The global senior living market is projected to grow by $91.37 billion over the next five years, according to Technavio. This isn’t a surprise, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 10,000 people turn 65 every day.
The senior living industry has shifted after the pandemic. Demand for nursing homes has fallen while at-home care and assisted living continues to soar. Find out why.
Current Trends in the Senior Living Industry
Seniors are looking to “age in place,” or stay in their homes as long as possible. An AARP survey found that 77% of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term. Among the reasons is the financial burden it can put on their loved ones if they move into a nursing home. This trend alters the industry by increasing the demand for at-home care services.
Senior home occupancy is on the rise, with the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care reporting in the fall of 2022 that senior housing occupancy was 82.2%. That’s the fifth straight quarter of increases, with a total of a 4.3% increase from the lowest point during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers say while that occupancy is less than optimal, the number of seniors needing housing and care will only grow.
Another trend in the industry is an emphasis on chronic conditions and preventative care. Nearly 95% of seniors have at least one chronic condition, and almost 80% have two or more.
Seniors are also looking for more programming in their communities, whether they’re in an independent living center or a nursing home. They want programs that will improve their quality of life and all-around wellness. These programs could include fitness classes, healthy meals, or planned social activities.
Lastly, an unfortunate trend expected to continue throughout 2023 is staffing shortages, especially among nurses. In an American Health Care Association survey in June of 2022, 60% of nursing homes will limit the number of new occupants due to staffing shortages. Nearly all nursing homes are having trouble hiring new team members and asking current employees to work overtime.
Nursing Homes Struggling
The demand for nursing homes is dropping. More families are turning to in-home care for assistance instead of putting their loved ones into senior living facilities. Concerns about cost, risk of infection, and the level of care are driving factors toward this shift. SeniorLiving.org finds the monthly median cost for a nursing home ranges between $7,908 to $9,034, while the monthly median price for an assisted living facility is around $4,500.
Nursing homes are facing significant financial struggles. In 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that 129 nursing homes closed in the country. However, that number is probably lower than the actual count because experts say government reports are slow at keeping up with closures. Aiding the financial struggles is inflation. The rising costs of supplies and food are eating away at profit margins. In addition, nursing homes are having to increase staffing wages to attract and retain talent.
Hiring challenges also affect how many residents they can accept. So, if they’re short-staffed and can’t take more patients, then they have rooms sitting empty.
Benefits of Opening a Home Care Franchise Like A Place At Home
Besides the shift towards in-home care, there are many other benefits to opening an in-home care franchise. First, the startup costs are significantly lower because you don’t have to buy or rent a large facility. Instead, you just need a small office to hold consultations and meet with your staff. Inflation doesn’t affect you as much because you’re not supplying food for your clients.
If you don’t have the caretakers, you just don’t accept as many clients, but you’re not losing as much money as if you were running a facility and having rooms sit empty. However, a business like A Place At Home is easily scalable; you can add staff as your client list grows.
Plus, in-home care is often considered a long-term option, while nursing facilities are usually short-term. Families enjoy at-home care for the one-on-one service they receive from your caregivers, compared to a nursing home where a nurse could have multiple patients they’re looking after.
If you’re looking into how to start a non-medical home care business, let A Place At Home help. We have a proven business model that can guide you to success within the senior living industry. Learn more by submitting a franchise form.