Lynne Moore headshot
Lynne Moore

A: Many of these issues have been influenced by the COVID pandemic, and it appears 2022 will be another year of transition. The pandemic still is with us, and operators continue to deal with challenges, including availability of staffing/turnover, higher labor costs, increased operating expenses and inflation. Although census reportedly was on the upswing during the last half of 2021, many communities still are dealing with less-than-optimum occupancy.

Although operators initially were forced to make changes in response to the pandemic, new resources and approaches to operations, marketing and communications and service delivery are resulting in favorable effects. There is increased reliance on and use of digital tools and virtual communication, including Zoom meetings/marketing encounters, FaceTime visits, and Facebook and other social media communications. Everyone is becoming more experienced with the use of this technology, including staff, residents and their families, prospective residents, and service and healthcare providers.

Partnerships with third-party home health and therapy providers are resulting in on-site service delivery. Primary care health services also increasingly are being delivered on-site and via telehealth.

All of these things are reducing resident exposure to the outside world and helping to reduce burdens on their adult children and other family caregivers. Other creative opportunities are continuing to be identified in the areas of physical design, approaches to staffing, service delivery options and resident management that, we hope, will start to neutralize the significant challenges that senior living will face during 2022.

Lynne Moore is president of MDS Research Company Inc., a national senior living and healthcare consulting firm based in Fort Worth, TX, that has been serving clients for 48 years. MDS is a two-generation company – she is following in Jim Moore’s footsteps. Ms. Moore is responsible for all MDS market research-related projects involving all aspects of senior housing and healthcare. Lynne Moore can be reached at (817) 731-4266 or [email protected].

This column appears in the February print issue of McKnight’s Senior Living as “You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers.”

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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