Senior living facilities on the rise as population ages
The demand for senior living facilities in Spring and Klein continues to increase as the region’s population grows, and builders are eyeing development-heavy areas along major thoroughfares to construct new facilities.
Several assisted living and memory care facilities are planned near the Grand Parkway, including Avanti Senior Living on Community Center Drive and New Haven Assisted Living of Spring on Falvel Road, both opening this year.
“I believe the growth in the number of assisted living facilities in the Spring area is based on the expectation among long-term care providers that some older adults may eventually need to move to a community where they can maintain their independence, yet receive needed support and assistance,” said Carmen Castro, program manager of the Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which advocates on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities.
The population of Americans over the age of 65 nationwide is expected to increase by 20 percent by the year 2050, Castro said.
The Harris County Agency on Aging has projected the population of people age 60 and over in Harris County will increase from 598,993 in 2014 to 889,567 in 2025, a 49 percent increase.
An additional issue facing the aging population is the availability of caregivers, officials said. In 2010, seven potential caregivers were available for every care recipient nationwide, but the ratio is expected to drop to fewer than three caregivers for every care recipient by 2050, Castro said.
“Although not all people over the age of 65 will need long-term services and supports, some will, and the current availability of assisted living facilties is not sufficient to meet the need,” she said.
The Spring and Klein area is already home to many senior living facilities, including several communities on Cypresswood Drive.
Atria Cypresswood, located at 6611 Cypresswood Drive, has offered assisted living and memory care services for 18 years.
“I definitely see a greater demand—I see the communities being built and the competition growing,” said Lesly Martinez, executive director of Atria Cypresswood.
Among the reasons people might look to transition to assisted living could be the loss of a spouse or the desire for more socialization, Martinez said.
Independent living facilities, such as Solana Preserve at Vintage Park, which opened in September on Hwy. 249, offer apartment units for seniors but do not focus on medical or memory care. A sister facility offering assisted living and memory care, The Solana Vintage Park, is located nearby on Chasewood Park Drive.
Senior living facilities on the rise as population agesNew Haven Assisted Living of Spring on Falvel Road near FM 2920 is due to open in March. It will consist of two 16-unit facilities—one for assisted living and one for memory care, said Richard Nicholls, operator and owner of the facility.
Spring’s proximity to the Grand Parkway and the ExxonMobil campus off I-45 made it an attractive location, New Haven developer Nick Walsh said.
“We try to position our building close to the transportation corridors to make it convenient for family members that want to visit,” Walsh said.
Senior living facilities on the rise as population agesLooking ahead
The average monthly cost of assisted living care in Texas is $3,545, and nursing home care averages $4,200 to $5,640, Castro said.
Long-term care insurance is one way for individuals to begin to plan for potential costs later in life, said Lori Juneau-Alford, chief operating officer for a new Avanti Senior Living facility that broke ground in January near the Grand Parkway. Veterans and their spouses are also eligible for long-term care benefits to help with the cost, Juneau-Alford said.
The Woodlands gains new jobs despite drop in oil prices“I think that these coming facilities are being very proactive, building for the upcoming boom,” Castro said.
Seniors are looking for levels of service that are more commonly associated with luxury hotels than retirement homes, Juneau-Alford said.
Families looking for facilities that will fit their needs can visit the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services website, which includes information about all of the licensed assisted living facilities in Texas, Castro said. The Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program also provides a directory for the area.
“We must work hard to prepare for the longevity revolution, including working to address the long-term services and support needs of older adults and their caregivers,” Castro said.