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Weathering inflation at senior living facilities

The senior living industry is often considered “recession-proof” because there will always be a need for senior housing — especially now, with an aging baby boomer population. But inflation has caused prices for common goods to fly through the roof, which is bound to affect senior living facilities as much as it does everyone else.

Church Mutual is publishing a series of blog posts on how different types of organizations can best handle inflation. The following are ways in which the current inflation wave may affect your facility:

  1. Hiring freezes may make recruitment easier for your organization. It is often difficult to hire staff in senior living facilities, and the post-pandemic “Great Resignation” has made it even harder to fill all your available positions. However, as rising prices put a strain on many businesses’ budgets, they have had to lay off some staff and lower the number of people they are hiring. That means there’s an opportunity for you to attract new talent to the senior living industry. The best way to do this is to highlight specific perks about working for your organization, such as continuing education opportunities and the chance to learn new skills.
  2. Your residents with fixed incomes have lower purchasing power. Although Social Security recipients have received cost-of-living adjustments to their monthly checks, this doesn’t cover gas, groceries and other necessities that have skyrocketed in recent months. Because their money does not extend as far as it used to, consider revamping how you offer your services. Some senior living facilities offer a la carte options that give residents very specific choices about what services they want.
  3. Retired people may consider un-retiring and working in senior living. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, many people — particularly those in the senior living industry, which was a very at-risk environment — decided to retire or otherwise walk away from their jobs. Now, however, they’re learning the money they saved may not be enough to sustain them through a period of inflation. It’s a very strong possibility that some of your former employees may come back looking for a job, which is a welcome development for organizations that still need plenty of caregivers.
  4. You may want to consider investing in more technology for your facility. Whether you are experiencing greater vacancies because seniors’ budgets are decreasing, or you have more people looking at your facility, you want to make it as attractive as possible. These days, technology is the key. Offering your residents access to smart-home features, technology assistance and other perks could make a big difference for you right now. Church Mutual has launched a preferred vendor program with SafelyYou to introduce revolutionary fall prevention technology to insured memory care organizations. Visit this page for more information.

For more risk management advice for senior living communities, visit Church Mutual’s webpage.