The number of Americans with memory impairments or dementia is expected to continue to grow every year, as the senior population in this country continues to rise. It is projected that by 2025, the number of seniors affected by Alzheimer’s disease will reach 7.1 million, which is a 40% increase from those affected presently. It is estimated that by 2050, the number of seniors with dementia could potentially triple – from 5.1 million Americans to 13.8 million. There is no doubt that there will be a growing demand for memory care in the coming years. According to asurvey conducted by Lancaster Pollard, the majority of assisted living leaders believe that memory care is the element of senior care that will experience the largest growth in 2015. In order to address this demand, some senior housing providers are developing independent memory care facilities, while others are adding memory care to their existing senior living communities.
Benefits of an Independent Memory Care Facility
Independent memory care communities are likely able to offer a greater ability to accommodate the specific needs of patients with cognitive impairments. For example, Maplewood Senior Living operates independent memory care facilities. The company is able to customize their spaces for activities that can benefit those with memory impairments, such as a community art room and Spanish classes to encourage community engagement. Greg Smith, CEO of Maplewood, believes that the “customized settings foster a greater sense of dignity for residents and enable high quality programming that has increased engagement.” Maplewood’s independent memory care facility also includes full amenities on each floor of the building. This layout fosters more intimate community engagement for the residents.
Benefits of Expanding an Existing Community
The progression of dementia and other cognitive impairments is never black and white. It can be a slow progression over the course of many years. Expanding an existing senior living community allows a resident to stay in the same community as their disease progresses, maintaining familiarity. Some providers are investing in their communities to provide programs and special units for those requiring memory care. Some of the benefits of expanding existing communities are: allowing spouses to stay in the same community, make residents more comfortable to know they can stay in the same place and are cared for by the same staff, and it also helps seniors to understand what others are going through.
There are benefits to both types of memory care offerings. It often depends on the local market to determine what is best for senior living companies. If your company is looking to prepare for a spike in memory care demand, or make other improvements to your assisted living community, contact Cambridge Realty Capital. Our financial experts are standing by to help you grow and improve your community.