“The drag on occupancy rates continued to be observed in the Wave 19 survey results. This likely reflects a combination of challenges in backfilling COVID-related vacancies as well as the effects of typical seasonality during the holidays and winter months. Despite reports of record-high COVID-19 cases across the country occurring daily, roughly two-thirds of respondent organizations were not increasing move-in restrictions presumably in part due to operator innovations in infection mitigation and creative visitation protocols which have gained acceptance from many residents and families. Long-anticipated as a game-changer with regard to improving occupancy, many operators are now starting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Wave 20 survey is currently collecting data on the distribution of the vaccine to provide new insights for decision-makers.” –Lana Peck, Senior Principal, NIC
The senior living market faces a new reality. The economic fallout of the pandemic has put pressure on the affordability of many communities. Elders who previously had the resources to move into a community may no longer be able to do so, expanding the already large group of seniors with modest incomes in need of housing. At the same time, more middle-income seniors are drifting into the low-cost end of the market.
“The effect of the pandemic’s surge in the Fall is reflected in NIC’s recent ESI survey results. The November surveys (Waves 15 and 16), which provided insights into operator experiences in October, showed new downward trends in the pace of move-ins, move-outs, and occupancy rates across the continuum of care. These trends continued into the holiday season. More survey respondents reported drops in occupancy in the past 30-days than increases. In light of COVID-19 infection positivity rates rising across the country, more organizations in Wave 18 cited self-imposed or government-imposed move-in restrictions as a reason for slowing the pace of settling residents into their communities." --Lana Peck, Senior Principal, NIC