NIC Notes

Insights in Seniors Housing & Care

By: NIC  |  March 24, 2020

Survey: Overwhelming Majority of Senior Housing Properties Continue to Maintain Occupancy

Residents and Their Families Are Not Abandoning These Communities


Contrary to speculation that families are removing their elderly loved ones from senior housing and care properties, a new survey reports that 79 percent of operators saw no significant changes in move-outs last week and no significant changes in occupancy. Activated Insights, the senior care group of Great Place to Work, conducted this survey of private pay senior housing operators representing 1,078 buildings and 100,899 units.


Several U.S. operators noted that sales and marketing activities including all move-ins have been halted completely in this COVID-19 pandemic. Other operators continued to allow pre-scheduled move-ins to occur, though with extra steps and screening. 


Moreover, 21 percent of operators reported increased occupancy. Some operators attributed this increase to how families often realize they are not in a position to take care of an elderly or disabled loved one at home. Moreover, as one CEO commented, "they are much safer with us since we are cleaning and screening like mad." Many of these move-ins are from pre-scheduled moves or families who have toured and were in sales consideration. Nearly all are heavily screened.


"The data reflect how quickly senior housing operators have adapted lessons learned in Washington state to protect our nation's vulnerable elders and frontline staff by upholding the highest standards of care," said Robert Kramer, Founder and Strategic Advisor at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care. "The results from this survey are especially timely since the investment community has been starved for data in this time of uncertainty." 


The methodology for this study was based on phone surveys conducted on Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19 by Activated Insights. The 100,899 units represent close to 8 percent of the overall senior housing and care inventory. Moreover, the majority of the 19 operators are companies that have applied for Great Place to Work certification, an indication that they strive to be leaders in their field. Wharton and London Business Schools have published longitudinal, peer-reviewed studies concluding that Great Place to Work companies across a variety of industries perform better on key business indicators.


When asked why this survey was undertaken, Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights replied, "We were seeing new reports of families and their elderly loved ones fleeing senior housing and care properties but had not heard the same - so we thought it was strange. We conducted this survey to check the facts of what is actually occurring."


While the COVID-19 pandemic is developing quickly and occupancy could change, this survey of senior housing operators by Activated Insights indicates that senior housing continues to serve an essential role in meeting the housing and care needs of frail older adults who are most at-risk in this pandemic.


About NIC

The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to support access and choice for America’s seniors by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers.

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