The lifetime probability that you will have some kind of disability by age 65 is nearly 70%, which means that most people are going to need some form of senior care at some point in their lives.
There are various levels of senior care available depending on your age and your physical condition. Many people would prefer to live in their homes as long as possible and receive in-home care, and many insurers who pay for such elder care services would prefer that as well because it’s much cheaper than paying for nursing home care. However, many people are not going to be able to finish out there lives in their own homes because of various reasons.
One of the most popular options for people as they age is assisted living. Assisted living centers allow people a living environment where they can get the level of assistance they want or need. That may be as simple as having meals prepared for them or someone to do cleaning, or it could be as extensive as daily help with tasks such as bathing and getting dressed. Many retirement developments these days incorporate both independent and assisted living. That allows people to move into a unit when they are still in good health and then transition to using more and more assisted-living services without having to move to a different place.
One of the fastest-growing areas of senior care these days is memory care. The number of people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory impairment continues to grow. There are a number of reasons for this. There is better and earlier diagnosis of such conditions and people are living longer, which means more people survive long enough to develop such conditions. Alzheimer’s and dementia are now so prevalent that one out of every three seniors has the condition at death, and Alzheimer’s is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
People with memory care issues present unique problems. They need a secure place to live and they also may need round-the-clock care for a number of tasks. Many such people also still have a living spouse who does not have a memory issue, and some senior centers are providing ways for those spouses to live together.
One other category of senior care is hospice care, which is reserved for people in the latter stages of a terminal illness. To enter hospice, people usually need certification from a doctor that they are likely to die within six months.
Regardless of what type of living conditions an elderly person needs, it’s clear that the senior care industry will continue to grow for a long time.