We receive dozens of questions every day about the different facilities on our site, and although we don’t manage or own them, people often write us asking how big a particular facility is. Size of facility seems to be a very important factor when people are considering assisted living for their loved ones, or themselves.
We recently sat down with the owner of a smaller, more homelike assisted living facility, and we asked him about his perception about what smaller facilities may have to offer…or the benefits that one may receive by choosing a smaller, more residential assisted living home over a larger, more coroporate-feeling facility.
The size of a facility may be perceived in different ways. Size may be in relation to the physical building, property, and grounds. Or, size may be of importance to someone with regards to how many facilities are within a certain corporation’s portfolio. Or, size may be of importance to someone simply in terms of the number of beds the facility is licensed to have.
Of course, many people have a preconceived notion about larger facilities, in that they may be more institutional feeling, or hospital-like, with multiple beds in each room, and a rotating staff that may not care for the same resident on a consistent basis.
We’ve seen a definite shift in this perception recently, since many of the larger facilities and national assisted living companies are making a strong effort to create living environments that are more intimate-feeling, and even resort-like for their residents, no matter how many of them they may care for under one roof.
However, there is still a demand for smaller, home-like facilities that care for only a handful of residents. There also seems to be an explosive growth of smaller facilities, and the number of people interested in learning how to open their own assisted living home. This is obviously due to our country seeing the highest number of seniors and retirees in it’s history, as well as the stagnant job market. The assisted living industry is, and looks to be a growth industry for the foreseeable future.
Smaller facilities may indeed offer a more intimate experience for residents, and may have more flexibility in terms of being creative with menus, care, and decorative details of the facility. However, larger facilities may be better funded, and may be offer more in-depth levels of care than a smaller facility may be able to.
In the end, it is a highly personal choice, based on the wants, needs, and health of the potential resident. The best advice we can give is to take your time, if possible, to research all facility options thoroughly, and to visit and tour as many of them as possible before making the final decision.