Dementia. Parkinson’s disease. Macular degeneration. Depression. People are living longer thanks to medical advances, but there are consequences. In a recent article on AgingCare.com, Susan Levy, M.D., spoke to the health issues plaguing seniors today; some are genetic and others environmental, she says. Per the piece, the most widespread conditions, in order of impact, are coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, pneumonia and the flu. Accidents (leading to falls and fractures) are also quite common, along with slowed reaction time and a weakened immune system.
Levy writes that most seniors are coping with at least one, if not two or more, of the two dozen plus conditions outlined in her article.
Longevity’s “side effects” and the burgeoning demographics have forced the senior care industry to assess their role as providers in a new way. Given the intense care needs that many of these conditions demand, seniors in assisted living are more frail and more dependent upon admission. Our post in December, Today’s Senior Care Communities: Mini Hospitals?, examined these changes and what they mean for the industry’s future. Though discrimination is not an option, care providers must be certain that they have adequately trained staff (in sufficient numbers) to meet the increasingly complex care needs of this new resident population.
Talk back: What will assisted living homes of the future look like? Will that care category disappear or evolve to look more like the nursing home medical model?