Our economy is changing, and those changes are affecting senior care and senior living. In addition to economic factors, we have had major changes in geriatric medicine, the use of technology, and how we view aging. Creative options are necessary in order for retiring Americans to have the care they need that meets their desires and is also affordable. Therefore, residential senior living will provide a wide range of new offerings such as eco-friendly housing, expanded amenities, and technological features.
The Rise of Technology-Enhanced Care
Technology in the form of personal computer usage by residents and staff, new applications of existing technology, and additional availability of health hardware will have a major impact on elder care.
Personal computers help seniors stay involved and in touch with their families. Enhancements such as voice-driven software, adaptive keyboards, foot pedals, and touch screens assist those seniors who may have disabilities. Moreover, this technology continues to evolve at a remarkably rapid rate.
Technology is also revolutionizing the care of seniors. Personal-care robots will be part of care in the future. Smart sensors will track dispensing of medications and monitor vital signs so that care facilities can provide mobile bedside support for their senior residents.
Increase Amenities and Perks
With inevitable rising costs and interest in senior living options such as assisted living and continuing care retirement communities, the more traditional extended care facilities will increase their offerings of a wide range of amenities to increase resident populations. Cultural events, social activities, fitness classes, and educational opportunities are only a few of those programs that will be offered as facilities continue to explore what areas baby boomers prefer and work to meet those needs.
The current generation of older adults is environmentally concerned. They want eco-friendly buildings and lighting. Although assisted living facilities may have an increase in initial investment, they can save money in the end, especially with the use of energy saving appliances. Facilities will increase their use and emphasis of environmentally responsibility.
Tremendous Growth in the Health Care Industry
It is not just improvements in technology and changes in programs and environments that are going affect the care of the elderly. The increase in the number of seniors in our population will also give rise to the need for additional facilities and the staff. Geriatric medicine, specialists in dementia, and physical and rehabilitative therapy providers will all need to provide services to the increasing population of elders in assisted living facilities.
There are more than four million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is constantly increasing. There will definitely be an increased need for memory care facilities, either as separate entities or as part of existing long-term care facilities. Memory care provides long-term care for patients who have been diagnosed with dementia and whose level of impairment requires the safety and security of a residential facility and a professional staff. Additionally, these facilities provide activities such as walking to maintain activity level, interactive exercises, often associated with music and art, and opportunities for socialization.
The future of eldercare is filled with challenges. However, it is also filled with opportunities. At Highland Risk we will assess the impact of these changes on long-term care insurance policies and products and provide the opportunity for you to grow the business of those you serve. Contact our professionals with any questions. Please call Highland Risk Services at one of our two offices in Chicago at 847-832-9100 or Lansing at 517-676-7100.