The rapid aging of America is not a secret. Baby Boomers, the largest population demographic this country has ever witnessed, is entering their senior years in mammoth numbers.
While they have lived and continue to live as the high-spirited strong-willed phenomena, many of the ills that made their predecessors, the Veteran Generation, vulnerable now threaten them as well.
Dementia is a worldwide challenge with approximately 10 million cases diagnosed annually.
In the United States, more than 65% of adults over 65 years of age will require long-term care support. However, it is estimated that nearly half of these individuals will require memory care.
At one-time, memory care was thrust in the rear of a skilled nursing facility. It was a wing where people were contained to protect them from wandering. Many were medically treated with drugs that altered their personalities or made them sluggish and non combative.
This has changed.
Memory care is no longer a backroom problem. It has attained center stage status. Treatment options have increased, understanding of the causes of memory loss has enhanced care.
One of the best places for patients suffering from dementia, of relatively any type, is an assisted living home. The specificity of care in these types of residential care homes suits the needs of memory patients best.
Have you considered establishing an assisted living home focused solely on memory care?
If not, do not let this train leave the station without boarding.
Specialized residential assisted living homes focusing on memory care are quickly drawing investors.
The reason is clear.
The increase in these types of assisted living homes is growing because the need is so great.
Also, the potential need for memory care is projected to continue growing. So, residential assisted living homes that focus on memory care are in high demand.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASSISTED LIVING AND MEMORY CARE?
Traditional assisted living facilities are for active seniors. These individuals do not have health conditions that require continual nursing support.
They mere need assistance with any number of basic activities of daily living that can include:
- Meal Prep
In many instances, residents of traditional assisted living may relocate to a facility due to aging and loneliness.
Sometimes couples move to traditional assisted living because one may have had surgery and require help that their partner is unable to fulfill.
Others move in because living at home is unsafe.
Memory Care, however, is different.
These facilities offer staff who are specially trained to work with and support residents who have cognitive and memory challenges. Assisted living homes specializing in memory care are outfitted in such a way that residents are safe from self-harm or wandering. Yet, residents are not degraded, medically restrained, or physically restrained.
Memory care focused assisted living homes are free spaces for dementia residents. Residents have room to walk, work, craft, sing, dance, and talk. Their specialized needs are the sole focus of these facilities.
Today, due to advocacy from many organizations, dementia patients are understood much better than even a few years ago.
The stages of dementia are well-documented, and families are counseled much better about the changes in the status of their beloved senior who is memory-challenged.
The result is complete transparency as well as understanding.
Today, a memory care facility focuses on the specific needs of dementia residents at the appropriate time.
These are the realities associated with caring for dementia patients. Nonetheless, these residents need support with:
- Cognitive Skill Development/Support
- Activities of Daily Living (Basic and Executive)
- Quality of Life
- Emotional Support
- Psychiatric Support
- Nutritional Support
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY FREE-STANDING MEMORY CARE?
Freestanding Memory Care is a term that really means focused primarily on memory care.
In other words, these assisted living homes are for residents who have a dementia diagnosis and need continual care and support.
The history of memory care reveals a care model transitioning over the past 20 to 30 years.
Traditionally, when a family member began to suffer from dementia, the family was ashamed. These patients were contained in the rear of nursing facilities, in locked wings.
They were heavily medicated and often physically restrained.
Memory care then evolved into a more active wing in nursing facilities as the aforementioned treatment was considered, as it should have been, unethical and cruel.
The need for memory care became more apparent and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association removed the negative stigma attached.
As such, families began to come forth with their dementia challenged loved ones and sought help.
Nursing facilities adapted quickly by offering wings with specialized care where movement was permitted. Assisted living big box facilities quickly entered the fray and offered greater independence with enhanced security. Continual care retirement communities established memory care as an option for residents who may require such support as they age.
Money and infrastructure was invested as education around dementia became more common and the stigma was removed.
The prevalence of memory care needs in the United States is skyrocketing.
Rents in all of the above-mentioned facilities increased. Memory care patients may have single units or semi-private units.
Rents range from $3,000 to $12,000 a month depending on need and want.
Freestanding memory care communities are becoming available in many markets. Construction costs are nominal because the design is simple.
The rental income is very attractive, and more investors are seeing the cash flow potential. Essentially, the residents require similar types of care, so staffing is relatively simple.
RISK ASSOCIATED FREE-STANDING MEMORY CARE
As with any business model, freestanding memory care faced a risk.
Because these facilities were not associated with a continual care retirement community, a skilled nursing facility, or a long-term care hospital, vacancy was an issue.
Memory care can be rather transient, because residents may develop other health conditions, adult children may relocate to another area and want their parents closer to them, or as with the aging process in general, some pass away.
So, what’s the solution? Build associations. It’s simple really, one need only cultivate relationships with various organizations, nursing facilities, city governments, and the like.
In other words, create your very own network for attracting and discovering new residents. Guess what? It works.
Successful owners of assisted living homes where memory care is the only focus have found these relationships to be invaluable.
Hiring a sales agent or marketing specialist who understands the needs and power of the following 13 organizations will serve to be invaluable:
- Alzheimer’s Association (community branch)
- Area Agency on Aging
- Municipality’s Adult Daycare Program
- The Lion’s Club
- Veteran’s of Foreign Wars
- Rotary Club
- Skilled Nursing Facilities w/o Memory Care
- Long-term Care Hospitals
- Interdenominational Pastoral Alliances
- Geriatric Psychiatrists
- Internal Medicine Physicians (Geriatricians)
- Long-term Care Pharmacies (Closed Door)
Partnering and supporting the above organizations will keep a continual flow of residents into your memory care assisted living home.
These organizations are powerful. Their reputations are highly regarded, and their recommendations or referrals are taken seriously.
Your assisted living home will have no vacancy if the relationship with these organizations is cultivated and maintained.
While the list is extensive, the skill set and knowledge base to engage these organizations, while operating your assisted living home can appear daunting.
It does not have to be daunting.
GET THE MEMORY CARE TRAINING NEEDED TO COMPETE
America’s population is aging and the need for assisted living homes is mounting. Baby Boomers prefer these facilities over skilled nursing facilities or in many instances, traditional assisted living facilities.
Connect with the Residential Assisted Living Academy to learn how to build a successful and vibrant assisted living home focusing on memory care today.
Memory care is needed.
Do not delay – register for the next 3-day course now and join a network of other successful assisted living homeowners.
Learn how to maximize your investment dollars in a way that makes a difference today, tomorrow and for many years to come. Contact the Residential Assisted Living Academy now and learn how to get started.