By CALA Staff
A One-Of-Kind Study
ProMatura, a global market research firm, has concluded a first-of-its-kind study of assisted living residents and family members that details the impact this popular care model is having on the lives of California’s seniors.
“This study is key to our understanding of how seniors are benefitting from assisted living,” said Dr. Margaret Wylde, PhD, ProMatura’s President and CEO. “Significantly, the study makes it clear that, even as residents face the physical challenges of aging, they can – and do – enjoy a good quality of life when they feel safe, have control in their lives, and are recognized and part of a caring community.”
The study, commissioned by the California Assisted Living Association (CALA), was conducted during February 2016; results were compiled from 8,312 California assisted living resident and family members, representing 228 CALA-member communities ranging in size from less than 50 units to more than 125 units. Questions were designed to determine whether residents felt a sense of belonging, and whether or not they experienced a sense of control over their lives – factors that, according to researchers, contribute the most to a resident's quality of life.
What Defines Quality of Life
Dr. Wylde shared why in a recent interview with CALA. “One of the most important quality-of-life factors is being in an environment where you feel you belong, are loved, and recognized for who you are. In Assisted Living, that means the relationships residents have with other residents and staff are key. Control is the sense that this is where you want to be, this is what you want to do, this is how you want to do it and when you want to do it. We may be talking about Assisted Living, but quite frankly, they’re the same in any setting and at any age. The conditions around us change and the people around us change, where we live changes, but the factors that influence quality of life don’t change.”
Among the results, an overwhelming majority of residents said the staff members in their communities were friendly (98%) and skilled at their jobs (93%). In addition, 95% of residents feel safe and secure in their communities, and 94% say they receive the help they need while at the same time receiving the privacy they want.
Family members agreed across the board. 98% said that staff members in their loved one’s Assisted Living community are friendly, and 96% say their loved one is safe and secure. Family members of residents in memory care were similarly impressed with the communities; 96% say that staff members are skilled at doing their jobs, 97% say their loved one is safe and secure in memory care, and 93% say their loved one receives proper help.
“This study reveals the positive impact that California assisted living and memory care communities are having in the lives of residents,” said Sally Michael, CALA President. “While assisted living was once thought of primarily as a way for residents to get help with the physical aspects of aging, it is clear that assisted living and memory care communities are not only meeting day-to-day needs but significantly contributing to quality of life. We are so proud of the positive contributions our member communities are making in the lives of California’s seniors.”
If you’d like to learn more about this groundbreaking study, register for the 2016 CALA Fall Conference & Trade Show in Rancho Mirage, October 24-26. On the 24th, Dr. Wylde will present the study’s full findings. Attendees will learn about the factors that have greatest impact on quality of life, and how these results can help referrals and improvement initiatives. Register at www.CAassistedliving.org.