Characteristics and outcomes of dementia residents in an assisted living facility

Scott Kopetz, Cynthia D. Steele, Jason Brandt, Alva Baker, Marcie Kronberg, Elizabeth Galik, Martin Steinberg, Andrew Warren, Constantine G. Lyketsos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Background. Assisted living (AL) is the fastest growing segment of residential long-term care in the US. At least half of the estimated 1 million AL residents have dementia or cognitive impairment, with many AL facilities offering specialized dementia services. Little research has been done on the demographics, outcomes, or clinical variables of this population. Methods. Participants were a cohort of 144 residents admitted to the AL unit of Copper Ridge, a specialized dementia-care facility. Comparison samples included 737 patients with dementia residing in other locations (home, nursing home, and other assisted living facilities). Selected measures of cognition, behavior, medical health, and function were taken at admission to AL and at 6-month intervals. Results. When compared with residents of the dementia-specialized AL facility, dementia patients at home were younger, less cognitively impaired, and less likely to exhibit wandering, delusions, or aggression. Residents of a dementia-specialized nursing home had more cognitive impairment, greater medical comobidity, and were more dependent on caregivers. The 2-year mortality rate in the dementia-specialized AL was 23%, significantly lower than rates reported for nursing homes. Primarily due to increasing care needs, most residents in the specialized AL relocated to a nursing home after a median stay of 10.9 months. Depression, falling, and wandering were significant predictors of this transition. Conclusion. Dementia-specialized AL facilities occupy a unique position in the long-term care continuum that is distinct from home-care and nursing home facilities. This research is the first step toward understanding the significant demetia population residing in assisted living. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-593
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of geriatric psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2000


  • Assisted living
  • Characteristics
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Long-term care
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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