According to a recent report by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), senior living communities were providing better quality care for their residents across the board. While this report does not factor in the effects of COVID-19, it reflects the slow and steady improvements that have been made from 2010 to 2020 in the standards of care for senior living.
The report reflects marked improvements in several metrics including higher staffing rates, fewer hospital readmissions, and quality of life improvements. These quality-of-life improvements include a fall in common ailments such as a 60% reduction in UTIs, a 30% fall in depressive symptoms, 24% improvement in residents maintaining healthy body weight.
In the last 10 years, senior living communities were utilized more for temporary recuperation than as a permanent change of address with two-thirds of residents returning to their previous independent homes after a short-term stay. This statistic is a valuable indicator that communities that are flexible to a range of resident needs may be positioned for growth in the coming years.
As senior living continues to raise the bar, technology will interface even more with healthcare and lead to ever-increasing standards of quality. When this study began in 2010, the generation-defining iPhone had only been out for three years. Today medicine is far more interconnected, data-driven, and proactive than ever before and reporting creates actionable decisions. The use of AI solutions, in particular, is growing across the medical landscape and creating a world of care previously unknown.