It’s Senior Living Not Senior Dying

By Kevan McCormack

Everything in life and real estate evolves.  Static retail shopping centers evolved into vibrant entertainment venues where a family could spend an entire day shopping, eating, and playing games or watching movies.  Multifamily evolved from the conventional three-story, garden style apartment buildings to the mixed-use wrap building with high-end apartments located over retail stores.

Senior Living facilities are evolving too.  No longer are senior living and assisted living facilities just providing the basic care needs of our elderly as they edge closer to death. Instead, a new concerted effort within the industry seems focused on not being satisfied with the status quo.  Owners and operators do not just want their facilities to be a place where residents go to live the last years of their life…they want their facility to be a place where a resident can thrive!

Senior Living Owners and Operators are evolving by integrating Wellness Programs and Occupational and Physical Therapy Programs into the daily routines of their residents.  They implement not only in the operational staffing and programs they put together but also in the overall design and circulation of a facility.  Recent market data indicates that including these programs improves function and promotes successful living among older adults.  For owners and operators, programs that extend the tenancy duration for your property is a mutually beneficial scenario.

What does it mean to integrate Wellness into your community?  It entails weaving Wellness activities into the daily lives and routines of the residents, sometimes without them even realizing.  There is a wide diversity of these programs, including daily walking programs; exercises focused on strength, balance and flexibility; fall prevention activities focused on balance; and safe driving classes.

Besides the Wellness aspects of daily living, Physical and Occupational Therapy programs are equally critical in contributing to a resident’s emotional and mental wellbeing.  By integrating programs such as tailored exercise classes / programs; intergenerational programs where residents share life experiences with the younger generation; gardening programs with raised garden beds for easy access; and learning programs with a cognitive therapy approach, a community will not only be helping residents improve their ability to function daily but also be increasing their personal sense of worth!

Communities that merge Wellness, PT and OT initiatives into their residents’ daily lives will be the facilities of the future.  We are already seeing this in action!  Those that resist this evolution will continue to be “behind the times”.

When developing your next Senior Living facility, it is helpful to have a finance partner that is well-versed and educated in all aspects of the Senior Living market.  MCA has been financing Senior Living and Healthcare facilities for 22 years.  To discuss the financing of your next senior living or healthcare project, contact Kevan McCormack at kmccormack@metcapital.com.

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