The Future of Assisted Living: Innovations in Senior Care
With new advancements in technology and a better understanding of the aging population, the future of assisted living is looking bright.
Innovations in senior care are making assisted living a safer, more comfortable environment for everyone involved in the care cycle. And the adoption of new technology is helping seniors stay more connected and healthier no matter where they are.
The Growing Need for Assisted Living Communities
Many of the assisted living trends we are about to cover were developed in response to the growing need for assisted living. The experts at Forbes put it bluntly: the assisted living industry is in crisis because there aren’t enough communities to house the growing number of seniors who need them.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, by 2030, one in five Americans is projected to be 65 years old and over. The next decade is a critical time for the senior living industry to expand and embrace new innovations and care methods to prepare for this increase.
According to Grand View Research, the aging population also has a direct impact on the assisted living facility market. Specifically, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.53% from 2023 to 2030.
Clearly, there is a need to develop more independent living communities and nursing homes in addition to renovating and expanding existing care homes to increase occupancy rates.
Trends in the Future of Senior Care
While the growing need for retirement communities is daunting, it also presents an opportunity to improve assisted living facilities for the future. Innovative assisted living can help ease this problem by making senior housing more accessible, safe, and efficient.
Here are a handful of assisted living industry trends that senior care communities can begin implementing today to benefit residents and staff.
The foundation of innovative senior living has been the shift from standard care to personalized care. While many seniors may face similar health and physical challenges, they still need to be treated as individuals.
It’s important for professional caregivers to understand and embrace residents’ specific wants and needs while ensuring they’re living a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious meals, life enrichment, social engagement, and (in most cases) proper medication.
The future of senior living prioritizes total well-being to promote overall health. This, of course, includes physical and mental wellness but also extends to continuing education classes, financial literacy, nutrition lessons, and more to keep residents healthy and mentally engaged.
Thoughtful Architecture and Design
There has already been a shift in the way assisted living communities are designed to benefit residents. Gone are the days of sterile environments with harsh lighting and few communal spaces. Today’s assisted living communities are designed to be more home-like and comfortable for patients, by allowing residents to enjoy the privacy of their own space and providing unique activities and social events options to choose from.
The future of assisted living takes this thoughtful design one step further with careful architectural considerations. At The Moments, a unique approach to designing every square inch of the space takes consideration of individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The thoughtfully designed environment includes tons of natural light, safe access to the outdoors, heated flooring throughout the buildings, and more.
Many predictions about the future of senior living center on the ability of technology to enhance older adults’ lives. technology. According to Senior Living, technology can benefit older adults in a variety of ways, including:
Providing safe access to transportation and food
Monitoring health and wellness
Staying connected with friends and family
Providing families with peace of mind
Assisted living communities can incorporate technology into nearly everything they do to help improve the quality of life for residents. Smart Speakers with voice assistants can help seniors complete daily tasks and gives the ability to feel more independent and less of a burden on caregivers, while smart wearables can help track and monitor physical activity and overall well-being. New technologies like smart pill boxes also make it easier for staff to ensure residents are taking their medications properly and on time.
Virtual Reality & Robotics
Technology use can also help improve engagement with activities at assisted living communities. This includes Reminiscence Therapy, a dementia treatment that uses all senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. The New York Times reports that virtual reality has the potential to make powerful reminiscent therapies more immersive and impactful. At the same time, it can also be used to engage seniors with activities they love, like fishing, for example, from the comfort of their community.
The advancements in robotics have provided unique benefits for seniors as well. CBS reported how specialized robots and even animatronic stuffed animals and dolls can provide companionship for seniors with Alzheimer’s and help keep them active and engaged.
The future of assisted living is always evolving. At The Moments, we take pride in offering the latest in care and technology to help our residents thrive. Learn more about our enhanced assisted living program today.