As baby boomers increasingly reach retirement age, senior living communities have been hard at work to accommodate them. The result?
With these evolutions in mind, it’s important for communities to watch the latest industry trends and implement them to keep occupancy rates high:
A cheerful, positive community atmosphere goes a long way toward standing out in the industry. But atmosphere doesn’t happen on its own. It has to be cultivated in several key areas, including decor and activity.
Take a look around your community. Are there areas with outdated wallpaper or drab furniture? Eyesores like these can really bring everyone’s spirits down, staff and residents alike. The remedy, of course, is to bring a fresh, modern style to as many of the offices, buildings, grounds, and commons areas as possible.
While extensive remodeling of an entire community can be expensive, concentrating initial remodeling efforts on your management office can be a cost-effective way to make a great first impression on prospects. Sleek, yet comfy, furniture, a fresh coat of paint in a bold color, and a unique, rather than stock, piece of artwork will not only lift everyone’s spirits, but will also contribute to brand awareness.
To get residents out and about, set up places where residents will naturally want to gather, including a coffee bar, game room, or community garden. When and where possible, play upbeat music to encourage mingling.
Another part of your community’s ambience has to do with the words you use in your newsletters, social media, fliers, and email blasts to describe it. Strategic modifications to your messaging strategy can make a big difference in the way your residents engage with the community at large.
For example, try renaming the “clubhouse” to something that sounds more social, like “the friendship spot.” Or, how about hiring a “Life Coach” who can work alongside your Activities Director to bring exciting challenges and discoveries to residents?
With verbiage upgrades like these, just think of the new possibilities that will await your residents! The Friendship Spot, run by a creative Life Coach, can facilitate more than just Bingo and movie nights. Residents can access seminars on such skills as setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, communicating more effectively, and learning mindful meditation techniques!
Everyone knows that staying connected to others keeps us happy and healthy. As a property manager, you and your staff are likely helping residents connect with one another all the time. But have you ever considered partnerships between your community and a nearby college or university?
Building this kind of partnership is a growing trend in senior living and one in which everyone wins. Imagine your residents using campus libraries or enrolling in continuing education programs or academic classes at a discount. Or what if a Drama 101 class gave a special one-act play performance in your community’s commons area?
These days, many senior living communities are providing multiple levels of care for their residents, from “independent living” to “memory care,” depending on their needs. For all levels, striving to provide “person-directed” care means that community staff members focus on individual residents’ specific needs, instead of just following repetitive procedures because they save time.
This means residents can determine their own daily routines and activities. And for residents who need additional support, staff members are trained to engage residents in conversation, eye contact, and affection and to communicate important updates to residents’ family and friends.
While implementing these four trends at your community will make a big difference in your residents’ quality of life, the senior living industry is constantly evolving. Can your staff adapt quickly? What training can you provide on site that will prepare your staff?
Meanwhile, share with us your ideas for making a senior living community the place to be! And before you go, learn how to Recruit the Right Security Personnel and Improve Customer Service For Your Apartment Community!