MERCER, Pa. (WYTV) – Several new senior assisted living facilities have been built in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys lately and more are on the way. All the activity is an effort to keep up with an aging population.
The Inn at Poland Way opened in 2016, Windsor House plans to build an assisted living home on Route 62 in Canfield, and a new facility on Tibbetts-Wick Road is expected to be finished by Spring of 2018. On Wednesday, the ribbon was cut on The Lakes at Jefferson in Mercer County.
As older people move into the area, appropriate housing is becoming more prolific.
Nugent Group Chairman John Nugent works for a company that provides many senior services, including care facilities. He says being close to family is what is bringing many seniors to the area.
“People like me decide that weather and travel aren’t as important when you get to the age I am now. You get to be close to family. That is when people become more important than the environment,” Nugent said.
In 2010, Scripps Gerontology Center in Miami, Ohio found 24 percent of the population was over the age of 60. That number is expected to rise to 30 percent in 2020 and 35 percent by 2040. Many of those elderly people will live well into their 80s.
Bill Stern is a resident at The Lakes at Jefferson and said for him, and so any others, living at facilities like this one gives him the security he wouldn’t have living alone.
“If you fall, here is nobody to help you if you are staying by yourself,” Stern said.
A study from the Institute for Health Metrics says people in Ohio are living longer. All 88 counties saw a rise in life expectancy. The Area Agency on Aging in Niles says it has a lot to do with better medicine and a focus on exercise.
“You’ve got everything you want. I like to lift weights, and they have the best weight room,” Stern said.
Nugent said the social living at the facility is also a key to healthy living. He said the more you interact with people, the longer your life expectancy.
Additional residents are expected to move into The Lakes at Jefferson Soon.