Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Senior Living 2025

If you’re one of the individuals who are part of the upcoming gray wave, you’ve likely been more focused on finding care for your aging parents than for yourself. After all, you still have decades until you need to contemplate your care options. But ask yourself this—who will care for you? Perhaps your children or another family member? What if you have to join a retirement community or assisted living facility? Will there be enough employees to care for you and the other residents?

What most current and future retirees don’t realize is that the senior living industry will soon face a crisis of more seniors requiring care during their golden years and the infrastructure, such as government funding, employees and communities, isn’t equipped to care for these millions of people.

This is why the Assisted Living Federal of America (ALFA) launched the Senior Living 2025 initiative earlier this year to start the conversation within the senior living industry. Whether you are an a retiree who in 10 years will need supportive services to remain independent or an adult child who may be tasked with finding an assisted living community for an aging parent in the near future, you could benefit from this insight into the industry, as this crisis will affect not only your future care but many aspects of society.

What are the challenges?

ALFA identified four challenges that the senior living industry will face in the coming years.

Workforce Development

According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, in 2015 there were currently 7 caregivers (ages 45-64) to 1 senior (age 80 and older). In 15 years that number will shrink to 4:1; by 2050, there will be a 3:1 ratio. Yet in spite of the guaranteed jobs that await those who decide to focus on geriatrics, the Institute of Medicine’s 2008 report found that younger workers are not interested in working with seniors.Workforce Development Infographic - ALFA

*All infographics are courtesy of ALFA.

 

Quality Care

In 25 years, the Administration on Aging projects that the population of seniors 85+ will double, totaling over 14 million. And how will the senior living industry care for this influx of people, especially when 75% of seniors have at least two common chronic conditions and are living longer? ALFA sees the solution as creating advances in technology and healthcare services.

Operational Excellence

The senior living industry is a service industry, and with retirement communities often designed to have all the amenities of a town right on site (a beauty salon, gift store, bistro and wellness center), a well-managed community requires dedicated staff filling numerous positions that don’t involve healthcare services. So how can the senior living industry entice younger workers to enter the industry, especially when interest in working with the senior population is lacking? The solution is developing not only new ways that technology can provide better care but also retain skilled employees. Currently there are over 735,000 residents in assisted living communities and community managers recognize that the care that is provided by their employees directly affects whether future residents will consider joining the community. This is why they are focusing efforts to increase education and training opportunities.

Consumer Choice

Where do you envision living during retirement: in the same family home, in another state or will you join a retirement community? What is for certain is that you won’t lack for choices, especially since ALFA sees the senior living industry as “playing an important role in how consumers finance their most enriching years.” But while your parents may have their long-term care covered, hopefully you are not one of the 38% of Americans who think their retirement will be comfortable.

Planning where you will spend summer vacation is complicated enough, but then when you factor in planning for retirement may be 10, 20 or 30 years away, it doesn’t seem real. But before we know it, it will be 2025, and hopefully we aren’t experiencing the crisis that experts are currently foretelling.

Do Seniors Need to Worry About Ebola?

Turn on any newscast in America, put on a talk radio station or open your local newspaper, and there’s one word sure to come up: Ebola.

Plenty of news surrounding the virus is valid. There has been an epidemic in West Africa, with thousands of deaths. There has also been a small handful of cases in the United States. But there’s also been plenty of over-the-top hype—you may have heard various sources claim that the disease can be spread by being on the same plane or subway as someone carrying the virus. Considering Ebola can’t spread through the air, these claims are all highly unlikely, to put it mildly.Syringe

But, still, the virus is out there, and has caused a degree of panic across the country. And, seeing as seniors are more at risk for many viruses and diseases, it only makes sense to raise the question: Should older adults be concerned about contracting Ebola?

To put it bluntly, no. At least, not unless they have been in some pretty remarkable circumstances. And there’s certainly no need to worry more about Ebola than other viruses that cause problems each and every year.

Instead of Ebola, Worry About the Flu

While Ebola has received most of the news coverage, it’s once again flu season, which should be a red flag for seniors and their caregivers. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 90 percent of America’s seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people 65 and older. But there are simple ways to help combat these problems:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Follow basic health and hygiene habits, such as washing your hands and covering your coughs.
  • If you exhibit any flu symptoms, get to a doctor.

As we’ve previously discussed on the blog, the CDC is also strongly encouraging family caregivers to get flu shots. Seniors are more susceptible to getting the flu than most segments of the population, making it even more important for those who care for older adults to get the vaccination, protecting themselves and those for whom they care.

By following these steps, seniors and their caregivers can take precautions against a disease that poses a major threat—and can ignore some of the news regarding a disease which poses virtually no threat.

 

 

SeniorHomes.com Honored as One of Washington’s Fastest-Growing Companies!

We are proud and honored to be listed as one of Washington State’s 100 fastest-growing private companies, as ranked by the Puget Sound Business Journal!

SeniorHomes.com, which is based in Seattle, ranks 69th on the PSBJ’s annual list. In all, the 100 companies combined to record more than $2.08 billion in revenue in 2013. In order to qualify for consideration, companies must have recorded at least $500,000 in revenue in 2011 and demonstrated revenue growth through 2013.

All companies must be privately held during the reporting period and be headquartered in Washington State. Additionally, they may not be subsidiaries of other companies. Revenue growth is calculated as a percentage between 2011 and 2013, and this figure is used to determine each company’s rank.SeniorHomes.com

This represents the third such recognition in a string of awards and honors received by us in recent months, which COO Jay Goldstein attributes to the company’s strong culture and commitment to success.

“The credit for this accomplishment goes to everyone in our company,” Goldstein says.  “None of this would be possible without the hard work, intelligent insights, and focus on customers (both consumers and providers) that each of our team members brings to SeniorHomes.com every day.”

Earlier this year, we earned a spot in the prestigious Inc. 5000 for 2014, landing at number 678 among 5,000 innovative, successful enterprises. Additionally, we were recognized in the 23rd annual National Mature Media Awards Program by the Mature Market Resource Center, earning a Silver Award for the National Media Division in the Web Site Category.

“We’ve put the customer at the forefront from day one, and it’s allowed us to envision and execute innovative programs, like our Best Senior Living Awards program, the industry’s only quantitative-based evaluation system for senior living communities,” says CEO Chris Rodde. “We’re honored to receive a distinction so well-deserved by our dedicated team.”

Through our directory of more than 80,000 senior living communities, the innovative Best Senior Living Awards program, thousands of expert-written articles and free Care Advisor service, SeniorHomes.com aids more than three million seniors and their families in their search for senior housing every year. We are proud of what we do each and every day here, proud of our growth and recognition, and invite you to find out what sets us apart!

Harvard Says U.S. Senior Living Industry Unprepared for Coming Aging Wave

America is aging, and an AARP blog post by Melissa Stanton explains that Harvard reports the country is totally unprepared for what that really means. A report, “Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population,” released September 2 by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies with the support of the AARP Foundation, clearly shows that “both individually and as a nation we’re not ready for all that comes with age.”

The authors of the Harvard report explain that existing housing is “unprepared to meet the escalating need for affordability, accessibility, social connectivity, and supportive services.” Moreover, the country’s transportation and pedestrian infrastructure “is generally ill-suited to those who cannot or choose not to drive, isolating older adults from friends and family.” Plus, “disconnects between housing programs and the health care system put many older adults with disabilities or long-term care needs at risk of premature institutionalization.”

Aging will be expensive in the coming years

Stanton points out four eye-opening statistics and facts that show just how challenging it will be for seniors to afford aging:

  • Typical homeowners over age 65 can afford in-home assistance for about 6 to 9 years of assisted living
  • Typical renters over 65 only can afford two months of support
  • In 2012, 1/3 of adults 50+ paid more than 30% of their income for housing, including nearly 9.6 million who paid more than 50% of their income for housing
  • Low-income seniors significantly cut back on food, health care, and retirement savings because of high housing costs

Housing, necessities, transportation, and more create obstacles

Maicie Jones, program manager for AARP Foundation’s Housing Impact Team, breaks down the 5 essential facts from the Harvard study, highlighting the housing challenges that face older U.S. adults. Her key findings:

  • In order to remain housed, older people are “skimping” on necessities
  • The needs of older adults are not going to be met by a large portion of America’s available housing
  • Driving is essential to living in America, and older adults who don’t have the ability will feel isolated
  • Older people’s independence is at risk because of the increased costs associated with the lack of integration between housing and healthcare
  • It is not too late to help a majority of aging Americans

Some Boomers skeptical about the potential for positive outcomes

At age 50, Richard Mize is not so sure about the positive note the report ends on, and with which Jones ends her list of 5 facts. He knows “older folks who are really struggling. My own house needs repairs and modifications I can’t afford.” He also says that because of these challenges facing older adults, “aging-in-place might as well be aging-in-space.” Because of his experience as one of the older adults the study refers to, Mize has a few bullet points of his own that he wants to highlight for the aging population:

  • “The existing housing stock is unprepared to meet the escalating need for affordability, accessibility, social connectivity, and supportive services.”
  • “High housing costs force millions of low-income older adults to sacrifice spending on other necessities including food, undermining their health and well-being.”
  • “Much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features, preventing older adults with disabilities from living safely and comfortable in their homes.”
  • “The nation’s transportation and pedestrian infrastructure is generally ill-suited to those who cannot or choose not to drive, isolating older adults from friends and family.”
  • “Disconnects between housing programs and the health care system put many older adults with disabilities or long-term care needs at risk of premature institutionalization.”

You see, Mize admits that he is thankful for the hopeful note at the end of the study, but he is doubtful. He points out that Baby Boomers have “the most cause to be concerned” because they “have not seen that much ‘effective action’ ‘at all levels of government’ working with the private and nonprofit sectors on a national level.” He cites the report’s point that the older population numbers are swelling because younger boomers are in their 50s, “‘with lower incomes, wealth, homeownership rates, and more debt than generations before them, members of this large age group may be unable to cover the costs of appropriate housing or long-term care in their retirement years.'”

Mize concludes by lamenting the fact that the study’s hope is awfully high and he’s not convinced that America understands the ramifications of such a swell in the older population: “Besides, ‘high quality,’ ‘independent,’ and ‘financially secure’ are not the usual attributes of the aged, not in history. It can’t happen without all, or at least most, members of a community pulling together across generations.”

Are you concerned about being able to afford aging? What is your plan for a financially secure and housed future? Share in the comments to get the discussion going.

Images via Flickr by Maria Popova and Dan Moyle

Celebrate National Assisted Living Week with SeniorHomes.com!

By 2020, there will be an estimated 21 million seniors who are 75 and older in the United States. Behind this number will be families grappling with how to care for loved ones. When a family member needs support, it is instinctive to turn inward, for families to support each other and find the solution within the family. Yet that is often overlooking the support an outside partner can play in lessening the burden for all involved and making life a bit easier.

Many people still think that assisted living communities are nursing homes—and this could not be more wrong. Assisted living communities are filled with seniors National Assisted Living Week - Logo
in their 80s, 90s, and some even celebrating the century mark, who are still active and living independent lives. They visit zoos, attend plays and even kayak down a local river. The only difference which sets these seniors apart from their younger 60s and 70s counterparts is the need of supportive assistance to retain their independence.

This is why SeniorHomes.com is proud to recognize National Assisted Living Week, which runs from Sept. 7-13. The National Center for Assisted Living started National Assisted Living Week in 1995 to celebrate and honor relationships between residents, families and the dedicated staff members who provide person-centered care each and every day.

Every week we work with more than 1,000 consumers, answering their questions about what is assisted living and matching them to communities which deliver this person-centered care. And we partner with the most reputable senior living companies across the nation so families have options that will fit every budget and every state.

“We are proud of the role we play in helping seniors and families find the best community possible,” says Chris Rodde, CEO of SeniorHomes.com. “Our care advisors take the time to know each consumer and learn what type of support and lifestyle is wanted. Every week we receive a ‘thank you,’ whether from a senior or their family, for the help we provided in matching them to a community. Many never knew how rewarding life could be after moving into a community.”

We invite you to join SeniorHomes.com in recognizing National Assisted Living Week.

SeniorHomes.com Ranks In the Top 1,000 Companies in the Inc. 5000

SeniorHomes.com is thrilled to announce that the company has been recognized in the prestigious Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list for 2014. To qualify for inclusion, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2010, and rankings are based on revenue growth from 2013 as compared to 2010 revenue. SeniorHomes.com lands at No. 678, representing a growth of 670 percent in the three-year period between 2010 and 2013.

This is an exciting accomplishment, as the Inc. 5000 is a widely-respected and recognized ranking of privately-owned companies that has catapulted many brands to widespread success in the past. Brands that are now household names, such as Domino’s Pizza, Dell, Yelp and many others, were recognized in the Inc. 5000 while they were still startups with tons of potential.

There are a few factors contributing to this success. First, a growing elderly population and increasing numbers of family caregivers mean there are more people navigating the at-times-confusing landscape of senior housing and senior care. Companies like SeniorHomes.com provide a valuable, free service to these families who aren’t sure where to turn for help or how to begin their search. Second, SeniorHomes.com has worked hard to cultivate and maintain a positive, supportive company culture throughout phases of rapid growth and the inevitable challenges that statups face along the path to success.

“When people talk about the Inc. 5000, they talk about innovation,” says Chris Rodde, CEO of SeniorHomes.com. “At SeniorHomes.com, we emphasize a company culture that motivates our already-exceptional team to reach higher and achieve more. We try to cultivate an environment in which our team feels empowered to develop and pursue ideas that drive our company forward – a difficult thing to achieve in the modern business world – and that’s where true innovation lies, in the power of the collective.”

Our exceptional team is comprised of: compassionate and talented Care Advisors working with seniors and caregivers every day; expert writers who provide valuable content to help seniors and their families understand the many complexities of senior housing, senior care and aging; developers who work tirelessly to build and maintain the comprehensive national database and community rating system; and the many supporting staff members who handle various important tasks day in and day out. We all work together in a supportive and collaborative environment to ensure that SeniorHomes.com provides the best possible resources and services for the aging population.

All of this, of course, works in tandem to further the mission and realize the vision of our executive leadership team, who are responsible for cultivating a culture in which every employee feels valued and empowered to thrive. So far, it’s proven to be a winning combination, and we look forward to many more successes in the future as we continue to implement new ideas and find more innovative ways to provide valuable services to seniors and their loved ones.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of SeniorHomes.com!

Seth Rogen Shares His Personal Alzheimer’s Story on Capitol Hill

Seth Rogen, an actor best known for his roles in comedies such as Knocked Up, visited Capitol Hill last week to speak to Senators about his personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease. Rogen tells the tale of his mother-in-law, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease soon after he met the woman who would become his wife, Lauren Miller.

While she had been a teacher for 35 years, it only took a few short years after her diagnosis for this horrible disease to take away her ability to speak and care for herself. Upon realizing how little support there is for Alzheimer’s disease — and the lack of effective treatments that significantly slow or stop progression of the disease — Rogen and his wife decided to do something about it.

The couple created Hilarity for Charity, an organization that uses Rogen’s love of comedy to host events at colleges and universities across the country to raise funds for families struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.

Rogen was disappointed at the lack of attendance by Senators to his testimony, even tweeting a photo of the many empty seats, noting, “All those empty seats are Senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer’s. Unless more noise is made, it won’t change.”

Watch Seth Rogen’s testimony below:

Announcing the launch of the SeniorHomes Rating system

We are excited to announce today the launch of the SeniorHomes Rating system.

Our rating system is the first of its kind in the senior living space, providing seniors and their families an objective quality metric to help guide them through decisions. Using a simple 10 point scale, the SeniorHomes Rating provides an assessment of the overall quality of a senior living provider.

Leveraging the opinions of local experts who know the communities near them well, as well as resident and family reviews, and state inspection data, we’ve simplified the process of finding a new home for families by providing them an objective, consistent quality metric.

Today our ratings launched in the Phoenix, Portland and Seattle metropolitan markets. We’ve rated most of the independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities in those locations. If you browse the pages in our directory in these locations, you’ll find ratings published both on search result pages and community profile pages.

Today we also are announcing the details of the national roll out of our rating system. Starting today in the Western US, we’ll be gathering information to create ratings in the Western metropolitan markets and working our way east until, later this year, our rating system will cover most of the senior living communities in the US.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit our ratings overview page.

As Hurricane Sandy Approaches, Respite Can Help You Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

Hurricane Sandy is rearing her ugly head, with plans to brutally hit nearly the entire East Coast of the U.S. But what if you or your aging loved ones are in the path of this one-eyed monster? Respite could be an option to help ensure the safety of your elderly loved ones during this and other natural disasters.

Frankenstorm threatens seniors along the East Coast

Meteorologists are calling Sandy “Frankenstorm,” with widespread effects expected to cause disastrous conditions throughout the coast and as far inland as Ohio. This, and similar situations, are especially nerve-wracking for long-distance caregivers who live hundreds or thousands of miles away from their aging loved ones. How can you ensure your loved ones will be safe, get the services they need and even be prepared to evacuate if necessary?

If your loved one already resides in a nursing home, find out what the facility’s disaster plan is. Most have evacuation plans as well as procedures for power outages.

Hurricane Sandy prepares to hit the East Coast

This screenshot from The Weather Channel outlines Hurricane Sandy’s projected path.

 

Seniors are especially vulnerable during disasters

Seniors living home alone are especially vulnerable during these situations. Make sure your loved one has an emergency kit packed should an evacuation become necessary. This should include enough medications for at least one week and other essentials. Seniors using insulin, for instance, will need a cooler.

The potential problems for seniors living alone are endless. Windows and doors must be secured safely, extended power outages can threaten food safety and limit the supply of oxygen for those on continuous O2. Seniors with limited mobility may not be able to move to a safe area of the home quickly enough or be able to evacuate an area without assistance. When the closest relative lives hundreds of miles away and evacuations occurring in neighboring towns, even getting to your aging loved ones to offer help can be impossible.

Respite care can provide safety and comfort

Respite care is one option that can offer peace of mind. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in hurricane-prone areas typically have a disaster plan in place and are well-equipped to serve the needs of their residents under less than ideal circumstances. Many of these facilities offer short-term respite stays during storms such as Sandy, because they’re better able to keep the elderly safe and sound than many seniors are able to do on their own.

With Hurricane Sandy threatening Florida this weekend, you may be concerned about the safety of your aging loved one. Fortunately, our directory includes more than 150 facilities offering respite care in Florida to ease the process of finding a senior care home to keep your loved one safe and sound over the next few days.

As the storm tracks its way up the East Coast, those with loved ones in other affected areas can search for respite care services in any part of the United States from our Respite Care Center.

2012 SeniorHomes.com Best of The Web Awards

SeniorHomes.com is launching the 2012 Best of The Web Awards today! The Best of the Web contest highlights the best senior living and caregiving websites, blogs, and resources for consumers and senior living professionals. Often, the amount of senior living and caregiving websites can be overwhelming and stressful. SeniorHomes.com wants to help take the stress out of the equation by compiling the best resources across the web. This easy to use guide not only helps caregivers and people in the industry, but recognizes websites that consistently provide great resources and information.

Last years, Best of the Web contest was a huge success with hundreds of nominees and voters.  We hope to see even more websites nominated this year and everyone voting for their personal favorites!

Nominate Someone Today!

We want to hear about your favorite websites, blogs, or newsletters.  Nominate via facebook or twitter by using the #SeniorhomesBOW and mention the websites name and link.

Or you can shoot us an email at [email protected] with the websites name, link, and why you love it!

Award nominations are available in the following categories:

Consumer Resources

Industry Resources

Vote for your Favorites!

Has your favorite website already been nominated?  Go to its page and vote for it by liking or +1 the page!  We choose the finalists based on the who has the top votes.