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August 19, 2021
Here’s one hard-to-ignore fact: America’s population is aging faster than ever before. The U.S. Census Bureau says that in 2030, all Baby Boomers will be older than 65, and will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history.
That means in just nine short years from now, 1 in 5 Americans will be of retirement age or older. And as those Baby Boomers age, 7 out of 10 will need some type of long-term care, like assisted living or a higher level of care,in their lifetimes.
That could be your parent, your spouse, your siblings — or you.
So what is assisted living? Who lives in an assisted living setting? What are the requirements to be an assisted living resident? Here are some helpful assisted living facts and statistics you should know if you’re looking into assisted living today, or if you’re considering it as part of an independent living community that also offers the full continuum of care for your future.
The National Center for Assisted Living defines assisted living communities as those that serve people who need help with Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, but who don’t need 24-hour skilled nursing care for an extended period of time. Typically these communities offer a mix of care with companionship, independence, privacy and security in a homelike setting. Assisted living is based on the philosophy of person-centered care, which means the care and services provided are personalized to meet the needs and preferences of each resident.
It may help to learn more about the five things to know about assisted living, which include:
In 2015-2016, the National Center for Health Statistics looked at long-term care providers and services users, and found that in 2016 there were 28,900 assisted living communities in the U.S. with 811,500 residents.
That doesn’t mean all older adults who need assistance are living in an assisted living community. Results from the National Health and Aging Trends study show that of the 10.9 million older adults who reported receiving help with daily activities in a given month in 2011, about 3 in 10 received paid help.
This suggests that while some older adults receive help from a paid caregiver either in their home or at a community, many more receive assistance from a loved one, such as a spouse, adult child or other family member, who doesn’t get paid. And the stress and worry of providing care for a loved one can have its own costs.
Argentum created a white paper on the senior living resident demographics and found the typical assisted living resident in 2014 was:
Assisted living is ideal for older adults who would benefit from regular help with a wide range of daily activities, but also want the freedom to live an independent lifestyle within the community. Assisted living provides residents with a safe and supportive community to live in their own residences, with access to services that are based on their individual needs.
While seniors in assisted living can continue living safely with some independence despite moderate health challenges, those who need skilled nursing aren’t safe without consistent clinical oversight and complete assistance with their daily activities. Talking with a doctor or a senior living consultant is helpful if you’re not sure which type of living option is the best choice in your situation. You may also find these frequently asked questions helpful as you learn more about the different levels of care.
At each of our 12 communities, our team members understand assisted living residents expect more than superb care. They’re also looking for wellness opportunities, an emphasis on hospitality, quality dining and other amenities. These and other trends are beginning to emerge as more Baby Boomers move into assisted living.
At each Episcopal Senior Life Community, our focus is on delivering a thoughtful mix of individualized care with hospitality and enriching opportunities, so each resident can live a healthier, more purposeful life. We understand social isolation increases as we age, and can lead to a serious decline in physical and mental health. So we offer wellness, educational, and entertainment outlets to foster connectedness and social possibilities. We live by our mission: “Life. Inspired every day.”
Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options at Episcopal Senior Life. You’ll quickly discover how you or your loved one can live inspired, every day, too.