Are You a Healthcare or a Lifestyle Decision?
If your community offers a continuum of care that includes independent and/or assisted living, you probably struggle with the best way to market yourself to prospective residents. More and more often, we hear senior living executives express concern about “churn” in their resident population. Residents are attracted to the community, but often leave to more advanced levels of care within 12 – 18 months.
To address this occupancy challenge, some senior living executives are trying to shift the context of the decision from healthcare to lifestyle. Residents choosing a community based on a desired lifestyle rather than healthcare concerns are more likely to enter the community earlier in their lives and stay in the community much longer before requiring advanced care.
Your options for positioning your senior living community as a lifestyle choice depend on a number of factors, including:
- The location of your community.
- The size and layout of your community and property.
- The lifestyle you want to offer.
- The demographics of your current residents.
- The demographic make-up of the residents you want to attract.
This could vary considerably. For example, a community located on waterfront property in a warm southern climate might focus on a lifestyle that emphasizes boating, fishing, water skiing and other outdoor activities. A different community may emphasize wellness with hiking, retreats, spa treatments, yoga or other activities and classes related to physical and spiritual wellness. Another community may emphasize an urban lifestyle or a country lifestyle. Your choice may be different depending on whether your goal is to attract more residents locally, or whether you are trying to attract residents from different areas of the country.
Increasingly, Unidine has been invited to participate in the development of strategies that position a community to market a lifestyle decision rather than a healthcare decision. Menus, schedules, serving styles, dining venues, food-related events and even educational programming related to food, diet and nutrition can all be customized to reflect the community’s strategic position and brand.
All of these elements are then incorporated into marketing materials, tours of prospective residents and their families, and events that welcome the broader community onto the property. The dining program blends with all the other lifestyle elements of the community to present a unified vision that changes the decision context from healthcare to lifestyle.
We have created a Dining Strategy Toolkit to help you navigate the complexities involved in development and implementing a dining strategy. The toolkit consists of a Dining Strategy Executive Brief, an on-demand webinar and our Lead With Dining eBook.
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