Assisted Living Facilities

AARP suggests there are many different names bestowed upon assisted living facilities. These include:

  • Adult foster care
  • Adult homes
  • Adult living care
  • Community based retirement facilities
  • Enhanced care
  • Personal care
  • Residential care
  • Retirement residences
  • Sheltered housing
  • Supported care

Assisted living is a retirement housing facility that allows independent living while providing extra help where needed.

Decide if Assisted Living is Right for You

If you need extensive assistance (especially medical), assisted living may not be right for you. But if you need help cooking meals, paying bills, and cleaning your home, it may be a good choice. In fact, it may be a good idea to think ahead on when you may need these services and move into an assisted living place prior to that. That way, when the time arises, you’ll have the support you need.

Selecting the Right Location

Florida and California have many assisted living communities to choose from. However, assisted living facilities will most likely be available anywhere you want to live. Some factors to consider when deciding on a location are:

  • Climate- Choose a place to live where the weather conditions appeal to you. It may be time to live in that warm weather climate you always want to stay in!
  • Children- If you have children and grandchildren you want to visit or have visit you, select an assisted living facility that’s close to them
  • Interests- If you’re interested in furthering your education, you might want to live in a vibrant university city or town. If you want to enjoy the quiet snugness of a close knit community, then a small town may be right for you. Or, if you like the hustle and bustle of areas that never sleep, a big city like Chicago or Los Angeles could interest you.

Assisted Living Concepts

What type of assisted living is right for you? There are many different size communities to select from. In addition, within that space, you must determine how much space you need to live comfortably in. For example, you could live in a:

  • One room apartment in a large facility
  • Two or more bedroom apartment
  • Single family housing unit

Space is an important factor. Ifyou’ll be downsizing realize there will be an adjustment period.

Assisted Living Costs

As with any other business, assisted living communities want to make a profit. They are impacted by competition, supply and demand like all commercial enterprises. The costs vary widely depending upon geographic location and the amenities offered by the facility.

Since you’ll most likely want to stay in the facility for a number of years, carefully consider not only whether you can afford the costs now but if you’ll be able to afford them in the years ahead.

According to recent data from the Small Business Development Center, on average, it costs between $3,000 to $4,500 per month to live in an assisted living community.

Services and Benefits

Make sure the assisted facility you are considering, provides the services you need. Some common services are:

  • Help with getting dressed
  • Laundry assistance
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping
  • Cooking and preparing meals
  • Medication assistance

Assisted Living Industry Statistics and Trends

About one million Americans live in assisted living facilities. This number is expected to double by 2030. With the current costs to live in an assisted living facility at $3,000 to $4,500 per month, financing options like reverse mortgages are being used to fund assisted living homes.

Baby boomers represent more than 70% of all of the financial assets in the United States. They want communities that remind them of home rather than institutions.  With this in mind amenities being offered in the future may be more upscale like commercial kitchens, beauty salons, spas, indoor pools and pet friendly communities.

Demographics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 84 will increase by almost 40% between 2010 and 2020.

As of 2006, retirement community residents were 69% female and 31% male. In fact, the typical resident in an assisted living facility is an 85 year old female. People over 85 years old make up the largest percentage of people in assisted living facilities.

Industry Statistics

There are about 30,000 assisted living facilities in the United States. Industry revenues are around 36.8 billion.

In 2008 and 2009 the industry growth rate slowed to about 1%. However, the industry is expected to maintain and annual growth rate of about 4.2% through 2014.

Photo via pedrosimoes7