America’s Assisted Living Communities Help Residents, Staff Find “A Spark of Creativity”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Beginning today and continuing through Saturday, Sept. 14, America’s assisted living communities are celebrating National Assisted Living Week® (NALW). The national observance—which begins each year on National Grandparents’ Day—honors the individuals who reside, work and volunteer in assisted living and residential care communities with special activities and events.
Created by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995, this year’s NALW theme is “A Spark of Creativity,” encouraging participants to explore their creative side. Spurring creative activity, such as art therapy, among older adults has shown to positively affect mental and physiological health. Additionally, the theme aims to recognize the creative ways assisted living meets the needs of its residents, while also inspiring staff to continue to discover creative solutions to ensure high quality, person-centered care.
“Assisted living is a tremendous benefit to older adults and individuals with disabilities because of its ability to adapt to the specific needs of its local residents. This sort of creativity is what our health care and senior housing environments need at this moment,” said Scott Tittle, Executive Director of NCAL. “This National Assisted Living Week, we must pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of caregivers working in assisted living today who have committed to continuously improving and exploring new opportunities to enrich the lives of their residents.”
The annual observance encourages assisted living communities around the country to offer a variety of events and activities to bring together residents, staff and volunteers. Members of the public are encouraged to visit or volunteer at an assisted living community to learn more about this distinct aspect of long term care. Participants are asked to share their celebrations throughout the week on social media with the hashtag, #NALW.
Assisted Living Facts and Figures
- Approximately 811,500 individuals reside in 28,900 assisted living or residential care communities across the United States.
- The average assisted living community has 33 beds.
- Nearly 460,000 individuals work in assisted living.
- More than half (52 percent) of assisted living residents are 85 years old or older.
- Typically, residents require assistance with only a few activities of daily living, including bathing (64 percent) and walking (57 percent).
- Nearly 42 percent of residents are living with some form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 20 percent of assisted living communities offer memory care units or wings, or exclusively serve adults living with dementia.
- Almost one in six (16.5 percent) assisted living residents relies on Medicaid for their daily care, and 48 percent of assisted living communities are Medicaid certified.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Services, National Center for Health Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For more information on National Assisted Living Week, please visit www.nalw.org.