from the May 18 Wall Street Journal....notice which competitor is involved..Sunrise..
A New Twist on Assisted Living
Residential Centers Send Caregivers to Seniors' Homes; Memory Games for $24/Hour By ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN May 18, 2006; Page D1
Seniors who need a little extra help but aren't ready to move into a retirement home have a new option: They can let the home come to them.
Looking to increase their business without having to build new facilities and to attract residents, a growing number of companies that run assisted-living or nursing homes are offering an array of nonmedical services to elderly people who want to remain in their houses. Among the offerings: trained caregivers who help with daily tasks and plan activities to keep a senior's mind active -- as well as access to services and events at the retirement facilities themselves, such as meals, gyms, classes and field trips. Some companies even promise that their home-care clients will get preferential treatment in securing a live-in spot at facilities that have long waiting lists.
The services can be pricey. Most of the companies jumping into the home-care field specialize in high-end assisted-living facilities, which typically cater to relatively able-bodied seniors and offer luxurious surroundings and an array of social opportunities. Now, they are trying to target a similar clientele with their home-care services: well-off individuals who need companionship and help with daily activities -- but not skilled nursing -- and who have private long-term-care insurance or can afford to pay for the services out-of-pocket. Because these services are nonmedical, Medicare doesn't cover them.
The emerging trend is being driven, in part, by the desire of most people to stay in their own homes. A 2005 study conducted by AARP, the advocacy and research group, found that 89% of people who are 50 years old and older want to remain at home as long as possible. Geriatricians increasingly believe that older people who stay in their own homes do better both emotionally and physically than those who live in nursing homes or other senior-living facilities.
Sunrise Senior Living -- one of the nation's largest assisted-living companies, with 380 facilities across the country -- began providing home-care services in 1999. So far this year, its home-care division has served 3,000 home clients in nine cities, a 20% growth rate over the same period in 2005. It's looking to expand services into California, Texas and New Jersey.