Aging Trends in the US. How do they affect Senior Living?

Senior Living Facilities
Part 1

 

According to the US Census Bureau, 10,000 Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) turn 65 years old every day. Per the chart below, in 2010 those who were 65 and older accounted for 13% of the US population or 40,129,000 people. By 2030, they will account for almost 20% of the population and 72,093,000 people. While the general population grows 17.5% during this 20 year period, the 65 – 84 age group will increase by 84.2% and the 85 and over group by 52%.

 

US Population Chart by Age

 

There are two predominant factors to this large increase in the percentage of Americans over 65 compared to the overall population.

  • Birth rate has been in gradual decline. In 1947 there were 26.5 births / 1000 citizens. In 2012 that number was down to 14 births / 1000.  
  • People are living longer due to improved medical care and an emphasis on healthy living.  

 

As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age their housing needs change.  

  • They no longer need the four bedroom home they raised their children in
  • Their aging knees tell them they don’t want to climb stairs
  • They don’t want to spend time cleaning the gutters, mowing the yard and shoveling snow.  
  • They want to pursue hobbies, relax and travel – lock the front door and leave without making arrangements for lawn care etc.  

 

Until recently, most Americans would stay in their family home until they could not live alone and move to a Nursing Home. Now retirees and those needing assistance have more options.  

  • Independent Living (IL) apartments for those 55 and older
  • Assisted Living (AS) providing personal care support services such as meals, medicine management, bathing, dressing and transportation
  • Skilled Nursing (SN) provides staff and equipment to provide skilled nursing care, therapy services and related health services
  • Memory Care (MC) provides staff, equipment and facility accommodations to provide care for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.  
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) provides all the services listed above (IL, AS, SN & MC) in one facility. This allows its residents to age in place and live with their loved ones as needs evolve.  

In the next installment we will discuss the increasing need for Senior Living facilities going forward. The final installment will discuss the newest trends in Senior Living Facilities.  

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