Assisted living facilities provide services to aging seniors who want to remain independent, but may need assistance in certain areas, such as bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, and getting around. It is one of the best ways that the elderly can be cared for, but also feel as though they are still a part of an active society. These care facilities are so in demand that the U.S. government expects the need for these facilities will soon outweigh the current availability of such centers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of individuals in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 84 will increase by 38.8 percent between 2010 and 2020.
- Research from SBDCNet on ALF’s shows future industry growth will be spurred by the 77 million Baby Boomers planning to retire over the next two decades.
- Contributing factors to growth are:
- People are living longer with no health problems.
- The retirement age has moved to 65.
- Many more people are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and they will need additional care for themselves. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 7.7 million, people will suffer from Alzheimer’s in the future; a 50% increase from today’s estimates.
The good news about such promising growth projections is the fact that there is a profitable and easy solution to the problem- establish more centers throughout the country. Aegis Living, one of the four biggest assisted care institutions throughout the U.S. agrees and has doubled its pace of production in order to meet the expectant demand- Journal by Jeanne Jones. Previously, Aegis has built two retirement homes a year, now they propose four a year. Their reasoning for moving forward is to make sure they can house the projected demands from the Baby Boomer generation as well as the residents with Alzheimer’s.
In order for the production of more facilities to actually work and resolve the potential problem, it must be financially feasible. Luckily, along with the demand, a trend has been seen with the reduction of cost and construction, which in turn promotes investor interest. In addition, the National Investment Center for Senior Housing and Care Industry claims the default risk for assisted housing is less than one percent. This explains why a good majority of commercial markets took a downfall while assisted living facilities didn’t really seem impacted by the economic crisis that hit.
The need for assisted living will continue to increase as the aging population lives longer. The solution is to produce more facilities that promote independence. This is done through investments and manpower in order to bring about a change and a stable fix.