Assisted Living: Responding to Change and Instability

By Pamela D Wilson CSA, CG, MS, BS/BA

Anticipating what consumers will want in the future relative to assisted living and care communities is challenging. While statistics indicate a significant increase in the aging population because of aging baby boomers, will this result in more individuals moving into assisted living and skilled nursing communities or will baby boomers prefer to remain at home with care? Aging population statistics indicate that the number of individuals diagnosed with memory loss will increase; will this increase consumer demand for memory care only communities? How will the changes in healthcare policies and systems continue to affect consumers?

While research and statistics guide many decisions relative to future planning, what are other factors that result in change for assisted living communities? According to research, stability in assisted living is not the norm. Changes occur at multiple levels of person (residents, family members, staff or managers), collectivities (groups or types of residents, staff or managers), organizations (owners or corporations) and external environments (economies or competitors).1

How do families perceive these changes and how might assisted living communities respond to these factors while managing family expectations?

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©2014 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

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