The pandemic has thrust healthcare for seniors into the spotlight. The latest NIC Leadership Huddle event, titled, “Value-Based Care: What's in It for Me?” explored how operators and their partners are navigating what is likely to become a new normal: bringing healthcare to seniors where they live. The webinar and discussion explored the argument that–with or without COVID-19–every seniors housing organization must understand how providing access to healthcare services is now a part of their value proposition for both residents and investors.
“The respondents of the Wave 24 Executive Survey Insights appear to be cautiously optimistic, with hope that the shadow of the pandemic weathered over the past year is fading. The share of organizations reporting deceleration in the pace of move-ins and declines in occupancy rates is at the time series low for all care segments. In looking back over the past year and the 24 iterations of the Executive Survey Insights results, it’s apparent how closely the survey’s results have mirrored the reality experienced by many operators as they faced daily struggles to keep their residents and staffs safe from contagion—and to save lives.” –Lana Peck, Senior Principal, NIC
Nestled among the many pain points of 2020 were a smattering of bright spots for the seniors housing and care industry. For one, the year ushered in a wave of innovative strategies to combat loneliness in the face of social distancing. Among the top strategies was the use of virtual reality – an area which saw a lot of growth and adoption among operators during the public health emergency. As I delved deeper into researching the topic, I learned that virtual reality – in addition to creating opportunities for socialization and stimulation – has been gaining traction as a staff training tool as well. Embodied Labs’ person-centered caregiver training, for example, provides immersive learning experiences that mimic many of the common conditions and life transitions that impact people as they age. These lab experiences cover vision and hearing loss, Alzheimer’s Disease, end-of-life conversations, cognitive decline, and LGBT and transgender health and aging. In each of these experiences, the trainee becomes the viewer, and assumes a first-person perspective of how older adults experience different aging challenges.
The total investment return for the seniors housing sector was a positive 0.71% in the fourth quarter of 2020. This marked the second consecutive quarterly gain after one quarter of negative returns in the second quarter of 2020 when total returns were negative 1.00%; that marked the first negative total return since 2012 and prior to that in 2009.