Is this a good time to move into a senior living community?

Don’t know? I don’t either. Let’s look at the stats.

There’s this:

Senior living occupancy rates have reached a new low as pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic continue. Furthermore, the number of senior living operators with occupancy rates below the market average grew in 2020. But the prospect of a vaccine on the horizon offers a glimmer of hope for the coming year.

Which might mean that senior living communities, eager to add residents, are offering some really good deals right now. It’s certainly worth exploring in your area. If so, ask about “freezing the rate” to avoid those annoying annual increases. 

But…looming not just in the background but as a covering pall is this

As of Dec. 4, at least 106,000 residents and staffers of nursing homes and other long term care facilities have died from the illness, according to the  New York Times. The Covid Tracking Project counted almost 270,000 total Covid-19-related deaths in the U.S. by that date, which means that nursing home residents and staff have comprised over 39 percent of deaths.

I know, I know. That’s nursing homes specifically, and not senior living communities as a whole. And, most assisted living communities have done exemplary jobs in keeping the virus locked out. But, we are talking about vulnerable populations living in somewhat congregated spaces and often relying on others for assistance with the activities of daily living.

So, is the solution aging-in-place with the assistance of home care? Maybe not. The exodus of residents from assisted living communities has caused shortages of home care workers.

Nursing homes seeing a higher rate of positive COVID-19 cases has some residents opting to move out of assisted living altogether. Whether they are living with family or on their own, they still need some assistance. This influx of patients has created a lack of medical professionals to be able to help these individuals.

But, “the prospect of a vaccine….” That’s a good place to hang your hat.

It’s not only a prospect, it’s a reality, although distribution has been shamefully slow. Should you act as if the virus has ended? No. Should you act as if it will never end? No. 

You should gather as much information as possible before making the decision whether or not to move into a senior living community. Don’t base the decision on money. Base it on need. On the well being of yourself and your family. On happiness. 

I can't decide for you, but here is a good place to start. We have endured the plague long enough now to gauge which senior living communities have become adept at keeping it away, outside of their doors. Do the research. And if you believe that making the move into one of those senior living communities is right for you at this time, make the move. But choose wisely.