Baby Boomers and Senior Living Occupancy: How to Face Unexpected Challenges

If you’re a senior living operator, you might be optimistic about the future of your senior living occupancy for a simple reason—Baby Boomers.

Defined by Investopedia as those born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are your future residents, and the youngest members of the Boomer cohort are now their 50s.

As more Boomers reach their 60s, you may anticipate an uptick in occupancy as Boomers begin to consider retirement options.

However, you can’t stake your hopes for an increased census or a new development on the simple fact that this population is aging.

The reality is, Baby Boomers are a complex generation and increasing your senior living occupancy is going to require a solid strategy.

3 Reasons a Boomer Occupancy Boost Is Unpredictable

While it may be tempting to look to Baby Boomers to fill apartments, it’s unwise to rely on an influx of this demographic for several reasons. Here are a few statistics that reveal why many Baby Boomers may not flood senior housing communities:

  • Baby Boomers may have insufficient funds. According to GOBankingRates, for individuals 50 and above, over 70% were behind in their retirement savings—and about 30% of those 55 and older stated they had no savings at all.
  • Baby Boomers may retire at later ages than you expect. For 2016, the Insured Retirement Institute reported that 33% of Boomers plan to retire in the age range of 65–69 while 26% want to retire at age 70 or older.
  • When Boomers retire, they may not choose your community. According to data from Demand Institute released in 2014, 63% of Baby Boomers do not plan to move. As the report notes, they plan to age in place. Unless Baby Boomers have suddenly changed their preferences, this means that your senior living community may not be their first choice for retirement.

Our Senior Living Occupancy Prediction

As these events demonstrate, Baby Boomers won’t necessarily create an automatic 5% increase in your senior living occupancy.

Between limited savings and plans to retire later, Baby Boomers may have less of an incentive to join traditional senior housing communities than you or your competitors expect. On top of that, your future prospective residents may consider other options, such as home health.

In the end, there may be a shorter supply of this demographic—which will only increase the fierceness of the competition.

Here’s the bottom line: both statistics and current events reveal that you can’t count on an overflow of Boomers to effortlessly fill your community.

The good news is you don’t have to react to market forces, demographic shifts, or competition. You can create a strategy now to capture residents from the Baby Boomer population later.

The Senior Living Sales Solution

If intense competition and a shrinking group of prospects leave you with a lower senior living census than you expect, senior living sales training empowers you to increase revenue—even in difficult environments.

Sales training reveals…

  • How to connect what your community offers to what prospects need.
  • How to effectively conduct inquiry calls and on-site tours.
  • How to practice follow-up and reduce mismanaged or lost leads.
  • And more.

Even if limited retirement funds and an aging-in-place trend erode the Baby Boomer market, your team can gain the necessary skills to drive sales without depending on discounts and financial incentives.

Determine if your sales team has the skills to effectively increase occupancy with our free 13-Point Checklist: Close Revenue Gaps and Increase Occupancy for Your Senior Care Community.

This free checklist reveals the health of your community’s sales department and whether your sales team needs training.

Request free access to our checklist here.

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