Here’s what happened last month in senior living.
According to new NIC data, average senior housing occupancy rates fell to 90% in the first quarter of 2016. This slip is due in large part to a boom in senior living construction, as inventory grew a considerable 2.5% in the same timeframe. Fortunately, this expansion is beginning to slow, and supply and demand are moving towards a point of equilibrium.
Source: Senior Housing News. Senior Housing Occupancy Drops as Inventory Grows at Fast Pace.
New data from A Place for Mom gives deep insight into senior living rental and care costs. The cost of senior living rose by $1,200 annually from 2014 to 2015. Across all care levels, costs rose by 2.7% per year. However, since inflation has outpaced the rising cost of senior living, APFM says now is a very good time to sell a home and move into senior living.
The data also pinpoints the top three most expensive cities for senior living (Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York) and the most affordable (Tampa, Las Vegas, and Miami). The data even goes more granular, taking a look at how prices differ between regions of the same city.
A new tool based on this data, the Senior Living Cost Index, aggregates the costs of close to 100,000 actual move-ins between 2012 - 2015. Traditionally, senior living cost indices rely on industry estimates, which may not account for crucial nuances, such as geography and care-level.
Source: Senior Housing News. New Data Reveals the Truth Behind Senior Living Costs.
New Jersey and Massachusetts are the most expensive states for assisted living, according to a recent Lincoln Financial Group report. Rounding out the spendy list were Alaska, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, while four southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi) and North Dakota are the most reasonable.
The costliest states will set residents back twice as much as the least expensive: the average cost of a one-bedroom assisted living apartment in New Jersey is $6,324 per month, compared to North Dakota’s $3,159. The national average is $4,383.
Source: Senior Housing News. New Jersey, Massachusetts Have Most Expensive Assisted Living in U.S.
President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which aims to prevent elder abuse in long-term care facilities, provide information and technical support to senior service providers, and aid seniors and their families in locating community-based senior care services. The act provides financial and structural support for educational and vocational programs, nutrition initiatives, and other senior living services.
The act was originally passed in 1965, and this reauthorization continues provisions through 2018.
Source: Argentum. President Obama Signs Older Americans Act Reauthorization; Congress.gov, Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016.
Over 70% of caregivers are interested in using technology solutions to ease their burdens, according to a new AARP report on Caregivers and Technology. Only 7%, though, are currently using existing tech tools. This disparity represents a wide open market, especially if tech companies and other innovators can address the prevailing barriers to adoption. These include lack of awareness, lack of time and resources to learn existing tools, and skepticism about the efficacy of these tools in caregiving.
The most enticing tech innovations for caregivers had to do with medication-related functions, including prescription management, refill, and pick up. Other top areas of interest were assistance with medical appointments, medical monitoring, and home safety.
Source: AARP. Caregivers and Technology: What They Want and What They Need.