More Assisted-Living Facilities Opening in Sonoma County
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Saturday looked at Sonoma County's "surge in senior assisted-living facilities," with two new facilities expected to open soon to accommodate the "increasing numbers of elderly" moving to the county. Eric Davidson, co-owner of the Avalon of Sonoma facility, which is set to open in spring 2005, said the county is an attractive location for assisted-living facilities, which offer fewer services for seniors than skilled-nursing facilities, because of its rising population of seniors who are able to pay the relatively high cost of such facilities.
According to Susan Ziblatt, executive director of Senior Advocacy Services in Santa Rosa, the county's over-85 population is expected to increase in the longterm by more than 250% -- from 8,468 in 2000 to 30,000 in 2040 -- because of the county's lower costs of living and location near the Bay Area.
Davidson added that the county's number of seniors ages 75 and older is already "higher than the national average, and one of the highest in the country." Only eight of the county's 145 residential care facilities offer assisted-living services, but all eight facilities have opened over the past eight years.
Ziblatt said the increasing construction of assisted-living facilities "makes good business sense because this is a growing population waiting to be housed" (Patterson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 8/7).