Nearly one-third of people with a loved one in senior housing and care believe he or she is unhappy, but feel there are no other options, according to a recent survey from third-party referral agent Caring.com.
In responding to a question about their attitude toward a parent, spouse or friend’s living situation, 31% of people acknowledged their loved ones are unhappy in their senior living and care communities, but they don’t see any other choice.
Perhaps that’s because around 70% said seniors are moving because of medical and safety concerns, yet location was the greatest factor in selecting certain communities, as opposed to quality of care offered.
The survey, titled “Caregiver Journey 2016: New Senior Care Insights,” captured responses from 2,512 people searching online for senior care. Participants with a loved one already living in senior living or care, such as a nursing home, represented 18% of the 2,512 sample size.
The findings emphasize the importance of location for senior housing communities, as 22% listed location as the main reason for their choice, and 33% said it played some role in the decision overall. Given that respondents also noted their loved ones are unhappy in their current senior living and care situation, the results perhaps suggest those looking for senior care aren’t finding high quality products within the distance parameters of their search. However, the survey report doesn’t specify the type of senior housing residents live in, or the exact reasons loved ones are unhappy.
When respondents answered why a community or care setting was selected, though, only 3% noted a care continuum or care needs as the main factor, and only 8% indicated it was a factor at all. The physical facility itself also played a relatively small role in the decision-making process, with only 7% listing it as a main reason for picking a community.
Among those with loved ones in senior housing and care, there’s seemingly little to no focus on food and activity offerings, according to the survey. There were fewer than three mentions of food or activities as a deciding factor in the choice.
“I don’t know if that’s just because there’s an expectation that the food would be good, or if it’s just something [respondents] wouldn’t remember,” Katie Roper, vice president of sales at Caring.com, said during a webinar Thursday.
Also noteworthy is the demand for memory care identified by the survey. Of those searching for senior care, 49% have a loved one already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and 12% suspect such ailments but they haven’t been diagnosed.
Written by Kourtney Liepelt