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Which Cities Are Leading the Charge in Senior Housing

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.

The Factors

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.

‘Luxury’ Senior Living Communities on the Rise

It’s no secret that the landscape of senior living is changing in a major way right now, thanks in part to Baby Boomers and lifestyle changes. With this in mind, senior living providers are having to make some major changes. Not only are we seeing many assisted living communities undergo renovations in order to meet new regulations and attract residents, but architects and design experts are being brought on board to ensure new construction is on the right track. As we discussed earlier this month, memory care facilities and other similar senior care communities are realizing the importance of creating both a welcoming and stimulating environment for residents.

Nursing homes and senior living facilities as we knew them in the past are just that – a thing of the past. Today one of the hottest trends is luxury senior living. When looking at all the current senior housing construction products, it is clear that luxury living is a top priority. Not only are we living longer, but many people are choosing to enter independent living communities on their own accord, which means their needs are changing and they are more likely to go with a facility that will meet these needs – and then some.

What to Expect

With this in mind, senior housing developers are focusing on luxury senior housing in order to meet these demands. Many Baby Boomers entering into retirement and the next phase of their life have money to spend and are willing to spend more in order to live comfortably and with all the amenities they would ever wish for. According to a recent report, there is an estimated $3 trillion of net worth amongst Baby Boomers. While not all of them have deep pockets, many of them do and know exactly how they want to spend it.

Baby Boomers aren’t afraid to go after what they want, which means class, sophistication, and endless amenities, in this particular case. For Baby Boomers with money in the bank and millions in liquid assets, one of the top places they will spend their fortune is on their living situation. More and more people are choosing to downsize before it’s too late, which means looking for an independent living community that will provide them with exactly what they are looking for. With assisted living rent continuing to increase, we expect those looking for a piece of luxury in their senior living community to become more and more common. Thankfully it seems developers understand this and are doing what they can to keep up with the high volume of Boomers looking to trade their 5 bedroom house for a more modest, but equally luxurious, independent living situation.

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

How to Create a More Welcoming Memory Care Setting

Memory care facilities are facing numerous challenges today, many of which they did not expect. As we have discussed over the last several weeks, design and development trends are impacting the senior housing industry in a major way. This is due to numerous factors, including changing demographics (ahem, Baby Boomers), the introduction of technology, and different lifestyle needs of residents. For both new and well-established memory care facilities, it is important that developers take a step back and look at the various design elements that will help enhance a resident’s experience.

While this is important for all senior living communities, it is particularly the case for memory care facilities that cater to residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Memory care centers have the unique task of not only providing the basics for their residents, but coming up with design and development plans that are strategic and will prevent individuals from wandering off and even exiting the community entirely. This is a challenge, to say the least. However, it is important to create a space where residents will feel safe, protected, and still comfortable. In the past many memory care communities were more confined and even prison-like, not that we throw that term around lightly. Thanks to advancements in technology, innovations in design, and a better understanding of how to care for dementia residents, memory care facilities are in a much better place to care for those under their roof.

What Can We Do?

The first thing to keep in mind when trying to decide which direction to take during new development or a renovation is to consider your residents. There are a wide range of design elements that can be incorporated into memory care facilities today that address exit-seeking behavior patterns and other concerns as they relate to dementia patients. Diversion tactics are a great way to go, one memory care facility even transformed their entry vestibule to look like a post office where residents can browse newspapers, magazines, and other publications. This has been proven to take away the desire to bolt, instead provide a great outlet for residents experiencing any emotional uneasiness.

This is just one great example of how a memory care community has addressed the changing population and done so in a positive way. It is imperative we take the time to understand our population and provide them with a setting that is welcoming, comfortable, and safe. To learn more about investment opportunities in senior housing or if you have any questions about our current listings, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Senior Housing Group.

What Can the Senior Living Industry Expect from 2017?

This week we bid 2016 goodbye as we prepare for 2017 and all it has to offer. For many, 2016 was less than kind. From the loss of artists and musicians to the tumultuous election, it’s safe to say we are all hoping for a more optimistic year. As 2016 comes to a close we thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on what the last year has meant for the senior living industry, and what we can expect in the coming year.

If you recall, we have discussed the changing face of nursing homes and the role of technology in senior housing at length over the last year. This is due in large part to the fact that technology has had – and will continue to – a major impact on the senior living industry. As Baby Boomers continue to enter into retirement and are in need of long-term care, nursing homes and other SNFs will need to adjust accordingly. We expect this to be the major trend of 2017, but there are a few other trends that are worth mentioning.

2017 is set to be an interesting year in many respects. With a new president in office and other economical changes set to take place, many are anxious to see what the start of the year will bring for senior living and other industries. In some respects we don’t expect the senior living industry to change that drastically, as it has already come a long way from where it was 10 years ago. The industry will continue to adapt to the role of technology and we will see facilities updating their policies and features accordingly. The senior living industry will remain a high-service organization focused on improving resident experience, for one. With this in mind, we do expect 2017 to be a year of SNFs adapting to the changing needs and expectations of residents, families, and regulatory bodies. Operators will feel continued pressure from  policy makers and new residents alike, which will undoubtedly impact their course of growth.

Here is a look at a few other trends we expect to see in 2017:

SNFs Will Begin to Differentiate Themselves

As we learn more about what residents are looking for in a long-term care facility, we expect to see SNFs differentiate themselves from the competition. This also has to do with the added pressure from above, as facilities will be required meet specific guidelines and policies as they are implemented. In the past residents were more likely to choose an assisted living community because they could no longer live independently and needed help with their medications and day-to-day activities. While this is still the case, many are looking for communities that offer innovative programs, new technology, and other forward-thinking amenities. Residents are far more likely to choose a facility with all the bells and whistles over one that offers basic care. In 2017, a senior living facility’s message must be strong, clear, and concise in order to stand out.

SNFs Will Listen to the Needs of Residents

Building from the above point, senior living facilities will need to listen more carefully to the needs and desires of potential residents. In some cases this will mean offering at-home care options and smart transportation. This means that some senior living providers may decide to offer assistance to seniors in the comfort of their own home before they are ready to give up their independence and move into a senior living community. By going the extra mile and offering a new level of care to residents, SNFs will be able to provide better care and attract more residents.

We will certainly keep you updated as 2017 gets going on the trends we are seeing in senior living. If you are interested in investing in a senior living community or are looking to sell, please contact Shep Roylance today.