Making the transition from living independently to an assisted living residence is difficult for most seniors, no matter how positive the impact of more care and assistance may be. Consequently, ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America) spokesperson Jamison Gosselin recommends industry sales & marketing professionals focus on “all the ways it [assisted living] can improve the life of the senior.”
Besides the challenge of the transition process, the still unstable housing market and the high cost of assisted living (average cost: $2,575/month) are two of the biggest obstacles impeding entry to assisted living communities, says Jim Janicki from Virginia-based Riverside Health Systems.
These concerns weigh on the minds – and wallets – of the seniors and their adult children, often at the expense of the assisted living facility (and eventually the families themselves). Says Janicki, “Delaying too long means a shortened stay in assisted living, as residents must transition into facilities better equipped to provide higher levels of care.”
Currently the median annual resident turnover rate is 46.8 percent; in 2009, it was 42 percent, according to the 2011 State of Senior Housing report. Janicki estimates an average of $4,000 in costs per residence for each turnover.