What Do the Statistics Say About Assisted Living Communities in the United States?

Assisted living gives aging adults a way to live life to the fullest without risking their health or safety. The senior living industry is growing, with revenue of over $94 billion in 2023. There are currently 30,600 assisted living communities operating in the United States.

The industry encompasses a variety of services and levels of care. They are places for seniors who need long-term accommodation that includes daily support. Some facilities also offer memory care units that have an increased level of monitoring and security for residents with dementia.

Assisted living ranks among the most common options chosen by seniors over the age of 75, according to the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). What is it about this type of senior care that is so appealing to aging adults and their families?

Most Senior Citizens Will Need Some Form of Care Like Assisted Living

As much as we would all like to retain our youth, that just isn’t how life goes. Every person changes as they age. These changes can be cosmetic like graying hair, wrinkles, and age spots on the skin. They can also affect function and mobility. Some of the most common signs of aging include:

  • Diminished vision that can make it harder to read or adapt to sudden changes in lighting
  • Bones begin to weaken after middle age, increasing the risk of a break
  • Urinary incontinence is more common, affecting about 10% of adults over age 65
  • Muscle tone can lessen, making it harder to engage in physical activity
  • The heart has to work harder as arteries and blood vessels become stiffer with age

Staying active, eating a nutritious diet, and taking care of your body can slow the effects of aging, but it is impossible to completely stop them.

The AHCA and NCAL reported that approximately 70% of seniors will require some form of care during their lifetimes. That’s why it is best to plan for senior care now before you need it. Encouraging a senior to embrace life in an assisted living community can have a positive impact on their golden years.

Residents and Families Respond Positively to Quality of Care in Assisted Living

Quality of care in assisted living should be a top priority for families looking for a place for a loved one. The good news is that most families and residents had good things to say about the care they received.

A CoreQ report stated that nearly 80% of residents in assisted living were satisfied with the care received. Other studies have had similar results, with both residents and their loved ones expressing happiness with their experiences in assisted living.

Assisted living communities also make it much easier for seniors to socialize. Isolation is a major risk factor for depression in older adults. Friends and family can pass away and health conditions can make it harder to go out and rebuild a social network.

Assisted living gives seniors access to social opportunities and a group of peers in a safe place designed with their needs in mind. Woodhaven Retirement Community’s senior living services combine quality care with enrichment for a better way of life for aging adults.

Many Assisted Living Communities Include Services Beyond Daily Care

Today’s assisted living communities take a holistic approach to their services. Seniors can expect a clean, safe facility and assistance with common tasks like grooming, dining, and toileting. However, many are surprised by how much further many facilities go with their care options.

Transportation is often provided to everything from doctor’s appointments to stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 81% of facilities will transport residents to medical and dental appointments while 75% will provide transport to stores and elsewhere.

Many facilities include exercise and wellness classes and educational programs. Some also get involved with their community through fundraisers, donation drives, and events. These are all opportunities for seniors to stay active and socialize.

Senior living also addresses the unique needs of aging adults. Find out how an assisted living community helps seniors with arthritis.

Assisted Living is a Cost-Effective Long-Term Solution

AHCA and NCAL reported that assisted living ranks among the more affordable long-term senior care options. It’s important to plan for the cost of living and care as a person ages.

Funding long term care in the United States can be difficult, which can make solutions like assisted living hard to access for some seniors. The value is there, with facilities covering meals, housing, transportation, social activities, and even some basic healthcare needs. The average monthly cost is lower than the cost of hiring a home health aide.

Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover long term care, which includes assisted living. Medicare will pay for some daily services, which can be administered at the facility, but won’t cover room and board costs. Approximately 18% of assisted living residents use Medicare to pay for these services, usually through a waiver program.

Now is the time to learn more about the cost of assisted living and how you can find ways to finance a better way of life in your golden years.

The Majority of Dementia Patients Feel Safer in Assisted Living Communities

Safety and security are very important for seniors with dementia. That’s because cognitive decline can lead to additional risks, like wandering. Surveys conducted found that 99% of residents felt safe living in a senior community.

More than 4 in 10 seniors in assisted living have some form of dementia. And six in 10 dementia patients will wander at least once. Many wander repeatedly in their lifetimes.

Facilities that offer a memory support center make a big difference when it comes to safety and wellness for dementia patients. These units are designed with locking doors and windows and 24-hour monitoring to ensure that residents are safe and accounted for at all times.

Assisted Living is Held to High Standards Through State-Based Regulations

The assisted living industry in the United States is held to high standards through state-based regulations. These regulations are dynamic, meaning they adapt as innovations are made and more localized care models are adopted.

The NCAL published its Assisted Living State Regulatory Review which showed that around two-thirds of states reported changes in regulation between 2020 and 2022 and another 31% reported between 2022 and 2023.

Having strict licensure and certification rules helps ensure that residents receive quality senior care and are treated well when residing in an assisted living community.