Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, John Moore, CEO of Atria Senior Living, said that the company would become stronger in the future thanks to the lessons learned and continuous innovation during this challenging period. Now, the company will unveil Atria Newport Beach-calling it the “most popular method” so far, and looking forward to the future.
Moore stated that communities in Orange County, California, combined the design elements and operational infrastructure pursued by Atria before the pandemic with Covid-19-specific features.
He said: “It emphasizes a lot of what we have learned and what we have seen, and it emphasizes many things that we already think are important.”
While this Louisville-based operator is building for the future, the company continues to respond flexibly to Covid-19 due to the surge in coronavirus infections in many parts of the country. Atria’s investment portfolio covers more than 200 communities in the United States and Canada.
Atria Newport Beach
In 2018, the Newport Beach planning committee signed the Atria plan, which vigorously rebuilds the skilled nursing facilities in two buildings along Hoag Hospital Street. These plans include demolishing and replacing one building and renovating another building, at a reported cost of approximately $30 million.
Atria initially planned to open the new building in the summer of 2020 and renovate the existing building. The pandemic has delayed the timeline, but the benefit is that Atria can make some adjustments to Covid-19. Overall, this pandemic affirms its vision for the future high-level living community that the company has been pursuing even before the pandemic.
One example is building a more spacious apartment with a full-size refrigerator and stovetop instead of a kitchenette with a microwave. Moore said that Atria is already in Newport Beach and with developer Related Cos. This is the direction in the urban project getting carried out together. He believes that Covid-19 will only increase the demand for these types of housing units.
“Isolation in a small studio is challenging; isolation in my apartment is much better.” He said.
Covid-19 also emphasized the importance of having a spacious public area that allows for social distancing and convenient and abundant outdoor activities. Atria Newport Beach uses its location in Southern California to meet these requirements in a variety of ways.
Moore said: “This building has a lot of light and air, and much glass.”
For example, the apartment has spacious windows and a Juliet balcony. The public dining area is double-height, with walls open to the outside, creating a covered outdoor dining space on the terrace between the two buildings. After completion of next year, it will be large enough to accommodate four social occasions simultaneously.
The design aims to optimize interaction opportunities without drawing attention to the fact that social distance is far away. Moore said in a company-wide letter issued in September that this had gotten achieved in part by integrating social areas with other facilities, such as spaces for children to play video games.
Residents can welcome visitors in a dedicated space that can get directly accessed from the outside of the building, so guests do not have to go through the lobby.
Atria has long been a technology-leading company. Its role is to establish an internal operating platform, technology injected into Atria Newport Beach in various ways.
Each residential apartment contains a smart home system to control the thermostat, lighting, and other environmental aspects. The system can get controlled through an interface on a pre-installed smart TV.
CarePredict wearable devices (similar to smartwatches) will also get deployed for residents and employees. If someone is diagnosed with Covid-19 or future infectious disease, this technology can enable contact tracking. Among other functions, the wearable device can also be used as a key to allow contactless entry into the apartment. It can mark changes in health indicators, such as temperature and blood pressure; it can detect falls; it serves as a two-way communication device between residents and employees. According to the plan, wearable devices must get integrated with Atria’s residential and family applications to obtain real-time health information at any time.
Facts have proved that telemedicine is of inestimable value in connecting the elderly and residents with health care providers during the pandemic and gets expected to play a more significant role even after the pandemic.
Moore believes that in general, arranging on-site physician offices through partnerships with medical practices or the health system will be a standard function of the future residential communities for the elderly. Near the medical center, properties like Newport Beach are already located and will have advantages.
Atria is dividing its portfolio into different brands, and the Newport Beach community is part of the company’s signature brand. Moore said that although the Signature community is a high-end community, the design and operation of Newport Beach can get adapted to more affordable real estate.
For example, CarePredict wearables are already in use in a community in the suburbs of Boston, redeveloped as part of the company’s emerging mid-market Gladwell brand.
Moore said that the use of wearable devices should be able to use data-driven methods to enable elderly residential communities to operate more efficiently, which can support lower costs.
He said: “This technology is suitable for customers who are interested in investing in the most significant value they can get, and it is also suitable for customers who are interested in the most excellent choice they can get.
Build Confidence Among Residents and Employees
So far, Atria plans to welcome the first residents to the Newport Beach Building in December. That is not the company’s first community to open during the pandemic.
Moore believes that given the limitations of Covid-19, these properties have gotten successfully leased.
Understandably, many consumers are hesitant to enter the public living environment of Covid-19, so alleviating concerns about infection risks and social isolation has become a vital part of the sales and marketing process.
Moore said that the key to building current and future residents’ confidence is to develop a clear plan to clarify how operations will adapt to fluctuations in the Covid-19 infection rate.
He explained that throughout the summer, Atria thought it necessary to adopt a “two-dimensional” approach. One of these dimensions is related to Covid-19 activities in the community where the elderly live. The other is related to the infection rate in the broader market where the community gets located.
Atria’s leadership team meets at 2:30 every day to review each case and the latest data related to the spread of Covid-19 and the impact in various markets, and discuss and confirm decisions related to testing and other methods of operation at five every day: 00 and the field Meet with the leaders.
Despite the demands placed on employees in the past few months, Moore is encouraged by the resilience of the Atria team. Turnover fell during the pandemic, and the company is recruiting Moore’s most remembered executive directors. The company’s usual two-year employee survey showed that satisfaction increased in July.
Moore uses these numbers as evidence that the company is doing an excellent job of communicating expectations and providing necessary support to team members, including ensuring that they have appropriate personal protective equipment, providing supplies and other resources to support the health of their families, and through heroes Remuneration, “beyond” and other gift cards and other measures to recognize extraordinary contributions.
While Moore is excited that Atria will bring the market in Newport Beach and elsewhere, he emphasized that the business’s success ultimately depends on its employees.
To grow your business in the senior industry, Create a free profile on Senior GuidePost. The Industry’s premium resource for Senior communities to find Qualified vendors serving the Senior Industry.