Senior living communities have evolved considerably over the last decade in response to the changing needs and attitudes of seniors and their families.
If you’re an owner of a senior living community, you’ll know that today’s seniors – the baby boomers – have much higher expectations for this next phase of their lives than their parents did and want to retire in their own way.
They want to live safely in their own home, maintain as much independence as possible, stay active, continue enjoying much-loved activities, learn new things, try out new experiences, and build relationships within their community. Post-retirement living is their next big adventure!
As a result, modern senior living communities provide a wide range of services and amenities geared toward seniors being able to choose the level of care and support they need. From Independent and Assisted Living to Personal Care and Memory Care, seniors can design a lifestyle around what is appropriate for their personal wants and needs.
However, over time, most seniors will require a higher level of care and support due to the natural aging process, for example, with medical issues or activities of daily living (ADLs) – or simply to make life more convenient.
Here we take a look at why senior living communities should consider offering their own on-demand, home care services to residents in 2023 and beyond.
Top seven reasons why you should consider offering your own home care services to residents
One of the obvious benefits to your business in offering your own non-medical personal care and home care services is that you can tap into a new source of revenue for business expansion and growth.
While this is an attractive benefit, there are other – perhaps more important – reasons for creating this new business opportunity. These include:
1. More affordable home care services for your residents
With third-party vendors, your residents will typically have to pay separately for any additional personal and home care services, like shopping, bathing, transportation, medication management, cooking, housekeeping, and so on – and at an increasingly higher price.
By bringing home care services in-house, it’s possible to offer your residents more affordable options, for example, through attractive packages that they can then upgrade over time. Cost savings will be particularly attractive for residents that require more than four hours of daily support for ADLs, etc.
2. Increased flexibility that improves the quality of life
Bringing home care services in-house gives you more control over care coordination and staffing and allows you to extend the services your residents currently receive to cover flexible day and night shifts, as needed.
You can make sure staff are available 24/7 to assist residents with personal care needs and ADLs, providing more flexible, on-demand services – and guaranteeing they always have access to the care they need when they need it.
3. Better caregiver-resident matching
Studies show that strong relationships between seniors and their caregivers provide the foundation for client-centric care models and play a vital role in engagement, satisfaction, and retention – for both parties.
You and your team know your residents better than any third-party vendor ever could, which means you can ensure you match them with the most compatible in-house caregivers to build lasting, successful relationships.
4. Peace of mind for residents’ loved ones
Many of your residents will have joined your community with minimal health issues and require little support for daily living activities or personal care. However, as the natural aging processes develop over time – or if residents become unwell for a short time with an illness, like a cold or flu – they will likely need additional support and care, either temporarily or long-term.
Knowing that your community offers on-demand home care services to residents, as and when they are required, provides peace of mind for their family members – especially those living at a distance. Knowing that their loved ones have someone they know supporting them and helping with activities that are necessary to continue living independently (and safely) is a great comfort and relief for residents’ loved ones.
5. Allows residents to live independently in their homes for longer
Most of the residents that join your community will be looking to build a life there and expecting to live independently in their new home for the foreseeable future.
However, they may begin to suffer from health issues over time and require extra daily services to continue safely aging in place – including help with physical tasks around the home like housework, maintenance, and laundry.
By offering your own flexible, on-demand home care services, your business can significantly increase the length of time your residents can remain living independently within your community – rather than moving on to a higher-level care facility. This is especially true if you can deliver specialized care in areas that require extra support, like Alzheimer’s, mobility impairment, or cognitive disabilities.
6. Ensures a higher quality of care – better care outcomes
While your residents are likely already accessing some home care services from third-party vendors, moving this in-house can significantly improve the quality of care they receive.
Delivering your own home care services to residents gives you more control over care coordination, communications, staffing, scheduling, costs, and much more – to guarantee a higher quality of care and better care outcomes for all residents.
7. Differentiates your community to attract clients from a wider age group and different health backgrounds
One of the appeals of senior living communities is that residents can enjoy greater independence and have access to an enriched social life with other residents. However, they will all need varying levels of additional support as they age.
By initially offering in-house home care services to otherwise healthy seniors, you will not only guarantee more convenient access for your current residents but will also be able to attract more potential clients from a wider age group and different health backgrounds.
Over time, creating a concierge level of holistic services will provide a significant competitive advantage and help your business acquire new customers. In addition, a diverse client base is desirable in anticipating future care demands and valuable for further developing and improving your services.
What are the challenges?
As with implementing any new, innovative strategy, there are some obvious challenges to face if you decide to move your personal care and home care services in-house.
For example, you will likely need to hire more staff, carefully coordinate care between any medical and non-medical care staff, integrate scheduling, financial operations, and other software used in healthcare (such as PointClickCare), and improve communications across the board.
How Smartcare Software can help
If you want to run personal and home care services as part of your senior living business model, the right technology is essential to help overcome these challenges and make a big difference for your residents in a highly competitive market.
The right software will seamlessly integrate your current care services with new/additional care service lines, and help you streamline, optimize and expand your business effectively. For example, Smartcare Software integrates with other software used in healthcare, such as PointClickCare, making it possible to accelerate the referral process and simplify billing.
Key areas where a home care software platform, like Smartcare, can help you successfully manage an extended range of service options include: safer communications, better scheduling and care coordination, improved quality of care, increased staff retention, easier KPI tracking, and differentiating your business from the competition in 2023.