Many studies done in the past have come to the conclusion that senior adults prefer to age in place. In fact, home care and senior living often seem to be in stiff competition with one another to be the number one choice for seniors. A new paper from the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that nearly one third of people surveyed are now choosing assisted living as the better option. This is a larger group of people than has ever been seen before in previous studies.
In this new study, researchers looked at a random sample of over 1700 senior adults, ages 65 and older, who had previously participated in the National Health and Aging Trends Study in 2012. Participants were asked what they thought the best care option was for a person over the age of 80 who may need help with mobility and some daily personal care. Less than 10 percent of the people surveyed chose nursing home or living with an adult child as the best option. The largest group of people to choose an option chose assisted living or continuing care retirement communities as the option that they thought was best.
Participants who already lived in an assisted living community or continuing care retirement community were found to be significantly more likely to choose their current care setting. There is more awareness now about assisted living than there used to be. Senior living communities are growing in popularity, offering amenities and activities that were not always offered a couple of decades ago. This new study suggests that care preferences are evolving, and assisted living is pulling ahead of other options.