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Assisted living evolves along with senior population

September 21, 2012

There are more seniors than ever before, and their impact on society has been felt in a variety of ways, but perhaps their most significant influence has been on assisted living. Housing options for older adults have changed considerably over the last decade and now seniors who move to retirement communities have many more amenities at their disposal than previous generations, reports.

While assisted living facilities of yesteryear may have only addressed a patient's health, today many offer much more in terms of amenities. For instance, a number of facilities make it easier for older adults to pursue lifelong learning opportunities. Additionally, such communities are no longer a one size fits all model and appeal to a wide variety of retirees.

"Fifty years ago, people didn't live as long and their families took care of them," Andrew Carle, founding director of the Senior Housing Administration, told the news provider. "Now, seniors are living longer and looking for different housing options."

Some of the most important changes to assisted living communities are the increase in the ability for seniors to remain active and engaged as they get older, whether through classes, clubs or team sports. The emphasis on active living is no surprise given how important it is to older adults.

A recent poll conducted by USA Today, the National Council on Aging and UnitedHealthcare, found that maintaining a level of activity and engagement is the top priority for the majority of seniors. In fact, researchers found that respondents expect their lives to improve as they get older. Specifically, about three-quarters of those between 60 and 69 anticipate their lives to be better in the next five to 10 years.