Will Assisted Living in America Still Remain? What is the Future?

Unlike nursing homes that provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting, Assisted Living is like a normal housing setup, it can be an apartment, shared apartment, or individual rooms; but the residents are those who need various levels of medical and personal care.

Effect of Covid 19

The COVID pandemic has dealt with nursing homes and Assisted Living apartments. The number of death at nursing homes, as well as Assured Living apartments, skyrocketed in 2020 due to the pandemic and there may be heavy regulations on them in coming years possibly making the Assured living industry evolve into another business model or go into extinction. Staffing is a major challenge with Assisted Living in America.

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How It All Started?

Assisted living in America was born in the the1980s, in the 1970s, Nursing homes were the only facility opened to elderly people who needed assistance with daily activities regardless of their level of independence; there was a lot of attention on them by the government; strict regulations and rules making their service charges become expensive.

As a solution; an unregulated, only guided on a state-to-state basis Assisted living model was born all over the country. It was less expensive, cheaper, and could take in older ones that are independent and needs less assistance with their daily living.

Biggs, who is also the CEO of an assisted living company, said ” Everybody kind of had their different version, right? It’s the elephant and we’re all looking at different parts of the elephant. I would say right now, post-COVID, you’re gonna see something similar.”

Challenges Facing the Assisted Living Industry

Bad publicity because more than a third of Coronavirus deaths are from long-term care facilities nationwide.

Medicaid dollars cannot be used used in Assisted Living Apartments in most states but can be used in nursing homes. So Assisted living apartment are losing their customers back to nursing homes.

Medicaid helps you pay $1 out of every $6 spent on health care in the U.S. The median cost of a private room in an Assisted Living Apartment for a year is $51,600. Not everyone can afford that.

Staffing is a major challenge at Assisted Living Apartments. Staffing is a big challenge to businesses, especially after the pandemic. This is one of the reasons prices of things are skyrocketing.

Memory care which was the selling point for Assisted Living Apartments has now become the reason for litigation. Memory care emphasized socialization while social distancing is needed at this time of the pandemic; it’s difficult to curb residents with memory impairment against socialization.

What is the Way Forward?

Biggs; A CEO of one Assisted Living Company believes that Assisted apartments may evolve into something more basic; A lite version of Assisted Living. Instead of 3 meals daily, it may be reduced to one or even fifteen meals in a month. There may be limited housekeeping and maybe have maintenance for apartment maintenance, utilities, internet, and the rest.

Reinhard of AARP believes that if other states can follow the likes of Oregon to approve Medicaid to be used for Assisted Living Apartments; then people will be able to afford it.

Reinhard also stressed the importance of transparency. Let customers know their capacity to care for them before they accept to move in. Those who need more assistance can move to a facility that can provide that.

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Another Nursing Home

Assisted Living Facilities were born out of regulations on the Nursing homes by the government. People are now calling on the government to create a general regulation that will bind them all over the country. If these regulations are put into place; they become more expensive and become more like nursing homes.

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