The Top 5 Challenges Facing CCRCs
A recent study conducted by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging revealed that seniors and their families view the idea of living in a life plan community, or continuing care retirement community (CCRC), as an excellent option. In fact, 74% of the respondents in the survey stated they would be interested not only in living at a CCRC in the future, but also would recommend this type of retirement option to others due to a family member’s positive experience.
CCRCs have already evolved significantly since their initial arrival as an option for retirement living in the late 1970s. Today, LeadingAge reports that there are nearly 1,900 life plan communities throughout the United States, and while some of these might be single-campus organizations, the majority of them are part of a multi-campus system. As far as who’s moving in these days, a survey conducted by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) reveals these seniors are generally active, healthy and are looking to properly prepare for any future healthcare needs.
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The Future of CCRCs
By the year 2030, baby boomers will account for nearly 20% of the nation’s total population, and many of these seniors will find the lifestyle offered by a life plan community an attractive option. CCRCs need to continually evolve in the coming years to ensure they are providing the features, services, amenities and living accommodations this particular group of seniors is searching for.
Some of the challenges facing CCRCs in the years ahead include:
1. Providing Sufficient Choice and Value. Choices regarding financing, housing options, wellness programs, engaging social activities and more, as well as defining what retirement living really means, will become more important to potential residents. Seniors want to make sure their monthly fees provide the most value for their overall health and happiness.
2. Continually Meeting Occupancy Requirements. While the outlook going forward is optimistic, life plan communities may find rising operating costs and market limitations that constrain revenues keeping them from full capacity. They must continue to find innovative ways to attract potential residents to their communities.
3. Expanding Reach. Recent research shows that over the next few years, CCRCs will grow through acquisition, mergers and affiliations, rather than expanding their current campuses. They will need to evolve from the traditional CCRC model and offer alternatives. For example, creating a truly independent senior living community on its own campus for those potential residents who are still highly active, but may seek the security of knowing healthcare services are available on another nearby campus when they are needed.
4. Implementing the Latest Technology. Providing a safe home environment as well as innovative healthcare services will undoubtedly require the use of technology. From implementing smart home solutions within the housing units that will keep residents as self-sufficient as possible, to providing integrated systems that increase resident satisfaction, CCRCs need to stay current on the latest technology trends.
5. Changing Perceptions to Reflect Resident’s Desires. Future life plan community residents don’t necessarily feel like senior citizens just yet. Their needs and expectations may set the bar higher for CCRCs, who must update the language and attitudes of their teams to meet the desires of these residents. For example, changing the role of the activities director to the “life enrichment director.”
It’s important that your life plan community start planning sooner than later for the future to remain an attractive senior living option to potential residents. How prepared is your CCRC for the challenges ahead?
Integrated Solutions for Life Plan Communities from MatrixCare
MatrixCare’s software solutions for CCRCs are designed to serve a single-site facility or a large multi-site organization. Our complete system of clinical, financial and operational solutions is simple to use while offering all the functionality needed to manage your community. Contact us today to learn more.