According to the September 2, 2006 Wall Street Journal, the average assisted living center cost rose approximately one-third from 2002 up to $35,000.00 a year in 2005. That same article noted that assisted living centers are reaching a near saturation point, with a 95% occupancy rate. Many of these facilities have extensive waiting lists. Despite its popularity, the allure of the assisted living option represents a number of dangers to the unwary consumer. As I have lectured across the country, many assisted living facilities accept patients that they are not capable of properly protecting, while others are simply too slow in discharging those who are more appropriate for nursing home residency. It is essential to assure that a qualified physician not only performs an assessment upon a potential admission into an assisted living facility (ALF), but also that reassessments occur on a regular basis to ensure that the combined deteriorating effects of age and disease processes do not make ALF residency problematic. We will have many more entries on this emerging issue in the weeks and months to come.