As per the U.S. Census Bureau, the senior population is skyrocketing quickly. There are around 76 million older adults in the country, and by 2030, all Baby Boomers will be older than age 65. As more of this Gen nears retirement age, senior living communities seek new ways to keep their residents feeling fulfilled, engaged, and active in the recent decade.
As we entered 2022, headlines reporting increasing COVID-19 cases and new Centers for disease control and prevention guidelines have influenced the recent news cycle. In 2020, these very same conditions transformed the senior living industry and dominated the way residents interact and spaces are designed.
Thankfully, the difference between now and then is the availability of boosters and vaccines to decrease the spread of the virus. This development, paired with modern tech and design techniques, will support a resilient and future-forward vision for the senior living industry. In 2022, the senior housing industry will be influenced by the following key features. Let's have a look.
Here Are a Few Key Trends in Senior Housing Industry to Watch
#1 Active Adults Will Shape the Senior Living Communities
3 million Americans turn 65 every year, and as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, a huge number of people will discover senior living options annually. Senior living communities will be required to accommodate this new gen of residents in their spaces. Often referred to as "Active Adults," these older Generation X'ers and younger Baby Boomers and a tech-savvy group of people. While many adult living communities are marketed for 55-year-olds and more, the average age in many communities is closer to seventy-years or up. Because older Generation X'ers and younger Baby Boomers live longer and more independently, senior living developers need to consider the preferences of these future residents. This will be one of the main drivers for senior living technology adoption in 2022 and beyond.
#2 Infusing Technological through operations
Today's senior living communities are putting more focus on technology-enabled services and devices. Older people are becoming increasingly motivated by the independence that is accessible when user-friendly technology is available to them. According to a study, this shift is part of a senior living trend called "smart aging," which refers to creating innovative techs that will extend the capability of the caregiver workforce to support climbing demand. In many ways, technology will need to plug the service gap for the owners and sponsors of retirement communities, the managers and staff at those communities, and the residents and their families. They depend on the care and services provided.
Present shortages in management and staffing efficiency become the opportunity for many apps of technology in the retirement communities. Some of these technological advancements have already been realized with AI-enabled apartments equipped with automated notifications and voice-enabled technology, including remote detection of falls, so people, management, and staff can stay on top of residents' safety and health even from a distance. These technologies can assist to retain and attract prospective residents, operate these communities flexibly, and thus offer a ROI crucial for bottom-line health.
#3 Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence
Amid rising turnover and rapidly expanding care needs, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence systems stand above the rest. Business analytics and A.I. permeate nearly all aspects of workforce management, from forecasting and planning to staffing, human capital management, and organizational compliance. Senior living operators turn to specialized analytics for insights that advance small and significant objectives in the current scenario. As a result, the investment in AI technology has surpassed $1.7 billion. According to a study, 50% of all senior living communities will have resources dedicated to sharing, accessing, and analyzing real-world evidence for use across their organizations. We further anticipate that operationalizing A.I. platforms across senior living workflows would result in 10–15% productivity gain over the next 2-3 years.
Analytics and A.I. help senior housing operators quickly resolve problems. Systems can recommend staff qualified to fill a new opening without incurring overtime hours. Some can even adjust to organizational policies, such as union rules. Fully integrated workforce management solutions will automatically notify the chosen employee of the opening in their preferred methods, such as text, email, voicemail, or mobile app alerts.
#4 Right Pricing and adoption of BI capabilities
More powerful business intelligence (BI) capabilities have started to enable a new approach to senior living pricing in recent years. In 2022, these new pricing approaches will rigidly take hold across the industry. Such approaches are based on crunching humongous volumes of data on consumer profiles, market dynamics, and aspects of operations — like how often certain services are given and how delivering these services equates to staff effort and time. Now, vendors across the industry are pushing to reclaim occupancy while also taking care of the margins under immense pressure. Vital rent concessions are not viable in this environment, so operators will see that B.I. Capabilities are essential in pricing their offerings appropriately and confidently charging for a la carte services.
Doing so will allow providers to "unbundle" their pricing, which should drive sales by allowing operators to offer prospects more customized packages while ensuring that operators' revenue closely aligns with what they are delivering to residents. Accelerating adoption of BI-driven pricing will also contribute to revamped sales processes, which also will set rates more appropriately than in the past. This year will be a high-water mark for the industry's top-line performance.
#5 Compliance challenges will come to the forefront.
Regulatory compliance will remain daunting. Although the government temporarily eased up some compliance-related stress, staffing requirements grew in 2020 due to fluctuating safety and health guidelines. Moving ahead, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reinstated strict staffing needs for skilled facilities and is expected to impose more infection control needs. Fortunately, facilities can use technology to fuel digital transformation and comply with federal and state regulations. Workforce management tech can harness real-time data to identify compliance gaps, recommend ways to close them, and fulfill reporting needs, helping operators minimize risk, avoid penalties and devote more efforts to big picture goals. This will be one of the influential trends in 2022 and beyond.
In a nutshell, it can be stated that the U.S. is slowly emerging from the pandemic. Leaders and professionals in the businesses that were hit the hardest particularly in the senior living industry are setting a course for the coming times. Meanwhile, these senior living trends we've examined will play a significant role in how communities successfully move forward. Get in touch today with Polestar Solutions to learn more about how we can help your company gain market share, both now and in the future, because there's no better time to start growing.