While COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, Markentum knows the significant impact these circumstances have had on senior care communities and the senior population.
We also know that it is essential to look forward as we continue to navigate and make the best choices to combat COVID-19 concerns. What does the future of senior living look like beyond COVID-19?
Financial Impacts of COVID-19
In an article posted by McKnight’s Senior Living, “The COVID-19 pandemic will have a $40 billion to $57 billion financial impact on the U.S. senior living industry over the next year.”
The article continued by saying, “Senior living providers are not nursing homes and do not receive government funding, but they are a significant part of the healthcare system and tasked with caring for the most vulnerable population during the COVID-19 public health emergency… The goal is to keep senior living residents out of the hospital, but working toward that goal is financially taxing. The financial toll already experienced, and expected over the coming months, is extraordinary.”
Beyond a community’s expected costs, this pandemic has added the need for 24/7 care, infection control, supplies to monitor symptoms and add preventative protocols, hiring and training, as well as doing what they can to compensate current employees and caregivers via bonuses or overtime.
This is all to say that business growth beyond COVID-19 is going to be vital for senior living communities in order to stay afloat financially.
The Future of Senior Living
While we know that every community has its own set of processes and policies regarding health or safety concerns, COVID-19 added state-wide or nation-wide mandates.
Beyond COVID-19, communities will need to re-evaluate their processes regarding emergency situations.
According to National Real Estate Investor, “this experience will likely push owners and operators to reassess their protocols and supply chain management to better prepare for future epidemics or disasters. How properties deliver food service may change, especially with the emergence of home delivery services. The design of new properties may change to deal with social distancing and density.”
What Was Learned from COVID-19?
As we are still dealing with this pandemic, none of us want to consider future epidemics or disasters, but the reality is that it is necessary. No matter the industry, every business can benefit from reviewing and asking, “what did we learn from this?”
Michael Joseph, founder and CEO of Clover Management, told Senior Housing News, “One of the things our kind of housing [senior living] proves is that our seniors, rather than being siloed in their homes or in intergenerational apartments, are among peers who look out for each other. Combined with better access to health care, [that] shows that this is where the future is, which is what we’ve found the past 20 years.”
Promoting Lead Generation & Growth
Above anything else, COVID-19 made businesses and individuals rethink the way we live. Whether it’s steps to better protect ourselves and our families or creative ways to promote business growth when “normal” practices are limited, we have changed our mindsets.
Beyond COVID-19, it is important to maintain that creative thinking and continue to utilize these practices.
- Virtual tours have been a huge success for senior living communities amid visitation restrictions. Once doors open back up safely, your community should continue to offer this experience. For those moving from a different state or to limit the spread of infection, virtual tours can increase the “foot traffic” into your community.
- Video calling tools are another practice that your community should continue to utilize beyond COVID-19. Family members live at a distance, or weekly visits get canceled; whatever the circumstance, these tools allow residents and their families to stay connected.
- Posting updates across platforms is another beneficial practice. At a time when all eyes are on senior living and senior care communities, being transparent is a smart move. Families, prospects, and others use your website and social media presence to stay informed about what is happening in your community. Any changes that occur should be shared across these platforms to build a sense of trust with your brand.
Markentum knows that we are not on the other side of this pandemic and that communities are still making efforts to protect residents and staff. We want to thank all of our partners, senior living communities, caregivers, healthcare and essential workers, and everyone who is keeping us safe during these times.
If there is anything Markentum can do to assist your senior living community, please let us know.