Why fewer Utah seniors are moving to retirement communities

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<p dir=”ltr”><span>Police are currently searching for a man who allegedly entered an assisted living home in the town of Bountiful and burglarized 12 of its residents on July 1.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>According to</span> <a href=”http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&amp;sid=35395717″><span>KSL.com</span></a><span>, the suspect entered the Legacy House of Bountiful, an assisted senior living home at 79 E. Center Street, and went from room to room to search drawers for jewelry, money and other valuables. Some of the victims were sleeping in their rooms as he made off with their possessions, Bountiful Assistant Police Chief Ed Biehler said.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Employees eventually noticed the man and confronted him. However, he ran away, with employees chasing him for a few blocks before losing him.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>While there’s no exact dollar amount of what was stolen, detectives reported that the residents had jewelry, cash and credit cards taken from their rooms.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>“He knew that (the senior center) would be an easy target for him, as long as nobody would recognize him or think he’s out of place,” Biehler said.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Anyone with information regarding the burglary is encouraged to contact the Bountiful Police Department at 801-298-6000.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Instances like these may be part of the reason why senior living residences are less popular in Utah than they are in the rest of the country.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>According to the Provo</span> <a href=”http://www.heraldextra.com/business/local/the-business-of-caring-for-seniors-senior-living-trends-in/article_0a93cad3-0be1-58c4-81a2-e55e884174e2.html”><span>Daily Herald</span></a><span>, many Utah seniors are choosing to stay in the homes they’ve owned for decades rather than relocate to an independent senior community upon retirement.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>“The independent living retirement community is not as prevalent here as it is in other states,” said Jaime Layden, senior living adviser for A Place for Mom, a nationwide company that works to connect caregivers with senior care programs. “Unique to Utah is the amount of families committed to keeping mom at home with them until there is really a medical need.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>However, this might not always be the best option, especially for seniors who genuinely need assisted care from a professional.</span> <a href=”http://solterrasl.com/three-things-everyone-should-do-to-prepare-for-a-2015-retirement/”><span>More than 90% of seniors</span></a> <span>today haven’t discussed critical long-term care issues with their families.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>For seniors who can’t live independently, a number of Utah’s assisted living centers are altering their structure to provide care to their residents while still allowing for a degree of independence.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Osmond Senior Living in Lindon, for example, offers two levels of care to its residence: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 residents get some assistance with their daily activities, but are free to spend their days how they please. Level 2 residents are more dependent, and can’t leave the facility without being accompanied by a staff member.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Regardless of what level of care a resident receives, Sharon Robinson, the facility’s executive director, said these seniors enjoy a high quality of life that includes activities, better dining and comfort.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>“At our facility, they can be as busy as they want to be, or they can be alone in their room if they want. But we always offer six to eight activities daily,” she told the</span> <span>Daily Herald</span><span>.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>While a good number of Utah’s seniors are choosing to stay independent longer, there are still high-quality assisted living facilities across the state for those to get the level of care they need.</span></p>

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