Assisted living communities are a great option for people who need extra help with daily life, but still want to maintain their independence. In this blog post, we’ll look at statistics related to assisted living communities in the United States and discuss how they affect you as an individual or loved one.
The Number of Americans Living in Assisted Living Communities has Grown Steadily
The number of Americans living in assisted living communities has been growing steadily. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts the number of people over 85 years old will increase by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
As the Baby Boomers age, they need additional help taking care of themselves and navigating day-to-day life tasks. Many family members prefer to age in place rather than move into a nursing home, but it’s important to consider their physical limitations before making this decision. Senior-friendly independent living communities provide 24/7 monitoring and other services that make life easier for residents, such as nutrition management, housekeeping assistance, and personal hygiene services.
Americans are Choosing Assisted Living Communities Over Nursing Homes
In the last decade, the number of people choosing assisted living communities over nursing homes has grown substantially. Since 2000, there’s been a 16% increase in assisted living residents. The growth is fueled by the factors of community-based care and independent lifestyles. Assisted living communities offer more independence than nursing homes do, and residents can live as independently as they want, with minimal assistance from team members. Most assisted living communities also have “household managers”, who look after daily housekeeping tasks like laundry and cleaning, so that a resident’s time isn’t taken up with these duties. Additionally, assisted living communities host regular social activities for their residents. Some offer private transportation services so seniors can get out into the community more often.
While this means having access to community activities, medical appointments, and shopping on their terms, it also means having transportation. For many seniors who have a car, or live far from work or family members, getting around can be difficult. Assisted living communities provide many of these services as a way of helping residents remain active in the community and socialize with others in their building. This helps both physical and mental health. In fact, studies have shown that access to an automobile increases happiness levels by 15%!
More People are Entering Assisted Living Communities as Couples
As life expectancy increases and the need for long-term care continues, more people are entering senior living communities as a couple. Some couples choose to move into assisted living together, while others prefer separate living arrangements. Either way, there has been an increase in married partners moving into a shared space. According to data from the National Center on Elder Abuse, 35% of elder abuse cases involved couples who were 65 or older. While this number is lower than those involving single individuals in their 70s and 80s, it’s still significant for us to pay attention to, as it suggests that dating at an older age can put you at risk for financial manipulation, or even physical harm from someone you trust.
Most Assisted Living Community Residents are Women
The fact that women tend to live longer than men is well-known, but you may not know this isn’t the only reason they make up the majority of assisted living community residents. Women are more independent and want to stay in their own homes as long as possible. They’re also more likely to have a spouse or partner who can help with care, or someone who has regular contact with them during the day. Their children are often nearby and are frequently involved with assisting too.