5 of the Biggest Challenges for Senior Living in Arizona
The landscape of senior Living is constantly changing and evolving. As our population ages, and more people require long-term care, the challenges faced by those working in the senior living industry become more apparent. Here are five of the biggest challenges facing senior living in Arizona today.
1. Lack of Affordable Housing
One of the biggest challenges facing senior care in Arizona is a lack of affordable housing options. According to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the number of renters aged 65 and older is expected to increase by 4 million over the next decade. However, the availability of affordable housing is not keeping pace with this demand. This is especially true in Arizona, where the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment has increased by more than 5% in the last year alone. This lack of affordable housing puts additional strain on an already stretched system of senior care.
2. caregiver shortages
Another big challenge facing senior Living in Arizona is a shortage of caregivers. The turnover rate among caregivers is high, and there are simply not enough people entering the field to keep up with the demand. This shortage puts additional pressure on those who are already working in the field, and it increases the cost of senior care services.
3. The Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis is also having a significant impact on senior care in Arizona. More than 1,000 Arizonans died from opioid overdoses in 2017, and that number is expected to rise as baby boomers age into their 60s and 70s. The opioid crisis not only strains the resources of those working in senior care, but it also contributes to the caregiver shortages mentioned above.
4. Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two other challenges that are having a major impact on memory care in Arizona. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to increase to nearly 14 million by 2050. In Arizona alone, there are more than 200,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. These numbers are only going to increase as baby boomers age, which means that those working in senior care will need to be prepared for an influx of patients with these conditions.
5. Funding cuts
Finally, one of the last big challenges facing senior care in Arizona is funding cuts. With Medicaid expansion being rolled back and federal funding for programs like Meals on Wheels being slashed, seniors are being left without vital services that they rely on. These cutbacks make it even harder for those working in senior care to provide adequate services to their patients, and they often lead to staff reductions and layoffs.
The challenges facing senior care in Arizona are many and varied. From a lack of affordable housing options to funding cuts for vital services, those working in the field have their work cut out for them. However, by raising awareness of these issues and working together to find solutions, we can hope to make life better for seniors in Arizona and across the country.
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