Adult living residences of all kinds, including assisted living facilities and memory care centers, have just weathered one of the most volatile years in our history. In fact, the sector is considered among many to have been the most severely affected by the healthcare crisis, due to their population being the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
A Banyan Residence remained committed throughout the year to keep our residents healthy, and we understand that the fight against this pandemic is not yet over. Thankfully, the vaccine is on its way, and our management and staff anticipates the return to a more normal way of life for our residents and their families in 2021.
However, in many ways the assisted living paradigm has been changed forever. Experts indicate that the way in which adult living communities of all stripes are designed, operated and advertised is likely to change due to lessons learned in 2020. Placing a loved one in as assisted living facility was always an emotional event; and in a post COVID world, those anxieties and worries about not only emotional but physical well-being are likely to be amplified. Owners and providers of senior living communities are facing unprecedented challenges as they move forward, even as the vaccine is alleviating much of the fear at this time.
Healthcare Necessarily Comes to the Forefront
No matter the model, many adult living residences traditionally offered a mixture of medical and healthcare and social enrichment. When families were seeking a place for their loved one, the latter was often deemed more important, as primary doctors and care were always a car ride away. 2020 shifted the focus, and now families are showing more interest in onsite clinics, testing and medical care over state-of-the-art gyms, fine dining options and social opportunities. Across the United States and our own state of Florida, senior living facilities spent 2020 reacting to the pandemic by hiring on clinical staff; creating telehealth protocols; and establishing a greater working relationship with outside health systems to effectively manage the patients changing health requirements. While COVID-19 will eventually be relegated to memory, assisted living providers will move ahead knowing that healthcare needs to be a primary focus for their residents.
One of the results of 2020 may be more government regulation of the assisted living industry. Throughout the year, associations spent vast resources lobbying state and federal government for financial relief, personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and most recently, a priority placement on the vaccine roll out schedule. With government assistance often comes regulation, although this need not be considered a negative development. A standardization of the industry is likely to lift the standards of all assisted living and memory care centers across the board – although all of this is currently speculation and remains to be seen as the situation progresses into 2021.
New Focus on Medicare Advantage?
More adult living residences are expected to embrace Medicare Advantage in order to provide more coordinated and seamless medical care to their residents. Capital expenditures in the future are expected to include more outdoor areas for safe visits and activities, ways to keep residents safe without loneliness and isolation, more voice-activated technologies throughout the building, comprehensive air purification systems, onsite medical clinics and well established telehealth services.
At A Banyan Residence, we are dedicated to every element of your loved one’s well-being. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have been laser-focused on safety and health in all its iterations – physical, emotional, and social. With the arrival of the vaccine and the knowledge gained through this experience, we are confident that you will find our Venice facilities will continue to represent comprehensive overall care and a positive, empowering place to live. For more information on how we are combating the virus, or to schedule a tour of our facilities, call A Banyan Residence today.