The Growth Of The Assisted Living Industry Over The Past Few Years

    The concept of assisted living is still relatively new to most people. Nursing homes were the sole elder care option in the senior living sector for a long time. However, in the 1980s, a more individual care approach was established – assisted living services.

    A rapidly rising aging population necessitates the development of more assisted living homes, but so does the present generation of middle-aged individuals, who will demand senior living homes over the next few decades.

    Here are some of the latest available data in the senior living industry:

    • Assisted living communities today house over 810,000 Americans, accounting for 88% of all senior living facility members.
    • About 28,000 active assisted living facilities have a 78% capacity.
    • On average, a private, single-bedroom suite at an assisted living home costs around $4,500 per month.
    • With 7 out of 10 individuals requiring assisted living care at some point in their lives, demand is predicted to increase by one million beds by 2040.

    Baby boomers are retiring with unprecedented wealth and strong views on the future of senior living. Most of them seek high-quality senior housing and care like Vivante and the flexibility to pursue particular passions and interests after retirement. Some prefer independent living to continuing care retirement communities.

    Read on for a breakdown of the factors that have affected the growth of senior living communities.

    Demographic trends

    In 2019, the average length of stay in an assisted living community was anticipated to be 22 months. This figure has declined considerably in the last two years. According to Senior Services of America, the national average is slightly over a year, with most seniors returning to independent living. Several factors have influenced this shift, including:

    Covid 19

    Most senior living deaths documented during the Coronavirus pandemic were in nursing homes, although COVID-19 also affected assisted living communities.

    According to the CDC, 19 deaths in senior living communities accounted for more than 23% of all Coronavirus mortality in the United States as of January 2022. However, because this number includes skilled nursing institutions, group homes, and other senior living facilities, it does not clearly show how the Coronavirus directly affects assisted living.

    Age

    An assisted living resident’s average age is 87. While some individuals move to assisted living facilities as soon as they achieve the required age of 60-65, the majority wait until they need more care or can no longer live in their own homes without support.

    According to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, most people relocate into assisted living residences between the ages of 75 and 84.

    Finances

    As the expense of assisted living rises, some families may find it challenging to keep up with rent increases for senior housing. According to a recent survey, expenditures have hiked by several hundred dollars per month on average in several areas.

    Seniors’ care demands may shift more quickly as they move into assisted living homes later in life. Seniors may transfer depending on their needs:

    • From assisted living to a separate memory care facility
    • From assisted living to home hospice care,
    • From assisted living to 24-hour home care
    • From assisted living to nursing care

    Socio-economic impact

    Inequities in socio-economic position have a significant impact on assisted living resident statistics. Lower-income seniors are more likely to have a lower quality of life, limited access to health care, and far fewer available resources to age comfortably in the community. According to research, even middle-income seniors frequently rely on Medicaid to pay for senior living care.

    Why does this have an impact on assisted living growth? Only 50% of assisted living places are Medicaid licensed, and even those seldom take Medicaid without additional payment from seniors and their families.

    As a result, according to Medical Care Data and Review research, only 17% of assisted living residents rely on Medicaid. That implies that the remaining 83% of seniors in assisted living residences are classified as upper-middle- or upper-income.

    Since the early 1970s, the poverty rate among older persons has dropped by two-thirds. However, from 2019 approximately 5 million seniors over 65 are living in poverty.

    According to the Congressional Research Service, that equates to 8.9%, with women over the age of 80 reaching over 14% and Hispanic and non-white seniors experiencing even greater poverty levels.

    People living below the poverty line and many middle-income seniors who cannot afford to pay for assisted living out of pocket must frequently choose in-home family care or state-funded nursing facilities over assisted living complexes.

    Specialized care

    The number of senior living residents having cognitive impairment rises as the population ages, and dementia becomes more common. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, 42% of seniors in senior living communities had Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia in 2019.

    Many assisted living residences feature senior living services such as memory care wings or divisions to cater to this clientele. Over 23% of assisted living places cater specifically to seniors with dementia or provide secure, distinct surroundings for memory care.

    Assisted living growth rate in the last few years

    According to Statista Research Department, the average occupancy at assisted living residences fell from 88% capacity to 75% capacity between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2021.

    According to the most recent NCAL data, over 29,000 assisted living communities are in the United States. There are roughly 996,000 registered beds in these areas. Because the population of adults over 65 is predicted double by 2060, the number of assisted living homes will also double.

    During the COVID-19 epidemic, this development was most likely driven by families choosing other senior living circumstances. According to NIC MAP Vision statistics issued in January 2022, occupancy rates increased to more than 78% by the end of 2021. As infection rates and Coronavirus mortality continue to fall, occupancy of seniors housing should return to pre-pandemic levels.

    According to Grand View Research market statistics, the U.S. assisted living facility market was worth over $82 billion in 2020 and is predicted to increase at an annual growth rate of 5.3% from 2021 to 2027.

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