The COVID-19 pandemic left senior residing in want of an occupancy comeback, as most operators reported vital declines in occupancy sustained by way of 2020 and into 2021. Along with that main problem, staffing shortages have elevated, forcing operators to do extra with lower than ever earlier than.
Digital advertising chief G5 is intently monitoring these challenges, which relate on to the advertising and gross sales modifications wanted within the altering senior residing panorama. In its Senior Dwelling State of the Trade Report, launched September 2021, G5 has recognized and quantified 4 main headwinds on the horizon.
In the course of the top of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, move-ins declined or have been stagnant, making occupancy an overarching problem that operators proceed to face at present. NIC MAP Knowledge reviews that within the second quarter of 2021, occupancy fell to report lows in each impartial residing, at 81.8%, and assisted residing, at 75.5%.
“The elephant within the room with senior residing is occupancy, or lack thereof,” writes G5 Senior Dwelling Regional Gross sales Director Steve Wright within the report. “In 2020, this was communicated broadly, with occupancy stats hitting month-to-month all-time lows. Occupancy didn’t magically self appropriate, and it feels prefer it’s much less of a dialog matter now as communities juggled vaccination roll outs, and optimistically pushed towards a vaxxed and (extra) relaxed world. Sadly, we’re all experiencing the brand new Delta-induced period of the pandemic.”
#2 The Prospect Journey Modified
The choice-making course of for senior residing prospects and their sphere of affect has modified considerably through the pandemic, with many households opting to delay move-ins till completely needed. Additional, public approval of senior residing fell as mainstream media shops reporting on the pandemic’s wrath typically inaccurately conflated expert nursing services with senior residing communities.
In its information, G5 finds that the variety of days of the typical prospect journey remained comparatively regular in size, with solely a 2.5% enhance from a prospect’s first digital interplay with a senior residing group to inquiry. Concurrently, the amount of on-line steps within the analysis journey for senior residing prospects elevated as seniors and their family members realized extra about potential communities on-line.
In line with G5 information, the variety of touchpoints — outlined as digital interactions between a prospect and a group — elevated by 23% from Could 2019 to Could 2021. Digital promoting engagement in senior residing additionally rose 67% from Could 2019 to Could 2021.
In abstract, extra on-line steps and extra engagement with digital promoting hints to entrepreneurs the place they will discover extra decision-ready seniors.
Really useful SHN+ Exclusives
“The necessity for senior residing didn’t evaporate, however the typical senior residing journey seems completely different in 2021 than it did pre-pandemic,” Wright notes within the report. “Choosing the appropriate senior residing group for a liked one is a weighty resolution, and much more so when you think about it by way of the lens of the previous 12 months.”
#3 Tech Speak
Senior residing expertise adoption noticed a serious increase in 2020, as suppliers shortly carried out options in lots of classes — from telehealth to digital gross sales assistants to on-the-go charting — to serve each residents and workers. Whereas some tech served its function brief time period, G5 foresees different tech having a long-lasting affect on the business and on operator spending.
Telehealth utilization stabilized at 38 instances its pre-pandemic stage, based on McKinsey analysis, with 13% to 17% of physician visits now happening through telehealth.
Tech adoption may also help help not solely residents, however workers together with gross sales workers, throughout this period of doing extra with much less.
“Digital and contact-less choices are thriving for seniors and different susceptible populations,” the report states. “Seniors and their family members are researching senior residing communities at a deeper stage. Including a Digital Gross sales Assistant (VSA) to your web site could make this analysis a lighter elevate for prospects, and guarantee their questions don’t fall by way of the cracks together with your gross sales and advertising group.”
#4 The Pandemic Itself
As residents nationwide proceed to contract COVID-19, the senior residing business will proceed to really feel its results in a number of key areas: care stage and related danger, discovering workers and the vaccine atmosphere together with rising mandates.
In expert nursing services, the place vaccines are mandated federally, the share of vaccinated nursing residence residents per facility in August was 83.1%, whereas the share of vaccinated nursing residence workers per facility was 61.1%, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
“Between public notion, traditionally low occupancy ranges, wage and hiring pressures, and the Delta variant, senior residing is in a difficult place because of all issues COVID,” Wright notes. “On the intense facet, the necessity for senior residing didn’t go away. Seniors, and their family members, want additional assist.”
This text is sponsored by G5. G5 is the main digital advertising software program and companies platform for senior residing communities. To entry extra information together with metro-specific findings, obtain G5’s State of the Trade Report.