In the best of cases, the senior housing industry in the United States will be looking to recovery in the coming months as vaccines roll in to save a market that is undergoing historic challenges.
Success hinges on vaccine distribution
With tight vaccine supplies currently prioritized for nursing homes, senior living centers, where residents tend to be more independent from a care perspective while still living in a congregate setting, are for the most part behind this queue. Because assisted living facilities are not federally regulated, where senior living facilities stand in the line-up is set by the state.
President Joe Biden’s new National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness plan, however, has industry groups optimistic. The plan has federal government agencies set to work together to provide surge assistance to assisted living communities and long-term care facilities.
Changing priorities for operators
Once highly-prized amenities like hospitality, gyms, pools and gathering places will need a fresh look with the potential for future outbreaks in mind. Healthcare offerings will need to be bolstered for a vulnerable population.
Senior housing operators will be looking at enhancing long-term strategies to keep their buildings safe yet remain attractive to potential clients. Per Senior Housing News,
More providers are likely to get on the Medicare Advantage bandwagon, as the ability to offer more coordinated care now has taken on even more luster. CapEx projects and new developments will reflect the lessons learned in the pandemic, and feature more outdoor access, ways to isolate residents more comfortably, more touchless technology, more intensive air purification systems, dedicated telehealth spaces and on-site clinics, and other health-focused adaptations.
Senior housing market need will increase
With the number of Americans aged 65 and older set to double between 2018 and 2060, senior housing supply will be challenged to keep up with demand. Jeffrey Jaeger, co-founder and principal of Standard Communities tells Multi-Housing News that this means safe, affordable housing will be more critical than ever.
“We need to be thoughtful about the extra steps needed to preserve the quality of life, safety and peace of mind of our residents, thereby enabling them to stay as connected to their communities as circumstances will allow,” says Jaeger. “It is essential that we think critically and creatively about how we can support our residents.”