The assisted living facilities for seniors we see today are drastically different from the ones that were common in the US in the 90s. The boom is a result of the rapid growth in the demand for assisted living and senior care. Sadly, exceedingly few American adults above the age of 65 have enough savings to fund their senior living facility privately. Those who have long-term care insurance and Medicaid are in a better position to choose private retirement communities than those retiring without similar plans. Only about 4% of the senior population gets access to continuing care and assistance during the hour of their need.
Thankfully, things are looking up in 2018. Here are a few ways things have changed in the recent past –
- Retirement facilities are more social
In the mid-90s senior care facilities were synonymous with shared homes or extra bedrooms with one or two nurses to take care of the residents. Assisted living was for the sick and frail. Retired individuals preferred staying at home, braving the daily chores. Slowly, retirement facilities have transformed into societies and communities of like-minded people, who share common interests. Now, locating assisted living communities near you will probably take one search on Google and a couple of seconds!
- Senior care is becoming affordable
Several new programs have come into being that offer assisted living and retirement homes at subsidized rates to the US citizens. Even the lifetime care facilities are becoming more affordable than ever, thanks to renewed Medicaid plans and long-term insurance plans.
- Integration of technology
The advancement of communications technology has made senior living safer and more comfortable than ever. People can maintain their independence, live in private assisted living units, yet they can call for help by pressing a single button. Modern technology has ensured that assistance is always one call away from the residents.
- Intuitive unit design
The modern living units for the elderly are not bigger than their older counterparts, but they are definitely better. In many cases, the units are becoming smaller due to limited space and better utilization of resources. However, the new communities pay attention to affordability, lifestyle, living standards and freedom of their residents above everything else. They are aiming at creating multi-generational inclusive communities that can foster human bonds, encourage new social connections and support socialization.
- All-in-one communities
The distinction between privately owned homes, nursing homes and long-term care facilities are becoming blurry with each passing day. People are interested in comprehensive care that can take care of their current needs and protect their future interests as well. Therefore, if a person with a high chance of developing dementia in their later years enters an assisted living facility today, he or she should not have to move to a memory care facility in the next town, in the case he or she develops dementia tomorrow.
Senior care facilities are becoming comprehensive thanks to the evolving technology. A deeper understanding of the physical health problems and mental health challenges a senior citizen might face is also helping the caregivers.