HealthCare in Retirement Communities: Passive is No Longer an Option.

After reviewing the advertising of my local Retirement Communities, I asked myself:  “What stands out?”

The answer? “Nothing.”  That’s right, nothing.  Absolutely nothing stands out.  Everybody looks the same.

I challenge you:  review the advertising of 10 different Retirement Communities.  Then close your eyes and name 1 single feature that distinguishes any 1 or 2 of the communities from all the others.

Did you have any luck???  If you did, you’re better than I am!  I don’t mean silly things, like “Imagine the excitement of that perfect bridge hand!”  I mean things of substance and real value that seniors will appreciate as a welcome exchange and even motivation when moving to a Retirement Community from the home in which they have lived for so long.

Consider this:  many Retirement Communities spend as much as $5000 – $10,000 per month, EVERY MONTH, on advertising (or even more).  And yet the ONLY thing they accomplish is to make themselves look IDENTICAL to every other Retirement Community.  Same amenities, same verbiage, even many with the same stock photos of the same happy and smiling seniors!

Retirement Communities operate in an incredibly competitive market, and this only promises to intensify with the coming of the Baby Boomers.  So why are Retirement Communities so willing to invest so much money into something that makes them appear so ordinary and average, but are yet so reluctant to invest even 1/10th of that amount in a service (HealthCare) that brings real value and will distinguish them among all their competitors?  The psychology of this observation is hard to understand.

Those who represent Retirement Communities are abundantly aware that HealthCare is one of the TOP CONCERNS of ALL seniors.  This is an opportunity!  So why not take advantage of this opportunity and offer a service that every senior wants and that promises the best chance for not only stabilizing the census but recruiting new residents and growing a community’s census?

In Boise, Idaho, some physicians have stepped up to the challenge and will now provide full primary care in the comfort and convenience of your resident’s rooms.  Yes…it requires a very modest investment to make this happen.  Yes…it requires a community to ACTIVELY participate in the health and wellness of their residents.  But the compelling advantages of this investment FAR outweigh the modest cost.

The Retirement Communities, both Independent and Assisted, who will be thriving in this competitive market 3, 4, or 5 years from now will be those who are prepared to capture the Baby Boomers who bring greater expectations.  The Communities that survive will be those who are proactive NOW and adapt to the changing demands and needs of their residents.  The “passive” approach, when it comes to healthcare, is simply no longer an option.

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