As of 2013, there were more than 44 million Americans over the age of 65. By 2060, that number is expected to more than double to 90 million. With this increase in the elderly population comes a greater need for senior care. Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, it is important to understand retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Here are four facts about the elderly population and their care.
People Are Living Longer
When many of our grandparents were born in the 1930s, the average life expectancy was just over 70 years. With innovations in science and medicine, especially vaccines, that number increased to over 85 by 2000. The CDC now predicts that babies born after 2010 will see an average of nearly 90. In short, people are living longer and longer, and it is a trend that we can expect to continue.
People Will Spend A Lot Of Time In Assisted Living
Assisted living is one of the most common forms of senior care. Residents live in facilities or communities that provide them with help for day-to-day chores, as well as any medical requirements they might have. More than 80% of assisted living residents are over the age of 75. The average length of stay is about two years, but studies show that this number is increasing. Most residents will eventually move from an assisted living facility to a nursing home. Nursing homes provide a much higher level of medical and physical assistance to their guests.
Assisted Living Is Expensive
The average cost for a resident of an assisted living facility is roughly $3,500 per month. That number doubles to nearly $7,000 for a nursing home. This amount covers room, board, and access to any amenities the facility may offer. The brunt of the cost goes to paying the large staff that any of these locations require. Many residents need help bathing, changing clothes, and feeding themselves. It is also necessary for staff to help some guests with their medication.
There Are A Lot Of Options For Senior Care
So far we have focused on assisted living facilities and nursing homes. While these are the most popular options, they are not the only ones. Many people, if they can afford to do so, will hire someone to help them with day-to-day tasks around the house as they grow older. This level of care can be increased or decreased over time, depending on the person’s level of need. This can cost from $1,000-$2,000 per month on average. Some families prefer to care for an elderly loved one themselves, even though it can be quite challenging. There are even assisted living facilities that are more akin to resorts than nursing homes. In short, there are many, many options out there for the elderly.
Senior care is a widespread field with many branches. No matter what your situation, there is an option available to you.