The elderly population in the United States will expand drastically over the next few decades; indeed, the number of persons aged 65 or older is expected to swell to approximately 19 percent of the nation’s population by 2030--a staggering statistic in light of the fact that the present population of elderly people constitutes fewer than 13 percent. Largely because of this fact, long-term care for this population is becoming increasingly important. Traditionally, elderly persons who lost the ability to fully care for themselves would enter a healthcare facility known as a nursing home. However, a relatively new alternative exists in the form of the assisted living facility ("ALF"). ALFs are the fastest growing form of residential care for the elderly. Between 1998 and the present, the total number of ALFs in the United States increased from around 11,459 to nearly 40,000. This option originated as a "market response to emerging demographic trends... and consumer demands," and as such, is expected to bear the brunt of the expected growth in elderly populations.
Y. Tony Yang,
Legal Considerations For Assisted Living Facilities,
28 J.L. & Health
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol28/iss2/6