Senior Living 2021 – Ten Fast, Bold Predictions

1: A little relief.

Vaccines are on the way and they are showing a 95% efficacy.  By June 2021, it’s expected that over 150 million Americans will have been vaccinated.

And current plans (it varies by state) point to senior citizens in Senior Living communities getting vaccine priority.

2: Net move will stop by March 30, 2021.

We are suffering through another peak in hospitalizations and deaths and, as before, 80% of the deaths are coming in the 65 and older category.  As the vaccines kick in, the deaths will plummet and move-outs at Senior Living facilities will stop, but not before another rough first quarter in 2021.

3: Group activities will come back.

Group activities for many locations have basically stopped or been strongly curtailed.  As infections plummet, a sense of engagement and community will return.

Perhaps the cruelest side effect of this pandemic has been loneliness and isolation for Seniors.  A core reason seniors moved into Senior Living has been undermined.  That’s about to end.

Seniors dancing and celebrating together.

4: Visitors en masse.

Expect a boom in visitors in the second quarter as vaccines rise and infections fall.

Delayed or curtailed in-person family visits will come back.

Expect lots of hugs, visits and smiles in your community.

5: Move-backs will take off in second quarter.

Many residents moved out to be with immediate family and quarantine.

After a pause in the second quarter of 2021, move backs will kick-in during the third quarter providing a boost to their communities, happy reunions and a needed lift in Senior Living community revenues.

6: Delayed projects will be back.

Software, technology, exercise, dining and expansion upgrades have been put off for more than a year.

Partly out of fear of onsite professionals and workers visiting the communities and partly out of financial constraints.

As stress eases and business and operational models become more predictable, projects will be back in gear.

7: Senior Living stocks will rebound.

The S&P 500 is up 13.5% in 2020, but Senior Living stocks are down 25%.

As the clouds clear and there’s more visibility of improved performance, stocks will recover and be a leading sector for performance in 2021.

8: New residents boom in third quarter.

Pent up demand for new resident move-ins combined with a frothy real estate market will lead to a huge spike in new resident move-ins beginning in the third quarter of 2021 and expand into the fourth quarter.

The pandemic will appear to be solved by then and the same dynamics and motivators and demographics that drove growth prior to the pandemic will kick in.

Happy Senior couple poses for selfie while moving in.

9: Profits will spike.

Senior Living profits have been hit heavily by resident move-outs, increased costs due to personal protective equipment, and non-existent new move-ins.

All those trends will reverse in 2021.

PPE costs will plummet throughout the year,  residents who moved out will move back (boosting revenues), and new residents will start moving in.

All of these positive financial trend reversals will lift financial performance and healthy, manageable profits will return.

10: Digital Seniors trend will continue.

The pandemic brought an absolute explosion in senior usage of Zoom®, FaceTime® and a myriad of other visual technology apps.

With usage comes familiarity and with familiarity comes greater usage and expansion.

We are on the cusp of the Digital Senior revolution.

Senior video chatting on laptop while relaxing.

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