Assisted living means that you need someone living with you to make sure you take your medication, eat good meals regularly, receive help with personal hygiene and getting dressed (when needed), and ambulatory assistance. However, long-term assisted living care is quite another story.
If you hear this phrase, it means that someone in your family has taken direction from your doctor to put you in a facility where you can be monitored regularly until the end of your life. If you have a condition that will eventually cause you to lose all of your faculties (e.g., Lou Gehrig's, Alzheimer's, organic dementia, etc.) then you actually need long-term assisted living support. Thus, you will be living there for your own personal safety. Here's more on how to prepare for this major life transition:
Preparing Mentally and Emotionally
This transition is huge. You know that you cannot safely continue to live by yourself in your own home. However, moving into a long-term care facility means you trade safety for a little of your independence. You may become very sad or depressed, angry, frustrated, and/or distrustful. That is normal. It helps if you attempt to participate in community activities in the facility where you will be living. Having hobbies and remaining active with something helps steer you away from these feelings and helps you accept your new surroundings.
If you were unable to save for retirement, you are going to need some extra funds for the care and assistance you will receive. (There may be ways to finance your long-term care; talk to the facility's billing department.) The money pays for your meals, rent for your room (which you may or may not share with other residents), transportation to your doctors' visits and checkups, and the wages of the nursing staff who assist you. Some of your other expenses will be covered by Medicaid. Ergo, it helps if you start saving what you can before the major transition occurs.
If you will eventually need a wheelchair or other adaptive devices, it helps to buy them now. Then the devices will travel with you to the care facility. Since they are already paid for, you will not have to worry about how to pay for them later. Learn to use the adaptive devices so that you already know how when the time comes. Stay mobile as long as you can.