ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Despite the severe economic downturn, assisted living remains enormously popular among seniors and their families according to key benchmarks in a new national survey.
The 2009 Overview of Assisted Living, a comprehensive measure of the state of the industry conducted by the leading senior living associations, shows occupancy rates in 2009 are nearly 95 percent, only a slight decrease from the 2006 survey when the economy was stronger. Communities which provide specialized care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia report even higher occupancy rates.
“The high standards and commitment to quality embraced by the assisted living industry have made assisted living a trusted option for America’s seniors,” said Richard Grimes, the President and CEO of the Assisted Living Federation of America ( www.alfa.org ). “Our members have led the way on a philosophy of care which allows seniors to age with dignity, grace and independence.”
The 2009 Overview shows that nearly all assisted living communities provide a wide array of services and safety measures which include wellness, social and recreational activities. But most also adhere to high standards and practices and conduct formal assessments of each resident prior to move in, draft written care plans for each resident, install smoke detectors and sprinklers in residents’ rooms and common areas and conduct criminal background checks on every employee before hiring.
The survey also showed that the average age of residents continues to rise. Female residents outnumber male by a three to one margin. The median age is now 86.9 years and median income is $18,972, a slight increase from the 2006 survey. More than one third of all assisted living residents suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia.
Assisted living is the fastest growing long term care option in the United States. Assisted living communities provide assistance in the activities of daily life, such as bathing and dressing, in a residential setting for seniors.
The 2009 Overview of Assisted Living is a joint project of ALFA, the American Association of Housing and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), the National Investment Centers for the Seniors Housing and Care Industry (NIC) and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The survey was conducted by Acclaro Growth Partners with assistance from REDMARK Economics.