There are over 60,000 assisted living and nursing home properties throughout the United States. More than 2,000,000 people reside in these properties, but over the last ten years the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing have become less distinct. There are a number of contributing factors to consider: pressure on Medicare and Medicaid budgets, private pay services such as Alzheimer’s care, personal tastes of the aging Baby Boomers, and the economics of the facilities themselves.
Assisted Living facilities have increased the level of service and care provided to be more competitive, and Nursing Homes have added private pay services and higher end living arrangements to be more competitive as well. The Baby Boomers are driving much of this evolution because they are a more affluent cohort than generations past, and their lifestyle expectations are very high.
Additionally, Medicare and Medicaid budgets are being reduced and the thresholds to qualify are being raised higher. As more seniors enter the senior care stage of their lives, the access to public funds will become scarcer as the options for privately funded housing and care is on the rise.
For people to come even close to meeting their expectations for a high level of senior housing and care it will require a firm grasp of the various options available—and how to pay for it.