A recent report from A Place for Mom includes valuable information that long-term care (“LTC”) providers can use to tailor their marketing efforts and improve occupancy rates. New memory care facilities across the country will also find the report helpful as they start opening their doors and targeting potential residents to move in. Higher occupancy rates that the report may help generate will also improve the financial performance of these facilities, and make it easier for them to obtain financing for acquisitions or other purposes from companies like the Chicago-based firm Cambridge Realty Capital.
The Report’s Findings
According to the report, the vast majority of seniors with age-related disorders are currently women, and the most prevalent of these disorders is Alzheimer’s disease. Part of the reason for this disparity is because at 83 years of age, the life expectancy for women is five years longer than the life expectancy for men, and the older someone gets, the greater the likelihood that they will develop an age-related disorder. Consequently, more women currently have dementia and other age-related disorders than men. Because of this, the number of women residing in memory care facilities right now is much greater than the number of men.
However, the report also states that, in recent years, an increasing number of men are developing dementia and are needing to transition into memory care facilities. In 2010, only 33 percent of the seniors that moved into memory care facilities were men; by 2014, that number increased to 35 percent. One reason for this is that, although women still live longer than men on average, the life expectancy of males increased by six percent over the past 25 years, double the increase that women experienced. And as their life expectancy increases, men’s chances of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia related illness increase as well.
Recommendations from the Report
The report makes it clear that Alzheimer’s and other age-related disorders can prove brutal for those who suffer from them and on their families as well. It is important for LTC providers to recognize this, and do their best to keep memory care residents comfortable and active in order to enhance their quality of life and prevent them from acting out. The report also states that, because there are more women than men in memory care facilities, these facilities often have activities, a décor, and a general ambiance that is geared more towards women than men. Because of this, memory care facilities that are seeking to attract more men should consider adding features and activities that men often find appealing, such as pool rooms or card nights. Also, because men tend to be stronger than women, and those with dementia can act out against caregivers, LTC providers may also want to consider scheduling more male caregivers in order to decrease the likelihood of a female caregiver finding herself injured by a male resident with dementia, who often acts out and is stronger than the female caregivers on staff.