A new memory care assisted living facility opened in Austin, Texas this month.
Facility Accommodates Growing Population
The epidemic of Alzheimer’s sweeping the nation isn’t going to get better anytime soon. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates Alzheimer’s and other cases of dementia will triple by 2050, affecting more than 15 million Americans.
This explosion in cases has led to a problem: there aren’t enough facilities equipped to deal with dementia patients. Many dementia patients end up living in regular nursing homes. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to isolation of the patients. If the staff is busy taking care of multiple patients at a time, patients with dementia can easily be alone for most of the day. This lack of social interaction is problematic as it is a risk factor for dementia. This means if a patient already has dementia and is not engaging in social activities, the risk of the disease worsening increases.
The Silverado Senior Living-Onion Creek opened in early May and is now the company’s 8th facility in Texas that focuses on dementia patients. The community strives to provide care that is specific to each individual and focus on the strengths that the patients possess rather than their deficiencies. CEO Loren Shook explained how Silverado Senior Living Communities has “created a culture that is really supportive of everyone we touch,” he said.
The center has features that are quite different from regular nursing homes including 24 hour visiting hours, pet therapy, and drug reduction efforts. The center wants to decrease the high number of drugs that most residents are on to improve patient health and cut costs. Shook told Impact News that “in a typical long-term care situation, a resident may be on 10 to 12 prescriptions on average,” but Silverado Senior Living centers “have an average of 5.7 prescriptions throughout the company”.
Dementia and Long Term Care in Texas
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are the leading reasons for needing long term care services. Many assisted living facilities have set up separate memory care wings. Texas has two of the top five markets for memory care units under construction, according to Chris McGraw, a senior research analyst at NIC who tracks construction of different industry facilities in top metro areas.
The median annual cost for an assisted living facility in Texas is just around $40,000 according to Genworth Financial, a leading provider of Long Term Care Insurance. Most people cannot afford to pay these costs out of pocket, especially given the average benefit period of long term care is 3 years.
Long Term Care Insurance provides a reliable way to protect your assets from being exhausted by health and long term care costs. LTCI helps cover the cost of long term care, ensuring you receive the quality care you deserve. Read more about how Alzheimer’s affects Texans here.