Over the last few weeks we have talked about the current state of the senior housing industry, namely the fact that it is truly thriving. Along these same lines, a report was just published by the market intelligence firm Reis on independent living communities rent prices. According to the report, rents are steadily rising amongst senior living communities in the many U.S. cities. Reis studied 112 metro areas throughout the U.S. and found that many are experiencing relatively high increases in rent. Columbia, South Carolina topped the list as the city with the highest increase in rent from 2015 to 2017, with a 10% gain. Fort Myers, Florida came in second with a senior housing rent growth of a little under 10%.
Other cities of note include Charleston, South Carolina; Portland, Oregon; Fresno, California; and San Jose, California. It is important to point out that not all cities experienced a substantial rise in rent. In fact, Jackson, Mississippi; Daytona Beach, Florida; and Buffalo, New York all saw independent living rent growth rates at around 2%, which is far below the 10% mentioned above. Albuquerque, New Mexico reported a shocking 1.2% rent growth, and some cities even saw independent living rents fall between 2015 and 2017.
Given the broad range of rent growths in senior living throughout the United States, it leaves us wondering what some of the main factors are in rent growth. There are numerous factors driving demand in senior living markets across the nation, including demographics. However, demographics aren’t the only driving force. In fact, many cities that house aging populations do not reflect this in their rent growth rate. On the other hand, metro areas that do not have as strong an aging population within the senior community posted average or above average rent growth rates. This makes it difficult to predict what exactly is happening within the independent living market and what the future holds. For more insight on this, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.
A recent report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation states that the senior housing industry is experiencing lower deficiencies than in past years, marking a step in the right direction. According to the report, deficiencies within the senior housing industry declined between 2009 and 2015 and the average number of negative citations fell from 9.33 to 7.28 between 2009 and 2013. This is good news for the industry, as incompetence and a failure to meet high quality standards has been an issue in the past.
In recent years, quality of care and the ability of facilities to meet the growing demands of residents has come into question. However, providers have taken a step back and begun to shift their focus – implementing stricter care regulations and investing in renovations that will help improve wellness initiatives. While the Kaiser report indicates a move towards a healthier, more regulated future for senior housing, it is important to point out that there are still staffing concerns. Data shows that nursing home staffing levels are still missing the mark, causing concern from industry experts. One of the biggest takeaways from the Kaiser report is nursing staff training is not where it should be. This is a problem that has plagued the senior housing industry in the past and is one of the leading causes of deficiencies.
Nursing Homes Must Focus on Staff Training
In order for senior living communities to provide a higher level of care to residents, they must shift their focus and provide staff with the training they need in order to properly care for all residents. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age and enter into assisted living facilities, there will be an increase in demand for a higher level of care. With this, the Kaiser report also noted that nursing staff fall short in dementia and memory care training. This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed now.
While nursing home capacity has remained relatively consistent, occupancy rates have fallen from 83.7% in 2009 to 81.7% in 2015. There are numerous reasons for this, including shifting demographics and an increased desire of the elderly population to remain in their own homes. In order for today’s senior living facilities to attract residents, they must focus on offering a higher level of care and meet resident needs. This means embracing technology and implementing wellness programs that help residents stay on top of their health and overall happiness.
The good news is that the senior housing community is experiencing less deficiencies and looking towards the future, but there is still a lot of work to be done. To learn more about the current state of the senior housing industry, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.
As technology continues to play a monumental role in the lives of Americans, it is no wonder we are seeing a shift within the senior housing community. Over the last several years many senior housing providers have begun making changes from within in order to keep up with the new demographics and industry regulations. While these changes are undoubtedly a good thing, they often create confusion and lack of organization – for providers, residents, and families alike.
This brings up the question of how do senior housing providers progress in this new age of innovation, without leaving residents behind? There are numerous ways this can be done, but it is first and foremost it is important for those within the assisted living industry to understand that change does not come without some bumps in the road. It can be challenging to want to please residents and their loved ones every step of the way, but sometimes people simply want to hear what they want to hear, no matter what. This puts senior living providers in an interesting position – as they must look forward and embrace new technologies and innovation, while still feeling compassion and understanding for their residents.
Embracing Change and the Future of Senior Living
For senior housing providers looking to the future and considering changes of any kind, it is imperative communication lines remain open – between staff, marketing teams, and residents. This can be difficult, but it is an important step when making the transition to a different, more forward-thinking senior housing model. Providers must remember that not everyone will understand your motives right from the start, and that’s OK. By being transparent, doing everything legally, and always having the well-being of the resident in mind, you should be on the right path to embracing innovation, technology, and a positive future within your senior living community.
Big data, new wellness programs, health apps, on demand reporting, computers, and other forms of technology and turning the senior living industry upside down, but it’s not too late to jump on board. To learn more about how the age of innovation and technology are having an impact on the senior living community, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.