If you are looking for a business that is fail-safe and evergreen, look at the field of retirement homes, assisted living facilities, care homes, and nursing homes. According to Grand View Research, the U.S. assisted living facility market size value was $83.2 billion in 2020 and the forecast is $87.4 billion in 2021. The expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2027 is 5.3 percent. Data from Aging.com show that senior residents will need two million housing facilities by 2040.
The Aging Population
Data from Statista show that in 2020 the U.S. had the highest percentage of seniors in the population since 1950, with 16.9 percent of Americans reaching 65 years old or older. The elderly segment will comprise 22 percent of the population in 2050.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Demographic Analysis, the entire country’s population grew by 1.3 percent between 2010 and 2020 but the number of people aged 55 and above grew by 27 percent. The slow increase in the general population is due to the decline in the U.S. birth rate since 1990. The Bureau highlights that from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020, the annual population growth rate was only 0.35 percent, a record low since the last known figures in 1900. The Bureau forecasts that in 2034 there will be more older American adults than children under age 18 for the first time in U.S. history.
There are now 73 million Baby Boomers who were born from 1946 to 1964. The oldest among them turned 65 and retired in 2011 while the youngest will turn 65 and retire in 2030. By then, the oldest among them will be 84 years old.
Why They Need Help
Even if their children love them and want to care for the elderly, the reality of day-to-day living often makes this impossible. There is usually no one left at home to look after the elderly with every member of the family at work or school. Even when everyone is working or learning from home during the pandemic, there is still no one free to focus on the needs of the senior.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development did a survey for the Census Bureau showing that only 10 percent of homes across the country have the equipment for the needs of the elderly. Most of them have steps at the entrance, no bedroom, bathroom, and toilet on the first level, and do not have handrails and a shower seat in the bathroom.
In contrast, there are 11 million seniors who have trouble walking or climbing stairs, four million who have difficulty bathing and dressing, and seven million who cannot live alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one senior American falls every second in the country, with about 30 million elderly people stumbling every year. The CDC notes that 20 percent of these falls result in serious injury. Over 50 percent of bathroom injuries among seniors are from using the shower and bathtub.
Types of Care Facilities
The safest option for families is to find a facility that can look after their loved one, and where the senior can be happy. It must be accessible so that they can visit regularly.
The trend is toward continual care retirement communities. These are complexes that include independent living housing for active residents, assisted living units for those that only need partial assistance, and nursing homes for those that need full care. These communities provide seniors with a sense of belonging that is not disrupted because they only move to a nearby building in the same complex when they need more care.
There are also adult day care or foster care models where family members drop off the senior and pick him or her up later in the day. The senior has companionship and socialization as well as assistance in activities of daily living.
Improve on Current Models
The government provides the public with a checklist on what to review before choosing a nursing home. If you plan to be in the business, you must know it by heart to ensure that your facility will pass muster. They ask people to sniff out bad odors or even good odors that seem to be masking bad odors. This shows that you must be fastidiously clean everywhere in your facility, including having regular commercial carpet cleaning services, for instance.
The concern has a factual basis because 42 percent of the Covid-19 deaths in the country were in assisted living facilities. The CDC stated that 2.1 million people or 0.6 percent of the population lived in residential care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes when the pandemic struck.
An article on Nature.com cites the advantages of small-home types of care with fewer residents and adequate well-paid staff in contrast to highly institutionalized facilities with underpaid caregivers and a shortage of staff. The author, David C. Grabowski, stated that this model did well in the Netherlands.
If you are to enter this field, it would be beneficial to study best practices as well as what to avoid. After all, it is a care facility and must embody all that is humanitarian especially in the twilight years of life.