Fewer Americans are choosing nursing homes for senior care, even as the number of older citizens is dramatically increasing: census data indicates an 18.1% increase among those ages 65-69, and an 8.7% jump in the 70+ age range, while a Brown University report revealed a 6.1% dip in the nursing home population, as per this new article from SeniorHousingNews.com.
Now, with approximately 1.2 million residing in nursing homes and 1 million in assisted living (as per estimates from the Assisted Living Federation of America), the playing field has changed. Add to it that nursing homes are facing deep cuts in both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and the coming years are certain to be rife with challenges for this industry.
Alternatives to nursing home care (in which a private room now costs approximately $83,000 per year) include assisted living, continuing care, home care, and other community-based choices like adult day services, to name a few. As these senior care options morph to meet growing demand and ever-evolving needs, there are likely to be just as many challenges for this burgeoning industry too.
Come what may, quality of care in any setting should be the utmost priority of providers, policy makers, and every professional/person involved.