With over 10,000 people turning 65 every day, America is aging fast. Shifting demographics are also changing the face of who we are. These include race and ethnicity, lower marriage rates, fewer children, significant health issues, and less access to caregivers. As a result, more people will move to independent communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. This will expand business opportunities for investors, developers, and operators.
Seniors feel the squeeze
A recent study, The Forgotten Middle, explored the availability of housing specifically for the middle-income senior market. The research was conducted by the NORC at the University of Chicago and funded by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC).
Study participants included healthcare workers, teachers, government workers and trade union members. These folks had enough assets to disqualify them from receiving assistance through programs such as Medicaid. However, they could not afford most private care facilities.
By 2029, over half of the 14.4 million middle-income seniors in the U.S. won’t be able to pay the $60,000 estimated average yearly cost of assisted living rent and out-of-pocket medical expenses. And that number is conservative.
A plea to the industry
The authors of The Forgotten Middle hope the study serves as a wake-up call to both the public and private sectors. They believe senior living officials have an obligation to make their properties more inclusive and appealing to a diverse population. Over 65% of the participants in the study are expected to have three or more chronic health conditions in 2029.
In addition, about 20% will be classified as having high needs, or three or more chronic conditions and at least one limitation affecting their ability to carry out activities of daily life, such as walking and dressing. Without industry buy-in, middle-income seniors could struggle to afford places able to accommodate their needs.
As a national provider of lead generation services for the senior living industry, LeadingResponse understands both sides of the issue. On one hand, the company’s restaurant dinner seminars and workshops help owners and providers lower their cost per acquisition (CPA) to less than half the industry average, according to Valerie Whitman, Vice President of Senior Living for LeadingResponse.
“Our clients achieve an average 8% to 10% inquiry to move-in conversion rate from face-to-face seminars,” she said. On the other hand, and equally important, LeadingResponse clients are educating the public.
“Prospects are receiving this much-needed information in a neutral group setting with others in a similar life situation,” Whitman said, adding: “There are very real psychological barriers among prospects, that providers need to be aware of and cater to.”
The future is coming
To summarize, an aging population and demographic shifts will significantly impact the senior living market over the next 10 years. These changes will expand the pool of middle-income consumers looking for affordable housing and care options. This cohort has financial resources preventing them from receiving government assistance, but cannot afford much of the available private care, either. Senior housing owners, operators, and developers will be in a position to address the diverse needs of this growing market.
We can help
Every day, Baby Boomers are searching for senior living and care options, either for themselves or elderly family members.
LeadingResponse has exclusive lead generation programs targeting the right prospects for your community at the right time, as well as turnkey seminars and workshop presentations providing attendees with important information and highlighting your value proposition.
To learn more, contact us today.