At this moment, the senior living industry is grappling with the lowest occupancy rates in 50 years, according to Forbes. One factor is the pandemic, but there are others. In order to attract a senior living prospect, community operators and marketers must change their approach.
Today’s senior living prospect isn’t a carbon copy of their parents. They require more than neatly-manicured grounds, a golf course, and comfy living quarters. However, what exactly they are looking for will vary, depending on their personal circumstances.
Health and wellness
Some prospects want to live in a community focusing on the health and safety of its residents. This is understandable now more than ever. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic took a huge toll on the elderly.
Then there’s this fact: the average 65-year-old is expected to live at least another 20 years. In addition, a person’s health typically tends to decline as they age. Therefore, a senior living prospect with a chronic condition will especially be drawn to a community with a reputation for resident care and safety, McKnight’s Senior Living reports.
Socialization and activities
Today’s seniors are generally healthier than prior generations. As a result, wellness programs strongly appeal to those who enjoy a fit and active lifestyle. These prospects will be drawn to communities offering wellness and social activities. Often, they’ll gravitate toward hobby groups, where they can spend time with others sharing the same interests.
Then there are prospects who have lost a spouse. They may be open to moving into a community with a variety of recreational options. Some have felt isolated and will seek out opportunities to interact with others, McKnight’s notes.
Yet another type of senior living prospect likes the idea of a community where they don’t have to worry about upkeep, maintenance, cooking, or cleaning.
It’s a business model that’s catching on. This fall, Multi Housing News reports, the Boston University Graduate School of Hospitality Management will add a concentration in Senior Living.
MHN says the program will integrate the university’s hospitality curriculum with forward-thinking senior housing programming. This will balance business-oriented disciplines with courses in resident life experiences. Both the hotel–style community and one with many social activities may appeal to couples where one partner has more immediate or extensive care needs while the other does not.
Reach more future residents
LeadingResponse works with senior living community operators not only to identify and connect with senior living prospects but their adult children and family members. That’s because a prospect’s loved ones will often influence, if not outright decide, where the person will live.