As more baby boomers age into senior citizens, the need for assisted living facilities is exploding. Many seniors are not able or do not wish to live completely independently, but are not in any fashion ready for traditional nursing homes. It's therefore imperative that you market your assisted living business to this widening customer base by focusing on your strengths compared to your competition.
Your business plan for assisted living facilities must include many different considerations. The most successful assisted living corporations are able to develop communities where people don't feel like they're just waiting for the end but rather enjoying the day they have today. This not only includes activities and available resources, but also accommodations for couples. In addition, many people prefer that the facility they choose include either a skilled nursing facility or tie-ins with local long-term care facilities.
When determining the needs of your target assisted living clients, consider these:
1. The feeling that residents are not in a retirement home but rather an active community
2. The availability of flexible housing options in an assisted living facility
3. The ability to smoothly transition to a more medically intensive long-term care facility when necessary
Plan for your assisted living business to include many different activitiesWhether you're designing a new assisted living facility or simply working to better your current one, it's important to make sure that your clients have plenty of activities to keep them busy. These activities need to be both active and passive. Some can include community-organized activities such as cards and bingo. You might also consider pairing with a local recreation facility to allow your clients to swim, take aerobics classes, or even teach a hobby to a group of children.
Build your assisted living facilities to allow for a variety of housing optionsIf you're building a new facility or renovating an old one, it's important to have multiple living arrangements for residents. Many couples are moving into assisted living facilities together but want to have some space apart as well; for these couples, two-bedroom units are necessary. Multiple-bedroom options also are necessary for friends or siblings who want to live together. By offering more than just one-bedroom units exclusively, you can expand your client base considerably.
Offer either an on-site skilled nursing facility or network with local nursing homesUnfortunately, the sad truth about the majority of assisted living clients is that they will eventually need the assistance of a more medically intensive environment. It's therefore important to many of your clients that you show them that you offer a way to transition to this phase of their lives as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. Whether you do this by offering your own in-house nursing home or you work to link with other local convalescent homes, you can work to reassure your clients that they will be able to maintain their connection with their friends and loved ones in the assisted living facility when they need more skilled care.
- If possible, work with your current assisted living residents to hear what they would like to see done differently. While you may hear quite a few seemingly petty complaints, you're also likely to hear ideas that never would have occurred to you otherwise.