Covid-19 will bring about changes in the senior housing industry in three main areas: merging healthcare and the built environment while considering health and lifestyle, and addressing new and long-standing operational problems.
There have been changes, and the pandemic is speeding things up in some cases. To accomplish them, we will need to think creatively and form new partnerships.
Additionally, the NIC hosted a webinar on Wednesday. Leaders from Ocean Healthcare, Brandywine Living, and The Springs Living shared their stories and perspectives.
A recent interview with eMarketer highlighted the importance of suppliers adapting quickly to trends in the industry by Fee Stubblefield, owner, and CEO of The Springs Living.
The McMinnville, Oregon, company operates 18 communities in Oregon and Montana. Senior housing no longer consists of merely Lifestyle decisions due to advances in environmental systems, infection control procedures, worker recruitment and retention, and communication.
Our generation must evolve because the newcomers are an entirely different species [with] radically different expectations, says Mowry.
Medical care has gradually been added to senior housing before 2020. In a clustered environment, the need for telemedicine services has spiked with community restrictions created by Covid-19, accelerating the entire industry process.
A telemedicine clinic was established in one of The Springs Living’s communities several years ago to provide services to residents and employees. As a result, it has been well received, and operators may use this as a learning experience when they add healthcare services in the future.
In the company’s newer communities, residents have access to concierge healthcare services, including in-house clinics and offices run by local healthcare providers, which allows them to address their healthcare needs without spending so much time in the doctor’s office.
According to Studblefield, older people will someday be able to access health care based on their daily lifestyles and speed. As a result, senior housing will integrate a greater range of healthcare services, but this must not compromise the social environment the operators wish to achieve.
The Springs Living has learned a valuable lesson from the pandemic: the importance of aligning its services and supporting service providers. Providing residents, operators, and their service partners with a more than transactional relationship will yield better results.
Achieving more positive health outcomes requires providers to invest in infrastructure. The hospital would be relieved of pressure, and potential residents would prove to their families that the living environment they are considering is positive.
The goal of sales and marketing activities should remain the balance between healthcare and lifestyle, as senior housing providers continue to offer various clinical services. Suppliers should develop future communities that will appeal to future residents by focusing on lifestyle elements within existing buildings. In the end, the goal is to increase the choices in high-end housing for future generations, not merely to satisfy their demands.
Her description of what they would want is to sit in the bar and have a cocktail with their girlfriends, she said.
Customers must be excited about living in an environment designed by suppliers. This is like going to Disneyland, according to Stubbefield.
Also, suppliers should consider the physical environments in which their employees work and create a warm, nurturing work culture.
It is critical to the strength of the building, he said, that buildings continue to evolve for talents to want to work there and a supportive work environment to flourish.
Find a Solution to Labor Issues
In addition to the labor shortage, the growing senior population continues to face problems attracting new talent.
Ocean Healthcare Senior Vice President/Chief Strategy Officer, Network Development Joe Kiernan believes the recognition healthcare workers received during Covid-19 could profoundly affect future recruitment.
In his view, the pandemic has brought respect for the work of a range of health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and staff at senior living communities, which, he believes, is similar to first responders being recognized for their efforts. Using that to engage new talent is one-way savvy providers can take advantage of.
This is not enough to sustain the industry. To attract top talent, Brandywine balances recruits with a referral program that focuses on current employees as the best salespeople for the job, said Nadlestumph.
She stressed that we must act with urgency.
To improve retention, Springs Living plans to develop human resources capabilities that will help it better understand its employees.
The company is hiring, but its back door is too big, he said.
Employers will be given agency in their career paths and how daily operations of communities are conducted by taking the previous year’s lessons into account.
He went on to state that the raw material in our business is our labor. The puzzle is vast, but we’ll get it figured out.
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