In the next decade, medical and health services managers could see 18% job growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS projections include high demand for assisted living administrators and direct care staff.
In the United States, there are 35 million people age 65 and over, and nine states have populations of 1 million or more seniors age 65-plus. One quarter of the 65-plus U.S. population, or 8.75 million, is concentrated in California, Florida, and New York. But large senior populations also can be found in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas—each with over 1 million seniors.
Because many people prefer to remain near friends and family and “age in place” in their communities, opportunities to expand senior living options and create successful assisted living communities continue to grow.
The Assisted Living Model
Assisted living and aging in place through continuous care levels are common today thanks to pioneers such as AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus. Angered by the lack of options for retired seniors, in 1952 Andrus decided to build an experimental retirement community. The goal was for residents to share meals, live as a community, and find companionship, care, and fulfillment in their later years.
She created a new housing model where seniors could live with dignity and purpose while remaining as active and engaged as possible. The personal care apartments that provided assisted living were popular, and seniors tended to stay there for about five years before moving to nursing homes. The model of care certainly was a success. The residents—primarily females—often lived well into their 80s and 90s.
In 2018, around one in every seven Americans was over the age of 65—in 2040 that number will climb to one in five. As the Baby Boomer generation ages and the number of seniors in the U.S. swells, the need for facilities that provide extra help to our older citizens will increase significantly. Have you considered making a career move to become an assisted living professional?
What Does an Assisted Living Administration Career Look Like?
Assisted living administrators (ALAs) manage and supervise housing and health care services for seniors and other adults who need assistance with daily tasks such as taking medication, bathing, eating and dressing. They can be employees of a company or be owner-operators of their own assisted living homes. An ALA wears many hats, ranging from businessperson to personal care provider. These homes and facilities provide crucial quality of life services such as socialization and security.
Admittedly, working in or running an assisted living home is a career choice that can be very challenging. However, becoming an ALA also provides a great deal of personal satisfaction for individuals who are best suited to careers helping others. Many relish the idea that their work can ensure better lives for seniors who need some assistance to remain semi-independent, but do not require care in a nursing facility.