The Small Business Market Research reports over the next twenty years, the number of older adults in need of assisted living resources will nearly double from the current 1 million individuals receiving assisted living care.
The CDC, AARP, and The National Institute for Health (NIH) all agree that 90% of this population want to age-in-place. Such high demand suggests that the current senior living model will no longer suit the needs of this population.
With such high demand for services, the industry is finding itself having to adapt the way it delivers services to the changing needs and wishes for this new demographic of seniors. The growing population of older adults creates a world of new possibilities for the senior living industry, and because of this, several future trends are coming to Assisted Living.
High Demand for Direct Care Workers
The senior living industry is already feeling the effects of not having enough direct care workers to provide care to the growing number of seniors.
The industry will need to develop new programs and strategies to recruit and retain young professionals into the healthcare field.
Direct care careers are traditionally low wage positions with little career mobility, which make them a less than an attractive option for young professionals. Incentives and career pathways for these types of workers could encourage recruits into the field.
Increased Support for Technology
Technology ranging from the sophisticated robots able to lift and transfer humans to electronic pets who can purr when touched are already used in some assisted living facilities. As the number of older adults grows, the industry will rely heavily on the use of technology to supplement care needs.
Technology is an investable option for many senior care providers as they continue to change and adapt to future healthcare needs. As demand for new technologies grow the technology sector continues to develop new applications and programs that are designed specifically for this population.
Longer lives and later retirements have created an economic phenomenon known as the longevity economy. The Longevity Economy – made up primarily of Baby Boomers – insert an estimated 7.1 trillion dollars a year into the US economy.
Baby Boomers have money and want to spend it! As the demand for assisted living services increases and the willingness to invest in these services increases, assisted living facilities and others in the healthcare sector will work to develop the types of services the consumer wants.
Options in Home Choices
One of the major future trends in assisted living based on a consumer-driven market is the growing number of home choice options for those seeking an assisted living.
Older adults continue to search for new and exciting housing choices, such as small home models, co-op living, and even tiny home communities.
Expanding the number of housing options will most likely become the leading future trend in the industry, as we are already beginning to see the development of these types of homes for seniors.