In the past, it was not uncommon for people to stay in an assisted living facility for two or more years. However, the average length of stay has decreased to around one year. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on the decisions of many families to move their loved ones into assisted living communities. This is because older people tend to move into these facilities later in life, and their care needs can change quickly.
According to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, most residents move into assisted living communities between the ages of 75 and 84.The most common activity of daily living that they need help with is bathing and then walking. Additionally, more than 23% of assisted living communities are dedicated to providing care for those with dementia or other memory-related issues. State Medicaid programs can cover home and community services (HCBS) such as personal care and support services provided in assisted living communities. This allows younger residents to take advantage of the benefits of a community environment, such as group activities, exercise classes, nutritious meals, and reduced isolation.
People who are living below the poverty line or who cannot afford assisted living out-of-pocket may have to rely on in-home family care or state-funded nursing homes instead of assisted living communities. To accommodate this population, many assisted living facilities have added memory care sections or units.It is estimated that 60% of assisted living residents will eventually require a higher level of care, which will often necessitate a move to an independent skilled nursing facility. This is expected to result in a near doubling of the elderly population over the next four decades, requiring nearly 1 million additional assisted living beds. Surprisingly, more than 87% of assisted living residents self-identify as such, showing the discrepancy between population statistics and assisted living metrics.In order to be admitted into an assisted living facility, individuals must need help with at least two activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, dressing, or bathing.