McKnight Senior Living — Senior living operators must look at ways to boost consumer confidence after months of declining occupancy during the pandemic, according to Ken Segarnick, chief corporate officer at New Jersey-based Brandywine Living.
“Consumer confidence is not something marketed or sold, but earned,” Segarnick recently told the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.
Learning from the lessons of the pandemic, providers must enhance the senior living experience to drive occupancy and help their bottom line, he said. “Lifestyle is the differentiator,” Segarnick told NIC. “The game-changer is creating an environment that people want to age into.”
Social isolation was an issue for almost a year and a half, but older adults are looking for more than a place to simply dwell, he said.
“Human beings need social engagement in order to thrive,” Segarnick said. “As operators, we need to maximize joy and happiness to help residents have a life well lived.
The key lies in the details and giving residents choices, such as offering different dining options, he added.
Segarnick told NIC that residents are looking for more space in their units and in common areas. They also want connectivity with the outdoors.
“Senior living is a consumer-driven business,” the executive said. “Though healthcare needs will continue to be a key element to senior living decisions, there’s more to what customers are looking for. They want to enjoy living their lives, they want a better experience.”