As our society progresses, the need for and expectations of senior living communities change constantly. Due to our aging population, more than one-fifth of the population in the United States will be 65 years old and above by 2050. This is alarming news when compared to only 15.6% of the current population. It has also been reported that there are around 28,900 assisted living communities in the United States alone, and that number is growing. These statistics might surprise you, but here are some more senior living facts to show you the realities of elder care today.
Demand for Specialized Elder Care is Rising
With technological and medical advances, we are providing more specialized elder care to meet the needs of every individual. We realized that every older adult requires different forms of treatments and have shifting concerns along the way. In order to set up supportive environments, specialized elder care seeks to ensure that your loved ones are properly taken care of, so you’ll have peace of mind. From independent living to skilled nursing communities, there are a variety of options to choose from.
Home-Based Care is Still Preferred
According to a study by the Family Caregiver Alliance, close to 80% of older adults choose to age in place. You know what they say: nothing beats the comfort and security of our very own homes, which is especially true for the elderly. The most probable reason can be that your loved ones have grown an emotional connection to their homes and have developed treasured memories, making them unable to move away. Another reason can be that home-based care tends to be a more cost-effective alternative compared to senior living communities. Regardless, home-based care should only be implemented if you’re confident that your loved ones can look after themselves without much supervision.
Staying Active is the Way to Go
This has been repeated many times but there’s a reason why medical professionals constantly stressed the importance of staying active and keeping fit. Leading an active lifestyle allows our bodies to be strong to ward off diseases, slows down cognitive decline, and improve mental health. Despite your loved ones not being too active during their younger years, it’s not too late as research has shown that exercising between the ages of 70 and 85 also brings a number of benefits. Your loved ones can start from doing light exercises such as water aerobics and chair yoga before progressing to moderate ones like brisk walking and jogging.
Most Families are Not Financially Prepared
It should come as no surprise that long-term care puts a strain on one’s finances. Based on the Cost of Care survey by Genworth, it is estimated that the national cost of assisted living is $4,300 a month while nursing care can cost up to $8,821 if your loved ones are placed in a private room. The high costs can definitely put stress on the family, so it’s crucial to do much research and planning before committing to elder care.