Embracing Change: Senior Living Trends for 2024

As we enter 2024, the senior living industry reflects on the ups and downs of the past year, marked by operator shutdowns, staffing struggles, and critical media coverage. Despite these hurdles, there's a sense of optimism as operators adopt forward-thinking approaches - and mindsets. Increased occupancy rates suggest a potential return to pre-pandemic levels, setting the stage for a transformative year ahead in affluent senior living. There’s no question 2023 was a transformative year for senior housing as a whole, and for Sherman & Roylance. Today we are going to take a closer look at some of the trends expected to impact senior living in the coming year. 

Adapting to Shifting Dynamics

The market is witnessing a significant shift towards high-acuity assisted living, led by innovative models that follow the industry’s anticipated trajectory. On the flip side, independent living faces challenges in growth. Anticipation is high for increased demand, particularly from the baby boomer generation. Nearly 60% of respondents consider a move to senior living within the next four years, emphasizing the need to align offerings with evolving consumer preferences.
Furthermore, active adult communities will continue to take center stage as regional density strategies aim for operational efficiency. Models that emphasize behavioral health care and well-being should see increased popularity and adoption in the senior living landscape this year. 

Strategies for Success: Consumer Preferences, Efficiency, and Innovation

Meeting Consumer Expectations

Consumer preferences will take center stage as an American Senior Housing Association (ASHA) survey indicates nearly 60% considering a move to senior living within the next four years. The challenge for operators in 2024 lies in delivering a product that aligns with the preferences of older adults - which have changed. Sherman & Roylance's Shep Roylance had this to say: "SNF operators are moving to diversify to assisted living with the Medicaid waiver program, which is a priority, and technology advances see more AI tools helping residents with their activities of daily living and owners with their operations. Increasing regulations, as before, is making us do things differently. Medicaid waiver program is rumored to be opening Statewide in CA, and investors are gearing up for this to claim their market share." Moreover, industry leaders are advocating for a more dynamic pricing structure and a departure from historically rigid paradigms.

Efficiency Through Regional Density

Efficiency has become a focal point with the rise of regional operators and super-regionals shaping the industry landscape. Sherman & Roylance has seen this firsthand, specifically in the Pacific-Northwest and the Southeast . Therefore, an emphasis on regional density stands out as a strategy for operational efficiency. Consolidation efforts aim to build critical mass in markets, ensuring profitability and efficiency.
2024 promises transformation and resilience for senior living. Adapting to market shifts, consumer preferences, and embracing innovation will be key in shaping an industry that meets the evolving needs of our aging population. John Sherman predicts, "It’s no secret that the pandemic shattered senior living occupancy, and experts predict a return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024. Senior housing organizations may finally get to truly focus on the potential of the future rather than struggling to regain what was lost.". We at Sherman & Roylance look forward to connecting in the coming year and helping with any of your buying, selling, or investment needs. Questions about our current inventory or looking for help with an exit strategy? Contact us today