CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. - On Saturday, Sept. 1, Empire State Association of Assisted Living members throughout the state kicked off Assisted Living Month in New York. In recognition, member residences will be hosting a number of events, bringing together residents, families, employees, volunteers and the surrounding community.
The National Census Bureau estimates by 2050 the number of Americans aged 65 and older will be 88.5 million - more than double the current population. In New York, the most rapid population growth in the last decade has occurred among the older and frailest population groups.
"Assisted Living Month presents a unique occasion for all aging New Yorkers and their families to discuss their future long-term care needs and consider assisted living as a desirable option," ESAAL executive director Lisa Newcomb said. "For those no longer able to live alone, licensed assisted living is a viable alternative, offering them not only assistance with daily living, but many opportunities for socialization and activity. Furthermore, at less than one-half of the cost of a nursing home, assisted living is a safe, cost-effective community-based option."
New York has three types of licensed residences - adult homes, enriched housing programs and assisted living residences. While accommodations vary among residences, each offers a home-like atmosphere and is dedicated to preserving the dignity and independence of residents.
Some residences in New York State are licensed to provide "aging in place" programs which allow seniors to remain in their current assisted living setting even as they begin to require more specialized care. One of these programs, the Assisted Living Program, enables seniors to utilize Medicaid for assisted living expenses. Other options, such as enhanced assisted living residences and special needs assisted living residences, accommodate seniors who have higher needs due to either dementia or physical limitations.
ESAAL began the Assisted Living Month celebration at the Great New York State Fair, assisting those seeking information about New York's various licensed assisted living options.
"Today, access to quality, affordable long-term care is a necessity," said Newcomb. "I urge seniors and their families who are unfamiliar with assisted living to contact and visit a local licensed residence during Assisted Living Month."
For more information about New York State Assisted Living Month or for details about assisted living options and events taking place in your region, visit www.esaal.org. For a listing of member residences in the community, visit www.esaal.org and click on Find a Member Residence.
Empire State Association of Assisted Living is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening New York State's assisted living industry and promoting the best interests of providers and residents. Founded in 1979, ESAAL is the only association that exclusively represents the assisted living industry, serving more than 250 assisted living residences, adult homes and enriched housing programs and assisted living programs throughout New York State. These member residences are home to more than 22,000 seniors.