Assisted living is the fastest-growing alternative to skilled nursing care for frail older persons in the United States. The expectations, settings, and missions of these residences are varied, making it difficult for prospective residents and their families to anticipate what it would be like to live in them. This book is a unique portal into the real world of assisted living and the key issues facing consumers, providers, and policy makers. Drawing on in-depth interviews with residents, their family members, staffers, and administrators, Inside Assisted Living opens the window on day-to-day life in six different types of assisted living residence. From "Miss Helen at Valley Glen Home" to "Mr. Sidney at Laurel Ridge," the detailed profiles of individuals show the commonalities among the residences while highlighting the positive and negative aspects of each. The voices of those living, visiting, and working in the homes clarify the important local (social relations, staff dynamics, leadership) and national (funding, regulation, aging-in-place) challenges presented by assisted living. Introductory and concluding chapters synthesize new findings that cross the six settings and reflect issues vital to all participants. The book also features an appendix detailing the research process involved in creating the profiles.