Key Challenges Assisted Living Companies Continue to Face
Assisted living market continues to witness steady growth due to rise in the geriatric population and lack of proper care of elderly by several families. Moreover, the market is further driven by consumer preference shift for more independent living, growing state and federal efforts to shift people from nursing homes to community-based places, and assisted living centers are normally perceived positively as compared to nursing homes.
A new study by Fact.MR offers incisive insights on assisted living market. A sample of the report is available for request.
Moreover, research suggests that assisted living communities are less costly as compared to nursing homes. Assisted living has sought wide prevalence due to the benefits it offers such as elderly individuals will be sharing space with people of their age and won’t feel alone.
Although these communities offer wide set of benefits, there are certain drawbacks too that the companies are facing. These drawbacks are creating hindrances for the assisted living market. Some of them are highlighted below.
Lack of Medical Care
Not all assisted living facilities are equipped with extensive medical care that nursing homes offer. There are several elderly people living in the facility, who require assistance in performing daily activities such as bathing, eating, and dressing up. But there are some individuals suffering from chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s and cancer who demand higher level of care and often some assisted living centers are unable to provide.
Moreover, in some nations or centers medical care provided don’t meet a certain standard set by the legal bodies. Also, staff hired to cater to the medical needs of the individuals lack proper training or knowledge. There have been incidents in the past, wherein people suffering from dementia and living in the assisted living facility went missing. Bonnie Walker was living in an assisted living facility in South Carolina. Her body was discovered floating in a pond right behind her assisted living facility. Bonnie had puncture wounds on her temple, jaw, ear, and her cheeks. Bonnie had dementia and in July 2016, she slipped out of the center and was missing for seven hours, until her body was found. Cases like these are challenging for assisted living centers, as proper care needs to be ensued for dementia patients.
High Cost of Assisted Living
One of the challenges that assisted living firms still face is the high cost that cannot be afforded by older people in the developing economies. Research suggests that annual cost of assisted living has increased significantly. Primary reason for increasing costs is shortage of skilled labor. Higher minimum salaries, difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified employees have moved the supply/demand dynamic in favor of the labors.
Violation of Laws
Another major challenge is that several of the assisted living facilities tend to violate one or more than one state dementia regulations. Many of the centers don’t meet the rules designed to prevent dementia residents from leaving the facilities. In fact, federal government do not license or inspect assisted living centers. They don’t establish quality measures for assisted living centers like it’s been done for nursing homes.
Considered a Taboo in Several Regions
Although the concept of assisted living is highly prevalent in the United States and Europe, there are still some regions who consider the idea of their parents or grandparents living in an assisted living facility a taboo. The perception of assisted living in certain regions are unpleasant which is mainly due to lack of awareness and difference in the culture. Moreover, these regions feel that it’s their responsibility to look after elderly parents as it is a sign of respect.
Also, since these regions are still embracing assisted living communities in their countries, there is a lack of communities that are offering services related to dementia and other chronic conditions.
Although, assisted living is a huge phenomenon in several regions, there are certain issues that stops people from living in these communities. Companies are coming up with solutions to address these problems.
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