The face of senior care is changing, with assisted living and other types of residential care facilities beginning to look increasingly like nursing homes in terms of age of residents and services provided, says a Forbes article, and both senior care providers and the government need to make changes to reflect this.
“Owners of care facilities need to recognize that a new generation of residents needs more assistance with activities of daily living and greater medical support. The days when assisted living facilities were run like hotels for old people are long over. However, operators must find a way to provide these additional services without slipping into the kind of medical model that consumers resist.
Medicaid, which has been reluctant to finance stays in residential care facilities, needs to start thinking more creatively about the niche they serve. And government needs to find a regulatory middle ground that allows these facilities to operate creatively while protecting increasingly vulnerable residents.
With average fees running about half that of nursing facilities and with an environment that is often more attractive to seniors (and to their adult children), residential care facilities are become a more popular choice for consumers. But as their population of sicker residents in need of more assistance grows, operators must find ways to adjust their models of care. And consumers must learn what services these facilities can, and cannot, offer.
The article cites data regarding facility residents’ health statistics, with about 42% having some form of dementia, and half suffering from three or more chronic illnesses, according to a recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics.
Check out the full Forbes piece here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace