Today’s assisted living communities offer the perfect option for aging adults to maintain the best overall quality of life possible, especially those who may need some help with daily activities. Residents enjoy the comfort of a home-like environment with a caring, dedicated staff that will help them thrive.
So, who is the typical assisted living resident? What made him or her choose to living in a community setting? How long will they live there? Let’s take a deeper dive into the demographics of today’s assisted living communities.
Gender and Assisted Living Communities
According to the CDC, in 2012 there were approximately 58,500 paid, regulated long term care providers in the United States. That number included adult day centers, home health agencies, hospice, nursing homes, and residential care communities. It’s not uncommon for more women than men to seek long term care providers, especially assisted living. In fact, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), assisted living communities have a 7:1 ratio of women to men.
The typical assisted living resident is described as a mobile female around the age of 87 years old. While she is still mostly independent, she does require some help with at least two or three daily living activities, like bathing, dressing, eating, or medication management. She also might have some chronic conditions like osteoporosis or high blood pressure.
The reason there are more women than men in assisted living is simply because women tend to outlive men. In general, men live about seven years less than their female counterparts. However, the average lifespan for men in the United States is starting to increase; according to the Social Security Administration, a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live until age 84.3, on average, while a 65 year old woman can expect to live until age 86.6. Therefore, it stands to reason that more and more men will also be entering assisted living communities in the coming years.
More Facts about Assisted Living
Currently, around one million Americans live in some type of senior living community, and that number is expected to double by the year 2030. After all, with innovations in healthcare and today’s seniors living longer, more active and healthier lives, “80 is the new 65.” By the year 2040, the 85+ population is expected to triple from the 5.7 million there were in 2011 to 14.1 million.
While 76% of residents living in an assisted living community moved there from their own home or apartment, or possibly a family residence, some seniors are moved to a community setting after a hospital stay or from a rehabilitation facility. Some of these seniors made the move due to the fact that they have no adult children to assist them, or their children live too far away or are unavailable to provide care. Or, they have serious health conditions that require professional assistance. The majority of these residents, 35% of them, will remain in assisted living for a year or longer, while 16% will stay for three years or more.
Assisted living communities help promote independence among residents while offering the chance to stay socially active. These facilities can also ease the burden off family caregivers, who can experience stress, burnout and financial strain. Residents can enjoy easy living with access to skilled nursing or rehabilitative care as they need it, and family members are provided peace of mind that their aging loved ones are being well cared for.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.