Argentum Releases New Report Demonstrating Value of Assisted Living
Argentum, the voice of America’s senior living communities, today released a new report, The Value of Assisted Living for America in conjunction with the association’s annual Public Policy Institute in Washington, DC.
“This report makes clear that assisted living provides more of what matters when it comes to helping seniors stay as healthy, happy, and independent as possible,” James Balda, Argentum president and chief executive officer. “Each day 10,000 Americans turn 65, and 70 percent will likely need some form of long-term care in their lifetimes. Put simply, they will need a caregiver, and home and community-based assisted living provides the most cost-effective, patient-centered approach to meet the needs of our rapidly aging population.
The report finds:
Approximately 70 percent of today’s 65-year-olds will need long-term care during their lifetimes, and 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years. By 2050, the number of individuals requiring long-term care services is expected to triple to 27 million.
Today, roughly 2 million Americans reside in assisted living communities across the country. More than 90 percent of residents report “good or great satisfaction” with their community, customer satisfaction rates not seen in virtually any other industry in America.
Assisted living is the most cost-effective model of professional caregiving, costing significantly less than skilled nursing facilities or round-the-clock home health aides. As of 2021, the cost of a private room in assisted living is less than one half that of a nursing home and 1/5 that of home health aides providing 24/7 care.
Assisted living reduces costs for public health programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and even veterans’ care. Care coordination and community activities that reduce social isolation, indirectly saves Medicare billions each year. If assisted living were not an option, as many as 61 percent of senior residents may be forced into far-costlier skilled nursing facilities at a cost of $43.4 billion, which would cripple state and federal Medicaid budgets. Providing access to assisted living for aging veterans would save the VA almost $70,000 per placement per year.
The senior caregiver workforce has shrunk dramatically since the earliest days of the pandemic, losing more than 100,000 positions from 2020-2021. Today, there is a shortage of 400,000 senior caregivers and that number will only continue to grow. By 2040, the U.S. will need more than 20 million workers to care for our nation’s seniors.
In February, Argentum released a new strategic vision for the senior living industry built on the foundation of People. Trust. Choice. A key element of this strategic vision is to “tell our story” and better educate policymakers on the value of senior living. “This report, and future reports focused on developing the senior care workforce and increasing access and affordability of senior living, are critical to demonstrating the importance of assisted living for all Americans to policymakers at all levels of government,” said Balda. “We are proud to say that the assisted living model of care is one that makes sense from a quality-of-life perspective and a fiscal perspective.”
The report can be found here.