installed in hallways, rooms, bathrooms, and other rooms within the facility.
  • Flooring made of non-skid materials.
  • Rooms have good natural lighting.
  • Rooms are free of odor and comfortable temperatures.
  • Rooms have emergency call systems installed.
  • The staff is available to help when needed.

One important device needed in the common areas like dining rooms, hallways, and activity rooms are handrails and ample lighting. The CDC survey also asked residents if their facility provides handrails. In the graph below only 49% of the senior housing community installed handrails in hallways.

How many hallways have supported or grab rails on one or both sides?

Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)

Fire Safety

Ensure Proper Fire Safety is in Place

Ninety-seven percent of assisted living facilities built after 1996 have sprinklers in resident rooms and in common areas. But what about the senior housing projects built before 1996? Have the facilities equipped with smoke detectors and fire sprinklers? Because when there's a fire, nothing protects residents, their assets and the facility like fire protection products and systems. Installing fire protection solutions puts people at ease knowing their living space is a safe environment.

96% of the surveyed residents say their rooms and apartments have fire detectors.

94% of the common areas have smoke detectors.

55% of the resident rooms and apartments have sprinkler systems.

56% of common areas have installed sprinkler systems.

How many resident rooms or apartments have smoke detectors?
Responses of don't know (< 1%) and are not shown.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)
How many common areas have smoke detectors?

Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)
How many resident rooms and/or apartments have a sprinkler system?

Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)
How many common areas have a sprinkler system?

Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)

Other Safety Devices for Residents and Rooms

Alert Systems are Helpful
Alert Systems are Helpful

The facility is responsible for protecting the privacy of residents while guaranteeing safety and providing services. Door locks serve as security for all residents living there.

The entry door to each resident's private room or apartment has a lock which is operable from the inside with a key but 23% of the rooms do not have locks from inside the room. A resident's service plan may allow for a non-locking entry door if the resident's safety would otherwise be jeopardized.

60% or the residents surveyed in the CDC study say their rooms have locks on the inside of the door.

Percent of rooms or apartments that have a door to a hallway that can be locked from the inside
Responses of don't know (< 1%) and are not shown.
Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)

It's the Long Term Care Facilities mission to ensure the safety and independence of older adults. In order to accomplish their mission, assisted living communities install emergency medical alert systems in rooms of the residents. The medical alert systems provides first-in-class innovations to help residents have access to help 24/7.

How many rooms or apartments have an emergency call or personal response system? This may include emergency devices worn by residents.

Source: 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities Survey (Facility Responses)

In the same survey conducted by CDC (2010), 60% of the resident's room or apartment have an emergency medical alert system installed.

High-quality senior housing offer state of the art amenities, privacy, comfort, and luxuriously designed rooms and apartments for seniors. The variety of settings can range from convenient high-rise apartments near metropolitan centers to campus communities with all the charms of a small town.

Assisted living residences provide more services than independent living communities. They offer a less-expensive, residential approach to delivering many of the same services available in skilled nursing homes, either by employing health-care staff or contracting with home health agencies and other outside professionals.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.