A new decade, and new considerations for senior living. Here are 10 thoughts for 2010:
10) I can do that - family members because of economy, convenience or otherwise will take a more active role in providing care and senior lifestyles. 2009 was the start of families building on the retiree suite to their home, and now with unemployment jumping and mortgages still due, 2010 will be much more about family caregiving.
9) Avoidance - the doctor has told you it is time to get healthy or risk severely shortening your life. Now what? Follow or avoid? In 2010, the big deal will be beyond keeping the body in check with exercise and diet; it will be more about keeping the brain fit. Tango anyone?
8) Put the Cookie Cutter Away – we know you offer specific care plans, but really, are living up to treating me as an individual? Hard to manage, but more and more will be made of special small touches that make a person know they are more than a number.
7) Name Your Price – More choices, more price points, more made of cost versus other factors. So sure, you can ask for a price break on service, but remember your price break may be in direct conflict with what you are looking for – top notch service.
6) Government Please – What will Medicare look like? How much support will Medicaid receive? Is there any relief to the prescription drug debate (so far, not yet)? This year more than most the government will be one to watch.
5) Volunteerism is Cool – People want to stay connected. If they cannot find a paying job, expect more talented people to be looking to engage in a meaningful way. If you are a senior living provider, are you ready to harness this awesome outcome?
4) Experience is Next to Location – location is still the main reason people choose a senior care and housing provider one over another. However, experience (cost is becoming a common denominator) is becoming more and more important. How much experience exists with management? How about the staff? And what experiences will they offer to maintain as much independence as possible?
3) Will You Still Work – As the aging of America occurs, who will serve the food, clean the rooms, provide direct support or care to the millions who will request the services? 2010 will see strides in pay for those directly providing care.
2) Environment is Calling – Are you tired of being GREEN already? If so, 2010 will be another banner year for organizations that focus on sustainability.
1) Technology – If we can solve it with high tech, why not? With costs for service increasing; labor pool shrinking; and families wanting to be more involved, technology will be used in ways that at first may be intrusive, but ultimately show to be low-cost, high-results oriented.