Demand for senior housing options is rising, meaning more and more senior living choices are on the horizon. Niche markets, technology, and digital solutions are just a few of the things to look out for in 2015. Thanks to a rising stock market, recovering home prices, and slowing health care spending, it seems like these new choices are economically sound decisions to implement this year.
Aging in Place Models
Aging in place has been trending for the last few years, and it seems like Baby Boomers are continuing to go down this path in 2015. Data from the Demand Institute shows that 63% of Baby Boomers plan to stay in their homes as they age. This means more focus should be placed on assisting with renovations, home health care, and home technology.
Digital Advertising Increase
More now than ever, families are using the Internet to research senior living plans together. Children often take active roles in finding the proper living facility for their parents, and this generation tends to get much of their information online. Expect to put more time and advertising dollars into building and maintaining a digital presence.
Focus on Employee Retention
In addition to putting more focus on digital ads, employee retention will also continue to be an important factor this year. Turnover has typically been high in this industry, and providing incentives, feedback, and fair wages to existing employees is one way to prevent this. Similarly, the recruitment process may also need to be a bigger focal point this year, too.
Many seniors are looking for communities that are in line with their values, culture, and interests. These niche living facilities are continuing to pop up across the country, and residents are able to maintain their lifestyles and interests by choosing this option. There are a number of communities aimed at LGBT seniors, communities that are bilingual, and even a community for seniors with RVs.
Eco-friendly, sustainable housing is another trend to look out for in 2015. In addition to having some financial benefits, many seniors and families are also actively seeking these communities out. In addition to energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly light bulbs, many senior living facilities are also making the switch to environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and offering organic, locally sourced produce.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s) are multi-tiered options that offer the convenience of a nursing home and assisted living facility, while also offering an independent living style. Residents often live in apartment- or condominium-style housing, which allows them freedom and independence while still providing the care they need. These facilities are sought after by families due to their flexibility, and will continue to be an important model in senior living this year.
Senior Housing Technology
A number of tech startups announced plans to develop products aimed at senior living facilities last year. 2015 will be the year for them to come to fruition. Directory services, web chat, and mobile apps are all on the watchlist as products that may help senior communities, but they have to prove themselves as more than just great ideas to truly make a name for themselves in this industry.
Growth Through Discretionary Spending
Since seniors are now living longer than ever before, more time is spent on recreational activities, shopping, and entertainment in their lifetimes. In revenue models, this can be a big bonus and may offer new profit streams, in addition to a better quality of life for residents. Adding products or services to the current model is up to the business, and may vary from travel opportunities to shopping excursions and wellness activities.
More Developed Home Health Care Strategies
Since many seniors are choosing to age in place, home health care will be an important thing to develop. Home health care is not only convenient, but it’s also usually less expensive for patients. Implementing a home health care strategy into your community’s plan is an important step to growth this year.
Traditionally, recreational activities usually consisted of aerobics or the arts. Today, many senior living facilities are turning to higher education. 22% of continuing care retirement communities currently offer some form of higher education, and that number is expected to grow by over 40% in the next four years. Many colleges and universities will be continuing to offer special rates and educational plans for seniors, something that many residents are sure to be excited to take advantage of.