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Understanding the Evolving Senior Healthcare Model

At the recent NIC Spring Investment Forum there was a lot of talk surrounding the changing senior healthcare model, and what kind of an impact it will have on investors and those within the industry in general. One of the highlights of the forum was an open discussion amongst industry leaders about how the industry is changing, and what we are going to do about it. As anyone in the senior housing industry knows, things aren’t how they used to be when it comes to Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). As Baby Boomers enter into retirement, the overall landscape of senior care and their expectations will undoubtedly change. So, what does this mean for senior housing?

First, let’s go over a few of the main talking points from the NIC Spring Investment Forum on this subject:

  • The median age of nursing home residents is increasing
  • Residents have a higher level of acuity than ever before
  • Medicaid and Medicare will continue to play a role
  • Instead of a cost/benefit model, we are shifting towards a nonmedical “quality of life versus quality of care”
  • Quality and measures are at the center of this new model
  • SNFs need to shift their focus and work to provide more social and emotional resources for residents

These are just a handful of the topics that were discussed during that open forum, but they are all important when looking at the changing landscape of senior living. With those points in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few trends we are seeing in senior living today:

More and more people are looking to “age in place”

We expect to see continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) become even more attractive to Baby Boomers and the likes in the coming years. This is due in large part to the fact that CCRC’s provide a high level of continuum care with a variety of options for residents, such as independent living, assisted living, and more.

Access to technology will be a must

While Baby Boomers are not as high-tech as the generations to follow, a large majority of them have turned to the dark side and have iPads, iPhones, laptops, tablets, and everything in-between. Because of this, SNFs will need to adjust accordingly. Furthermore, the wearable tech market for seniors is about to take off, which should also be a consideration for those in senior housing.

Senior co-housing will be a thing

The trend of today to “go green” will transfer over to senior housing, too, as many older Americans will find co-housing options attractive. Think of it as a cross between single-family homes and communal living arrangements, if you will.

Senior housing will “go green”

Along the same lines as the above point, we expect to see a trend of assisted living facilities “go green”, or adopt more eco-friendly practices, such as:

  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Make changes in an effort to meet water conservation measures
  • Weatherize buildings
  • Switch to renewable energy sources

We expect big things from 2016 in senior housing as Baby Boomers continue to enter into their retirement years and make waves in assisted living. For more information on topics discussed at the NIC Spring Investment Forum, or to discuss senior housing investment in general, please do not hesitate to contact the JCH Senior Housing Group.