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Senior living and care communities are reporting a slowdown in move-ins, according to the latest Executive Survey Insights from the National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care.

Wave 47 marks the fifth consecutive reporting period where independent living operators reported a deceleration in the pace of move-ins in the past 30 days at 26% — up from 14% in Wave 46, 11% in Wave 45 and 8% in Wave 44. By comparison, skilled nursing operators reported the third consecutive wave of a decline in move-ins, falling to 6% — down from 16% in Wave 46.

The majority of survey respondents (80%) indicating a deceleration in move-ins cited a slowdown in lead conversions or sales, followed by resident or family member concerns, routine seasonality and natural disasters, NIC Senior Principal Ryan Brooks said in a blog post.

The percentage of assisted living (14%) and memory care (16%) operators reporting a deceleration in the pace of move-ins remained stable compared with previous waves. Skilled nursing was the only segment to report accelerated move-ins in Wave 47, at 33% compared with 28% in Wave 46.

When asked about the factors that contributed to the acceleration of move-outs, operators cited residents moving to higher levels of care as the leading cause (45%), followed by deaths (35%), resident or family member concerns (10%), and natural disasters and economic conditions (5% each).

Diversification not on table

In Wave 47, operators were asked about plans to diversify and expand their product offerings into higher- or lower-needs settings.

Although the majority of operators said they are not considering product diversification, single-site operators (36%) seemed to be most open to the idea, favoring lower-needs settings if they did so. Operators with two to nine properties (20%) were split equally at 20% between considering lower-needs and higher-needs settings.

Larger operators — 77% of those with 10 to 25 properties and 78% of those with 26 or more properties — were less likely to say they were considering product diversification.

But when it came to expanding service and care segments, approximately half said they expected to increase the active adult (53%) or independent living (49%) segments within their portfolios of properties within the next 12 months. Just less than half of those responding to the survey said they anticipated increasing their assisted living (45%) or memory care (41%) segments. 

Short stay/rehabilitation and nursing care providers were the only ones reporting expected decreases in their portfolios of properties over the next 12 months.