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 by
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
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
stairs to a minimum, and offer handrails in walkways
ramps where there are stairs - many overweight people are confined
to a wheelchair
counseling or emotional support
our article on "How To Open An Assisted
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