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Report: Senior Housing Industry Moving in the Right Direction

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.

‘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.

Where Are Baby Boomers Most Likely to End Up

As Baby Boomers continue to settle into retirement or approach retirement age, the question of where they will go is inevitable. While many Baby Boomers in their mid- to late-60s can still take care of themselves and are able to live in the comfort of their home, this is not the case for all of them. Many of this generation are also planning ahead and thinking about where they want to wind up once they’re no longer able to remain in their current living situation. This influx of Baby Boomers is just one of the main reasons why we are seeing the senior housing industry bounce back in a major way. According to statistics, an estimated 10,000 Americans are turning 65 every single day, which means there is a big opportunity for senior living providers to attract these potential residents – whether they are in need of care now or a few years down the line.

Baby Boomer Senior Housing Trends

Baby Boomers are the single most important generation to senior housing right now. They are of the generation that grew up in the 1960s and can probably remember the first time they saw color TV, but they have also adopted to the various technological advancements that have popped up in recent years. Many Baby Boomers have smartphones, tablets, laptops, and are just as apt with these devices as their younger counterparts.

So what does all this mean for senior housing? For starters, SNFs (skilled nursing facilities) are having to adapt to this changing population and make sure they are pursuing renovations and upgrades that will meet the needs of these new residents. Furthermore, many Baby Boomers are leaning towards downsizing their current situation, which could mean finding a home in an assisted living-type facility so they do not have to move yet again in 10 years. A recent study indicates that the driving force behind Baby Boomers downsizing and moving into a senior living community is location and area. Price and affordability, as well as the layout of the home, are also influencers that SNF providers should keep in mind. While many Baby Boomers want to age in place, this is not always plausible because of the layout of their home. This is why Baby Boomers are turning to senior living communities that provide a nice, upscale space that residents can truly make their own, without all the hassle of maintaining their previous house. Baby Boomers are looking for accessibility, quality services and features, and a combination of great care and a fun community they can prosper in.

To learn more about the current state of senior living investment, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.