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07 Sep

Will Assisted Living Pass its Torch to the Next Generation?

Will Assisted Living Pass its Torch to the Next Generation?

            Entering an assisted living facility brings back a multitude of memories about living in a college dorm. The residents here, mostly elderly, have a dining hall and a lobby with a piano, yet the entire facility seems void of any human presence. As I leave the elevator and start towards a former neighbor’s room, I come across doors with decorations, the first sign of some personal effects. As I make my way down the eerily quiet hall, I think of life in the dorm, and how strikingly similar this quietness is to the periods of calm before the majority of kids returned to campus from the holidays.

            Why assisted living?  My neighbor, like approximately one million people in the country, can no longer live alone.  She needs help with cooking, cleaning, and bathing and she also has a habit of not taking her medicine.  Here, there are people who will deliver her pills, give her a bath, make the bed, and vacuum her small apartment.  She’s free to go to out with friends, or buy food for her apartment.  There is a small kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator.

            When she first arrived, I would hear her say, “I might as well be dead.”  I reminded her that she now lives like a princess and how she doesn’t have to worry about anything.  It does help to keep in mind that she’s also paying to live like that.   According to Assisted Living Costs: Facts & Figures, in Florida, assisted living can range from as low as $913 per month to as high as $6510.

            Who pays for the older population to inhabit assisted living facilities?  Very few residents are on Medicaid or Medicare. (A large number of facilities don’t want to take Medicare or Medicaid.  They can make more money from individuals.) They are dipping into their savings or selling their most valuable assets, including their homes.  

            Will the above cause assisted living facilities to see growth begin to sputter?  Surprisingly, market analysts see it increasing because the baby boomers are starting to retire.  According to Assisted Living Facilities Business Report, “77 million Baby Boomers are planning to retire over the next two decades.”  The article also states that these baby boomers have “70% of US Financial assets.”  As long as their investments keep up with changing financial trends, these people too should be able to afford assisted living.  

 

 

Mickey Lovingood is a Business Development Coordinator on our Healthcare Business Development Team. She has more than 15 years’ experience in customer relations and sales.

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