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Senior Housing > Blog > 2017 > June

Music and Focused Facilities are What’s New in Memory Care

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, an estimated 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Recent reports also indicate that memory-related diseases are becoming increasingly common in the United States, thanks in large part to the population of Baby Boomers getting older. The Foundation also estimates that roughly 500,000 Americans below the age of 65 have some form of dementia. While many memory care facilities specialize in providing focused care for those with dementia, there is still room for improvement in this area. WIth this in mind, many senior living providers are changing their focus to provide residents living with Alzheimer’s a higher quality of life and care, overall.

Earlier this month a report came out that showed the effectiveness of music in dementia care, something that caught the attention of those within the medical community. Many memory care facilities that care for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s simply focus on providing rudimentary care in order to keep the patients safe. However, something is missing when this is the only goal. Memory care facilities that incorporate music, for one, are not only providing a higher level of care, but ensuring that patient’s neural activity remains active in some capacity. Some of the ways in which music can have a positive impact on residents with dementia include:

  • Stimulate and support memory
  • Triggers past memories, events, people, and places
  • Serves as a nonverbal form of communication
  • Personalized music is shown to have a positive impact on health and well-being of those with dementia
  • Can have an impact on various behaviors and human connections
  • Meets psychosocial needs

These are just a few ways that music may be beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. As senior living providers, it is a good idea to pay attention to these findings and incorporate them into your facilities if possible. As we have discussed at length over the last several months, resident well-being is becoming even more of a priority before, and with changing demographics, this isn’t necessarily achieved the same as it was in the past. Therefore nursing homes and memory care facilities, in particular, need to adjust and focus on providing residents with companion care options that not only keep them safe and comfortable, but improve their current state of well-being. It was recently announced that a U.S. senior living provider will be following the lead of a “Dementia Village” in Netherlands, which is an innovative concept that incorporates on-site therapy into daily care for those living with dementia. This is just one example of how memory care is changing in the United States and why providers need to listen up and start paying attention.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the current state of senior living in the U.S., please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.

Nursing Home Quality Increases, Hospitalizations Are Down

Since 2013, preventable hospitalizations among the senior population have dropped an impressive 25%, signifying a positive change in the industry. In a study conducted by the United Health Foundation, statistics snowed that individuals who receive Medicare beneficiaries (notoriously the population with the most hospital visits) are healthier and require hospital care on a much less frequent basis. Furthermore, the Foundation’s yearly America’s Health Ranking Senior Report indicated that hospital deaths among this same population has dropped a shocking 30% over the last four years.

This is due to numerous factors – namely that nursing home quality has become a focus over the last several years. Thanks in part to poor occupancy rates and changing demographics, senior living providers have had to take a step back and determine what was going wrong. In many cases the quality of care came into question. Since 2013, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have changed their focus and are working to improve resident experience, which starts with the level of care they receive.

The Impact of Quality Nursing Home Care

Not only have senior living facilities been focusing more on who they bring in as SNF caretakers, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid change the way in which CMS star ratings are calculated in 2015, making it much harder for facilities to attain the desirable five stars. This change in the system coupled with a more demanding, wellness-focused senior living population has caused the industry to dramatically change their approach to care. Thankfully it’s working.

Preventable hospitalizations are one of the biggest problem areas within the senior living industry. The fact that hospitalizations are down 25% and deaths are down 30% speaks volumes to senior living providers across the nation. Nursing home quality is of the utmost importance, especially these days, as it directly impacts residents on many different levels. Various reports in recent months have been focusing on the quality of care nursing homes are providing today, and we are also seeing more information on which states are pulling their weight when it comes to quality care, and which still have a ways to go. Maine was recently named the best state for nursing home quality and Minnesota, Utah, and Hawaii were praised for being the healthiest states for senior residents.

To learn more about quality nursing home care and how this is impacting hospitalizations for our senior populations, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.

A Senior Housing Market Update

Beautiful senior living condo

Great news for senior housing developers and investors alike: the market is continuing to surge and industry experts are optimistic about the future. According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), the senior housing market finished 2016 on a high note, something developers are hoping is a sign of what’s to come. Senior housing construction is on the rise, presenting new opportunities for those looking to invest and current developers in the process of renovating their facilities.

With the rise in construction, the industry is optimistic and believes this is indicative of what is the coming over the next year. As it seems to go with the senior housing industry, there are certain parts of the country that are performing much better than others in regards to new construction and overall occupancy rates. To give you a better idea of where we stand, here is a look at some of the hottest – and coldest – occupancy rates throughout the nation:

  • San Jose – 93%
  • Denver – 84.4%
  • Washington, D.C. – 88.2%
  • Pittsburgh – 89.2%
  • Cleveland – 83.2%

According to a report published by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), four markets (Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas) saw record high occupancy rates in the first quarter of 2017. Furthermore, San Jose saw an impressive 96% occupancy rate during this same time frame.

While we are optimistic about the future, it is important to point out that a handful of markets experienced lower-than-average occupancy rates in 2016. Denver, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, for example, were among the markets that reported the lowest occupancy rates in comparison to where they normally fall. However, the number of markets outperforming the rest (such as Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, and New York City) and the fact that there are more new construction projects underway than in recent years points to a strong future.

For more information on the current state of the senior housing market, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.