By Steve Moran

It is that time of year when people make predictions about the industry, the world, and society. I recently offered up my list of predictions for 2021. Then I got to thinking it might be interesting to ask Senior Living Foresight fans for their predictions. Take a look at what they think is going to happen.

The last decade’s Great Recession set off a wave of entrepreneurialism, as high unemployment encouraged would-be business owners to pursue their great idea rather than rely on a turbulent job market. Those entrepreneurs are going to bring new ideas to the industry including ways to serve the low- and middle-income senior.

-Pilar Carvajal, Founder & CEO Innovation Senior Living

Senior living will include its residents in the direction and operation of the community they call home!

-Jeff Gronemeyer, Director International Census Development, Meridian Senior Living

I predict that the Senior Living Innovation Forum is going to be back in a non-virtual format . . .?

-Michael Owens, Founder, Influence Group, SLIF

The senior housing industry will start prioritizing healthy building design.

-Michael Owens, Founder, Influence Group, SLIF

Double occupied rooms will grow in popularity as a solution to rising costs.

-Joe Pohlen, Principal at Cardinal Senior Management

The more innovative senior living providers will partner with organizations like UpsideHōM and Papa to create a continuous spectrum of offerings (including home to hospice) enabled by a common technology/data exchange platform (OK that part is more like 2025).

-Ravi Bala, AgeTech Evangelist

New products will focus on Engaged Active Living with Purpose and move away from the resort-style offerings.

-Ravi Bala, AgeTech Evangelist

Organizations like Quil (COMCAST/IHG), CVS Health, and Best Buy will deliver an integrated Technology/ Insurance product for Home Health Agencies to market and enable [email protected].

-Ravi Bala, AgeTech Evangelist

Increased investment in senior living technology for engagement communication and connection to improve occupancy.

-Sanjeev Shetty, Chief Global Strategy and Innovation Officer for Connected Living

Better infection control and screening.

-Sanjeev Shetty, Chief Global Strategy and Innovation Officer for Connected Living

SNF model to operate more efficiently with higher use of telehealth.

-Sanjeev Shetty, Chief Global Strategy and Innovation Officer for Connected Living

Tracking more healthcare-related performance and data points and compiling will help good operators stand out and become useful in the sales and marketing side. COVID forced everyone to become more hyper-aware of this kind of stuff.

-Shane Connor – Investment Sales & Advisory across Senior Housing & Medical Property

I think that we will see staff really turning to their organizations to keep them going as they come down off of this adrenaline-fueled year. We’ve had a common enemy which got rid of silos, bureaucracy, and hierarchy. Now we have to continue the strong teamwork and the sense of having a common vision. I think culture will matter more in the next year than it ever has so that organizations can keep their good team members, recruit rockstars, and grow occupancy.

-Denise Boudreau-Scott, President, Drive

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Better IT and SmartLiving solutions that long-distance family members can utilize for ‘face-to-face’ visits and info-sharing with staff regarding a loved one. Masks will play a recurring role in caregiving (re-designed), outdoor living, and access/space for visits, dining, and exercise. Increased use of wearables for key health signals.

-Carol Schrader, Fellow, Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University, Board Member and Tech Executive

This is a prediction for the next couple of years: The largest senior housing companies will be broken up into smaller 10/20/30 community niche-targeted sub-brands.

-Senior Housing Referral

Data will continue to emerge and be widely shared about seniors during the pandemic. And it will show that seniors were safer from COVID in assisted living than in any other environment, including their own home, as measured by positive diagnosis and hospitalization rates. This will further reinforce that assisted living is healthcare, good healthcare.

-Isaac Losh, Managing Director LE, LLC

Accessible, senior-friendly outdoor spaces will pop up in more communities as will outdoor parks (with shelter) designed around the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial needs of older adults. When contagions spread more easily indoors, the obvious solution is more usable space outdoors. It’s too bad that scared, isolated seniors had limited outdoor fitness and social options this past year.

-Sue Paul, Director of Wellness at Asbury Communities

I think there will be several acquisitions and I think innovation roles will be created within mid- to large-size organizations. Workforce, retention, benefits etc., I do not predict any new solutions will solve big problems until 2022. Change is still incredibly slow and somewhat resisted in this industry.

-Rachel Nader, Regional Manager of Partnerships, Matchwell

Companies that focus on creating stronger managers and directors are going to win the culture game and be able to get and keep talent far easier than those who don’t invest in their leaders. It will be critical for organizations to create places where people WANT to work in order to keep folks in the profession and in their communities.

-Cara Silletto, President & Chief Retention Officer, Magnet Culture

What do you think about these predictions?

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