Assisted Living Facilities For Obesity?

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Assisted Living Facilities For Obesity?

Summary: One of the increasingly common questions we receive is whether assisted living can handle, or is appropriate for someone who is obese. Will the assisted living industry respond by offering facilities geared towards those who cannont manage the activities of daily living due to excess weight?

Written By: D. Besnette Founder/Editor for Assisted Living Directory

Assisted Living for Obesity or overweight residents

I was on a run behind my house today in the beautiful open-space area that separates me from "civilization." I often times get to thinking about different things when I run, and today, I was thinking about obesity and how it relates to assisted living.

The inspiration for this was on a recent visit to the mall in our community, I noticed how is seems that, in general, people have become more unhealthy, and heavier in the past several years, at least in my perception. About every 2nd or 3rd person that walked Assisted Living for Obesity or overweight residentsby really seemed to be overweight. I asked my wife if she felt the same way, or has the same perception, and she completely agreed. To us, this was quite amazing, since we live in Colorado, which is rated one of the "fittest" states in the country. Actually, in 2007, only Colorado had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.

Statistics back this up too. You can look at obesity trends at the CDC website (Center For Disease Control and Prevention) and plainly see that this is a widespread problem. From their website, they say "During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States."

As I was thinking about these things, I wondered how this might relate to assisted living. I remember having received a number of emails over the years asking if there were specifically any facilities on my site that dealt specifically with obesity. At the time there were not. I also didn't take the time to look around to see if this service was offered anywhere.

When I got back from my run today, I googled "assisted living facilities for obesity" and I was quite surprised that I came up with next to nothing. Usually, you'll see several results in google local, as well as advertising and organic results when you search for assisted living of any type. For overweight or obesity issues - zilch! I even did a search on the Assisted Living Federation of America site, and nothing there either.

Clearly, given the emails we receive through Assisted Living Directory, there's a need. Here are a few examples of e-mails related to finding assisted living for those who are overweight, or obese:

"Do you accept medicare/medicade patients? Do you have any morbidly obese patients? I would like to hear more information about your care facility as I am trying to locate the 'right' living care facility for my mom." - Kathryn

"I am looking for a short-term facility for my brother. He is 52 years old but has had some extreme medical issues, including a weight issue." - Debbie

"My brother is morbidly obese, and can hardly care for himself in any way, shape or form. I would hope that he'd qualify for an assisted living environment that can help him to manage his daily activities and affairs. He has trouble getting out of bed, tying his shoes, preparing meals, etc." - Hank

I assume that this category has been somewhat filled by in-home caregivers where needed, or that some assisted living facilities would accept a client based on obesity, but in terms of actual assisted living facilities specifically for obesity, I guess it hasn't caught on yet. Perhaps part of the problem would be that there may be some ambiguity in terms of how it would be paid for, or subsidized.

I believe that this may be a segment for assisted living that we will see more and more of as time goes on. People who are living with obesity often times can't move more than a few feet at a time, and have trouble with even the simplest of tasks - much in the way that someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia would.

I would be happy to list any facility on this site that caters to overweight persons. If there are any facilities in the works, or perhaps, if I have inspired anyone reading to open a facility of this nature, here are a few suggestions for your facility planning:

  • Offer a nutritional and exercise program or outlet
  • Keep stairs to a minimum, and offer handrails in walkways
  • Have ramps where there are stairs - many overweight people are confined to a wheelchair
  • Offer counseling or emotional support
  • Read our article on "How To Open An Assisted Living Facility"
  • Don't use age as a criteria for acceptance. Unfortunately, obesity affects people of all ages

As we think of more suggestions we'll add them.

Help Finding A Obesity -Appropriate Facility (Nationwide):

Help Finding Assisted Living for Obesity

Assisted Living Directory has helped 1000's of families (including our own!) to connect with great care facilities! You can read our personal experience here!

By the staff at Assisted Living Directory

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