Assisted Living and Memory Care demand increasing quickly in the United States.
Assisted Living and Memory Care are services which are increasing in demand at a fast rate in the United States. There are over 46 million Americans over age 65, and 40% of Americans over 65 years old will live in assisted living or senior care communities at some point in their lives. As of 2017, there are approximately 1.5 million Americans in assisted living and memory care facilities. Over the next 10 years as the population of Americans over 65 increases fastly, the number of Americans requiring Assisted Living and Memory Care will increase to 11 million.
With fewer than 30,000 senior living communities in the United States, there will be 400 people seeking a senior living community for every 1 facility.
Currently, people who are searching for a senior living community for a family member have trouble identifying communities which provide the most appropriate combination of care services, atmosphere, culture, and activities. Each individual is unique, and up to 25% of residents in senior living communities are experiencing at least 3 different medical conditions which have made living alone or without professional care impractical. Not every care facility will be able to meet the care requirements of all seniors planning a move into assisted living. Just as important as a person’s care requirements are their social requirements. The community, culture, and atmosphere of some communities may appeal to some seniors, but not to others. It’s extremely important for a resident’s physical and mental well-being that they genuinely enjoy living in the senior care community they choose.
Finding the right senior living community takes time
That said, finding a senior living community which can satisfy a person’s specific care needs while appealing to their social tendencies and tastes, and further identifying communities which fit into that person’s budget requires families to visit numerous communities. As the population of seniors increase, when families to find the right facility, they may find there aren’t vacancies available in their preferred communities. This is actually a common situation at present, which is why we suggest planning a move to assisted living in advance. In many cases, families wait until an elder experiences a sudden decline in condition or has an accident to move them into assisted living. This creates a time sensitive situation and doesn’t allow the family enough to time to find the best situation for their elders, and forces them to accept communities which happen to have vacancies at that time.
Another situation to consider is that when a family member has been recently injured, discharged from a hospital visit, or has experienced a setback related to memory or cognitive ability, becoming acquainted with a new community is much more difficult than if they move into the community in relatively better health and a calmer state of mind. Families often think they’re acting in the elder’s best interest by delaying the move, but often times it’s actually setting the stage for a more difficult transition to assisted living. Moving an elder into a senior living community while they’re relatively well allows them to enjoy the atmosphere, social culture, and activities of the community.
Budgeting for senior living accomodations is a common concern
After finding a selection of communities which meets a family member’s care requirements, and communities which also have vacancies, a family must determine which communities fit into their family’s budget. Finding a community which meets every condition for the family can take months in some cases. As the demand for senior living increases, families can likely expect to take even longer periods of time to discover the best communities for their loved ones. It’s common to only begin investigating senior living solutions when a family has an immediate need, but going forward families should anticipate transitions into assisted living a year or more in advance. This will allow enough time to identify a community which is the perfect fit.