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February 24, 2024

Adapting Assisted Living for an Aging Population

Category: Aging In Place

Author: Aaron Blevins, Regional Wellness Coordinator

As the global population ages, it will bring both opportunities and challenges for senior living. The projected number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to double from 46 million to over 98 million by 2060. It will be the first time in history the number of older adults outnumbers children under age five. In addition, older adults will live longer than ever before. One out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90. These remarkable gains are due to improved public health, better nutrition, and better healthcare.

With many people now expected to live into their nineties or beyond, there will be many new challenges and questions to answer. Even though people are living longer, they are not necessarily living healthier. The nature of the assisted living prospect has changed dramatically over the past 15 years, with even greater changes to come. The senior living industry, including Vitalia Westlake, will need to consider ways to adapt to residents with more complex and extended chronic care needs.

With many people now expected to live into their nineties or beyond, there will be many new challenges and questions to answer. Even though people are living longer, they are not necessarily living healthier. The nature of the assisted living prospect has changed dramatically over the past 15 years, with even greater changes to come. The senior living industry, including Vitalia Westlake, will need to consider ways to adapt to residents with more complex and extended chronic care needs.

Some ways to adapt to residents with more complex needs include additional staff training. Not only will staff need the skills to care for residents progressing in their disease processes, but they will also need to understand how to quickly identify changes in their condition. Being proactive in this effort will allow teams to provide the care the residents need precisely when they need it.

Third-party vendors will be crucial to helping our assisted living staff be proactive. 

The following will be crucial for caring for a resident population:

  • with increasing care needs
  • trusted and reliable home health providers
  • rehab therapy teams
  • medical providers
  • behavioral health services

These vendors provide resident-specific care needed to help older adults continue to thrive in the assisted living environment.

Arrow Regional Wellness Coordinator Discusses Caring for an Aging Population

Some strategies that will help us to adapt to the aging population with more complex and extended chronic care issues include understanding these residents’ needs and increased training with staff.

We can prepare and educate our staff to care for a population with more significant needs through monthly in-services and continuing education hours to keep staff informed of new interventions.

It is more important than ever to take a proactive approach when a change in condition occurs with a resident. To ensure our teams recognize even small changes within residents, we must complete daily status checks with them.

Communication is key! 

Once a change is identified, the appropriate next steps are to notify the resident’s doctor and family as soon as possible.

Caring for a sicker population in an assisted living setting is a challenging issue that requires a multifaceted approach. Aging in place is an important goal for an older adult and should also be a priority of the senior living industry. To meet this goal, we must ensure we can fulfill the needs of our aging residents.

VITALIA® Westlake in Westlake, OH offers independent living +, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near UH St. John Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Avon with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Meadowood Golf Course, Crocker Park, Clague Playhouse, Porter Library, Westlake Rec Center, Sibling Revelry Brewery, Bradley Woods Reservation, Huntington Reservation, and White Oaks Restaurant.

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