Failing health by far would be the top motivator for a move to assisted living, according to participants in a recent survey by RetirementLiving.com.
The consumer website surveyed 2,352 people aged 50 to more than 81 years. Seventy-five percent of them identified failing health as the leading factor that would cause them to move to an assisted living community. The finding was unchanged from 10 years ago, when failing health also was identified as the top impetus, although the new survey saw a 10% increase in respondents selecting that option, according to the website.
Overall, RetirementLiving said, the data reveal that the factors that lead to older adults losing independence in some way are the the ones that have the most “push.”
The second most common factor contributing to a move, according to survey-takers, was the loss of the ability to drive, with 30% of poll participants indicating that such a loss would motivate them to make a move.
The next most common reason for a relocation to assisted living was the loss of a spouse or partner, with 22% of respondents identifying the factor. “It’s important to note that loneliness may be a strong push factor for some, with 514 respondents saying the loss of a spouse or partner would cause them to move into an assisted living facility,” RetirementLiving said.
Other reasons cited (in descending order) include financial crisis, home disrepair, family pressure and nutrition challenge.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would prefer to receive full-time or part-time home healthcare without moving if they no longer could live on their own. But 30% said they would move into an assisted living community under such conditions, a 13% increase from 2016.
In another recent survey of affluent adults that The Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the Nationwide Retirement Institute, respondents ranked assisted living higher than family members’ homes, adult day care and nursing homes as far as where they would prefer to receive care and where they believe they are likely to receive care. The availability of professional care was the most popular reason cited by poll participants for their selection of assisted living. Only their own homes ranked higher than assisted living.
And recent AARP research found that 85% of adults aged 50 or more years think it is important to have active adult communities, assisted living communities and communities with shared facilities and outdoor spaces where they live.