All Americans will face the decision at some point in their lives about senior living options.
If the time to make these decisions seems to be fast approaching, you are not alone. Per the Urban Land Institute, by 2029, approximately 111 million Americans will be over the age of 65, representing a doubling of the senior population by the end of the next decade.
Accommodations and levels of care vary greatly from individual to individual, but the overall need for senior living options is growing rapidly.
While many seniors wish to stay in their own homes if they can, the reality is that in-home health services are expensive and physical and mental needs can change unexpectedly.
For quite some time in America, moving into a “home” has meant moving into an institution-style nursing or assisted-living facility. These multi-resident apartment or condo-style buildings have often been designed with a medical mindset, fitting as many residents into a single unit of central care as possible. Some of the challenges with these types of senior living options are low staff to resident ratios, lack of personalized care and transitional problems for seniors previously living in their own homes.
In some circumstances, these nursing or assisted-living homes may be the best option available. They have provided real help to many seniors over the years and have been known to proactively make improvements when and where they can. However, most seniors won’t find all their wants and needs met at these institutional types of homes, nor do they even wish to try.
Luckily, better living options are now becoming available for our seniors. Pocket neighborhoods, condo-style rental communities and small-scale nursing and assisted living homes are all examples of the growing trend towards community-based living and care.
Often these options will contain a small number of residents per house, condo or villa with nearby, person-centered care and access to the local community. These models have shown to be successful for a wide variety of needs, ranging from independent living to advanced memory care.
More and more, people are finding that the setting of the care is equally important as the care itself, especially when it comes to emotional needs and desirability. Safety, security, familiarity and comfort are just some of the added bonuses.
As the demand grows and more community-based options become available, desirable senior living will become a reality for many.