Assisted living is changing, and this recent ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America) Update points to the Great Recession as the turning point for the industry.
According to the news article, a shift has taken place in assisted living: now, instead of a being “primarily a lifestyle choice,” this care setting has become “primarily a needs-driven decision for consumers.”
Though the recession may have been the catalyst, there has been a steady evolution of assisted living since the year 2000. As a young industry, these growing pains are to be expected, but the changes in the economy pushed the lifestyle versus needs shift forward.
At the top of that needs-driven list is dementia; memory care in assisted living is the likely to account for nearly 80% of assisted living business in the years ahead (as compared with an initial modest estimate of 40%), per Victor Regnier, a University of Southern California professor of architecture and gerontology.
While fully skilled medical care and services are still not provided in assisted living (unless it is part of a larger continuing care community), the days when assisted living was a place for fairly healthy, independent seniors who “just need a little help” are certainly behind us.
Read more about changes in the assisted living industry here.