John F. Kennedy famously said, “change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.” As we approach the end of another year and look forward to the promise of a new year, this quote is extremely fitting for the senior living industry. Change is a natural part of life and business, which is certainly something senior housing providers can attest to.

Over the last two years, the industry has faced one challenge after another, from pivoting in the face of the pandemic to addressing labor shortages, embracing technology, and grappling with fluctuating occupancy rates. With 2022 just a few short weeks away, now’s a great time for operators to reflect back, but also step into the future.

Top Challenges Facing the Industry

The senior living industry is no stranger to disruption, and as we discussed last month, leaders are cautiously optimistic. However, there are several factors that may impact the trajectory of the industry moving into 2022:

  • Delays caused by supply chain issues

  • Rising construction costs

  • Occupancy challenges

  • Labor shortages

  • Complications associated with vaccine mandates

  • Concerns over new COVID-19 variants, including omicron

  • Outdated senior housing models

A Changed Industry: What Can We Expect?

Despite one roadblock after another, it’s important for the industry to focus on the positives. For one, the rapid adoption of technology has been a huge win for senior living. By today’s standards, the senior living industry was somewhat primitive in regards to technology prior to the pandemic. However, operators across the country have stepped up and not only welcomed tech-based solutions with open arms, but leveraged them to support residents and staff and create new revenue-generating opportunities. Video chat, telehealth services, smart speakers, mobile meal ordering, virtual classes, and on-demand transportation are just a few examples of how providers have integrated smart tech to boost revenue streams and meet the changing needs of today’s seniors.

It’s too early to say what 2022 holds for senior housing, but one thing is for certain: we’re never going back, and that’s a step in the right direction. Curious about our current listings or looking to sell a property? Reach out to the experts at Sherman & Roylance!

And remember, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”