Q: Will the current service definition of independent living likely change?
A: Yes, simply stated, the independent living service offerings of many retirement communities are not totally responsive to today’s complex operating strategies and unmet needs of the resident:
- Typical community entry age for many independent living residents is 75-plus.
- Increasing acuity levels are resulting in a higher concentration of need-driven residents actually requiring increased assistance with activities of daily living upon initial entry to independent living communities.
- There is stronger recognition that the decision influencers (family members and medical practitioners, etc.) likely will play an increasing role in pursuing their respective opinions regarding the optimum living arrangement for residents.
- Market positioning for independent living must be enhanced and expanded using terms such as “catered” or “enriched” living.
Observation: Operating expenses can be significant. A 150-unit independent living community at 90% occupancy and 25% couples results in approximately 170 residents or 62,000 annual resident-days.