As the needs of senior living residents change and evolve, the communities in which they reside must do the same. A recent study indicates that more people than ever before are looking to retire and enter some type of senior housing in urban settings, such as big name cities. While the norm used to be for people to retire somewhere warm, tropical, and quiet, this is no longer the case. With this we are seeing more demand for high quality skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in a myriad of settings beyond the oasis of Florida. While a busy, bustling city may not be the first place that comes to mind when talking about where people want to retire, maybe it should be.
With this new demand, senior living providers must adjust how they view new senior living communities. The same study mentioned above indicates that the majority of urban dwellers say they would prefer to stay in their current city when they get older. This includes smaller cities and suburbia as well as huge metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.
Factors to Consider
There are numerous reasons for this, but perhaps the biggest takeaway is that people in these settings have a high quality of life and enjoy the busyness that surrounds them. As they age, they want to remain in the setting they love and feel comforted by. Similarly, people living in big cities say it is very important that they keep their current connections and remain close to the community they have surrounded themselves with for all these years. While it is important they are close to scenic areas and have the option for quietness, being somewhere steeped in culture, diversity, and liveliness has become a priority.
So what does this mean for senior living providers? For starters, it is imperative they understand this changing demographic and do not discount the needs and preferences of residents and future residents. Gone are the days of people entering sad, lonely nursing homes – today’s aging senior is looking for stimulation and a broad range of amenities in a stimulating setting. Senior living providers and investors alike should take note that less and less people are retiring and opting for sunny Arizona, instead preferring to stay in the city they’ve come to love. For more information on changing senior living trends or for investment opportunities, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.
Over the past several months we have made a point to discuss how technology is impacting senior housing – presently and in the future. From the role of telehealth to how tech is transforming the industry, it seems there’s always something to talk about in this respect. Today we thought it was a good time to dive back into the subject and look at the next wave of tech in senior housing: robots. That’s right, robots are a hot topic right now in senior living, for many reasons. For one, as we continue to see advances in technology, the notion of robots integrating with our society is a reality. Many different industries are paying attention, as technology and robots, specifically, may start to replace humans.
So what does all this mean for senior housing? While the very thought of robots replacing skilled nursing caregivers seems farfetched, research indicates this may not be too far out there after-all. In fact, a new study shows that many Baby Boomers are actually receptive to receiving aid from a robot in place of a person. This may come as a surprise to some, but the current generation of older adults is much more open-minded than previous generations. Baby Boomers have seen enough change in their lifetime, and a robot as a caregiver is just the icing on the cake.
Will This Really Happen?
It is important for us not to get ahead of ourselves, as this idea of robots as caregivers is relatively new. While human caregivers can provide a personal touch that a machine simply cannot, there are a handful of benefits we see to this potential revolution. There is still a great deal of research that needs to be done in order for this to become a reality, but it’s important for us to keep an open mind and pay attention to how this may transform the industry – for both senior living residents and providers.
Another side to this is that robots may not entirely replace caregivers in senior housing, but simply offer much-needed assistance. It is no secret that the senior living industry has struggled over the years with the quality of care many facilities are able to provide, often because of lack of training or failure to find qualified workers. In this respect, we see robots as a good thing. If used properly, robots may be able to clean and perform other clinical tasks, assist with communication, and use technology to help caregivers provide a higher level of care to residents.
Are robots in our future? It’s hard to say, but it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be surprised. Be sure and check back in next week for the inside scoop on another trend hitting the senior living industry in a major way. If you have any questions about senior housing investments or would like to learn more about our opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group.
This year – especially the last couple weeks – have been particularly rough on the United States in regards to natural disasters. From Hurricane Harvey to the impending Hurricane Irma and the wildfires that have taken hold of Montana, California, Oregon, Washington, and much of the rest of the west, it leaves us all asking a lot of questions. While there are certain policies in place designed to step in when disaster strikes, history shows this isn’t always enough and thousands – if not millions – of people are left to pick up the pieces on their own. So what does this mean for senior living? For starters, it is imperative for senior living providers to have emergency plans in place in order to ensure crises like these are handled correctly.
Planning Ahead is a Must
The number one thing to keep in mind when it comes to preparing for a natural disaster in senior living is to plan ahead. Senior residents do not have the same mobility or thought patterns to move quickly and mentally prepare for disaster to strike. With this in mind, it is imperative that senior housing facilities have well-thought out and executed safety plans in place. Take Houston, for example. Over the last several years numerous senior housing providers have turned to Houston to establish assisted living and skilled nursing communities. In fact, the city is one of seven additional metro areas accounting for roughly a third of all senior housing inventory growth. We are unsure at this moment how these facilities will bounce back from Harvey, but one thing is for certain: you can never plan too much.
Training your staff, having adequate staff on call, and remaining in constant contact with emergency responders, internal staff, and residents are all imperative to how successfully you will ride out a natural disaster like a hurricane. It is also important for senior housing facilities to have a backup plan in place. Whether this means a different memory care facility in another part of town or a sister community elsewhere, having somewhere your residents can go to feel safe and protected in the wake of such events as we are experiencing right now is a must. We encourage all senior living providers to meet with their staff and community to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to emergency situations. We send our good thoughts to everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey and the fires engulfing the west.
If you have questions about senior housing investment opportunities, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.