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U.S. Senior Housing - statistics & facts

By 2050, it is estimated that over a fifth of the population in the United States will be 65 years or older, compared to only 15.6 percent today. With a rapidly aging population, it is imperative that we start planning now for how we will house and care for the senior population in the future. In 2019, the not-for-profit senior living organization National Senior Campuses reported over nearly 21,000 senior living units across the United States. Other than housing, personal and medical care for seniors is another pressing issue, with huge potential for growth in the coming years. Among the population of older adults in the United States, almost seven percent require personal care from other persons, often in the form of meal preparation, transportation, and help with personal grooming.

In response to the urgent need for senior housing, many massive senior housing organizations have established senior living communities all across the country. Welltower, Inc., one of the largest of these organizations, owns over 700 properties, and reported a market capitalization of nearly 19 billion U.S. dollarsin April 2020. For seniors who require more intensive care, there are nursing care facilities which offer 24-hour medical attention rather than merely assisting with personal care and household tasks. In 2020, senior housing was one of the sectors that were severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. With age being one of the factors that could lead to health complications, operators faced increased costs of introducing additional measures to contain the spread of the virus, as well as increase in vacancies.

As of the first quarter of 2020, about 27 percent of senior housing communities in the United States were majority nursing care, while 26 percent were majority assisted living. In the private senior housing sector, rents seem extremely high, but it is important to consider that in many cases, the amount includes round the clock medical care and access to a skilled medical staff. The average monthly rent for a room in a senior living facility in Delaware is about 6,700 U.S. dollars, while the national average is around 4,300 dollars per month.

Unsurprisingly, most Americans do not relish the idea of leaving familiar and comforting surroundings and moving to a senior living facility when they reach a certain age. A recent survey of U.S. adults found that the overwhelming majority, around 70 percent, would prefer to stay in their current city rather than move elsewhere once they’ve reached 80 years of age. In addition, 21 percent of North American adults would prefer to maintain their current living situation after turning 80 years old; a higher share than another other survey option, including moving into a senior living community.


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