Did you know that assisted living facilities have only been around for about 30 years? The biggest explosion in growth was between 1995 and 2000. According to the National Caregivers Library, there are now about 1.2 million residents living in nearly 30,000 assisted living facilities across the country.
That might sound like a lot of people, but in fact, the need is great.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging, persons 65 years or older numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9 percent of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans.
By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65 and older represented 12.4 percent of the population in the year 2000, but are expected to grow to make up 19 percent of the population by 2030.
Until the 1970s, the only options open to most seniors who needed help with activities of daily living—such as managing medications or preparing meals—were to live at home with someone who provided in-home care either full- or part-time, or live in a nursing home.
The assisted living movement grew through the 1980s and early 1990s, and then exploded from 1995 to 2005. The take-away message is pretty clear—assisted living facilities are providing a service that many Americans want.
In fact, that’s what a recent survey of assisted living residents shows as well.
According to the July 2013 survey commissioned by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), residents of assisted living communities across the nation are largely very happy with the services they receive and the quality of life they achieve by living within those community settings.
The survey of 500 residents found that more than 90 percent of them reported feeling satisfied, safe and personally independent in their communities.
“What really matters to us is what our residents think, so we went out and asked them,” says ALFA President and CEO Richard Grimes. “And what we found confirmed what we already knew: Assisted living is absolutely the best, safest and most satisfying senior living option for seniors who cherish their independence but just need some extra help.”
Among the survey results, 94 percent of assisted living residents say they are satisfied with their overall quality of life in their assisted living community, while 91 percent say they are safer living in an assisted living community than they would be on their own.
Recent findings have indicated residents care more about staff than any other aspect of senior living. The vast majority of residents surveyed reported they are confident in the abilities and caring nature of those working in their communities.
According to the responses, 87 percent of the residents say the workers in their community are well trained and well qualified to do their jobs, while 86 percent of the residents say the workers in their communities “care about me as a person.”
At Daystar Retirement Village we are working every day to make sure our residents have the tools and assistance they need to live their best lives right now. We take resident feedback very seriously and are always looking for ways to improve the care and services we offer.
If you have any questions or concerns about assisted living in general or Daystar in particular, please give us a call.