ASSISTED LIVING: Popularity Up, Costs Down
The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) has released the results of its third annual survey gauging the state of the industry, including trends and benchmarks in facility occupancy, financing and updates on state regulations. Some highlights of the 1999 Overview of the Assisted Living Industry:
- The popularity of assisted living facilities remains high, with average occupancy at 90.4% -- consistent with recent years.
- More than 25% of residents at surveyed facilities "lived out their lives in assisted living without moving on to a medical facility."
- Some 70% of residents need help taking their medication and most need help with daily activities like bathing and dressing.
- Residents' preference for "private, home-like rooms" continues to grow, with the percentage of semi-private rooms falling to 8.7% and the percentage of "semi-private rooms being used as private rooms" up to 20.4%. The average size of rooms has increased 17% since 1996.
- Despite these enhancements, the average basic daily fee for a private room, $68.46, was lower in 1998 than two years prior. ALFA says the decrease might reflect "a possible trend toward an 'a la carte' fee structure for specialized services."