While the senior living industry is seeing consistent growth, there are also a number of challenges that firms are facing alongside success. Here are the top 3 challenges senior living firms are facing right now.
Retention has always been a struggle in this industry due to the number of low-paying, non-professional jobs. Turnaround is extremely costly, and some sources state replacing a worker can be equal to 25% of their annual wages. There are also indirect costs associated with high turnaround rates, including lost client relationships, lower levels of productivity, and potential for lower levels of care due to untrained replacements. Currently the average turnaround rate nationwide is 42%.
Developing a plan for managing turnaround is important. Several factors that play into a company’s turnaround rate, including employee satisfaction, wages, and proper hiring practices.
On average, employees are twice as likely to stay at a job that offers health insurance. Consider offering benefits like health, dental, and paid time off to keep employees enthusiastic and well-taken care of. Offering coaching, feedback, career paths, and open lines of communication in the workplace also contributes to an employee’s satisfaction with work. In terms of hiring, finding the right people is important, and making sure their training process doesn’t end until they are fully settled into their new role will make the transition easier for patients, other staff members, and the new employee alike.
Increasing Family Engagement
Senior care has become much more of a family decision than ever before, and that trend is sure to continue. In many instances, adult children of seniors are largely responsible for researching and seeking out proper living facilities. The challenge here is that families are wanting to be more involved in their senior’s day-to-day life, which means some facilities may need to adapt with the times.
Improving communication, especially through technology, will likely increase family engagement and satisfaction with your facility. Several technology startups have ideas for products aimed specifically at senior living facilities, which will surely influence family engagement and communication. There are also more traditional routes to follow when considering family members and their engagement levels. Do they know who to contact if they have a concern? Are they being surveyed for feedback? Are residents able to contact family members as often as they need to? Considering these factors and putting a plan together for family engagement will help decrease the stress of seniors and their families, while boosting satisfaction rates overall.
Adapting to Health Care Reform
Although the Affordable Care Act was signed back in 2010, any drastic change is sure to present some challenges during implementation. Ensuring that staff is properly trained and knowledgeable about the changes the ACA brings will prevent confusion and increase satisfaction. Additionally, some sources are citing the Affordable Care Act as a factor in the convergence of senior living and healthcare. If a health care partner hasn’t been a part of your senior living facility yet, now may be the time to considering finding one.
MHNOnline. Seniors, healthcare head for convergence, survey says
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Senior Housing News. Senior living execs see higher margins, with major challenges ahead