CEOs from five senior living providers gazed into their crystal balls and shared five predictions about the future of the industry at the closing general session of the annual meeting of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) last week in Tampa, Fla.
The panel was moderated by Fortune senior editor and Washington columnist Nina Easton. Panel members included:
- Brenda Bacon, president and CEO, Brandywine Senior Living;
- Jon DeLuca, president and CEO, Senior Lifestyle Corp.;
- Kai Hsiao, president and CEO, Holiday Retirement;
- Randy Richardson, president, Vi; and
- Chris Winkle, president and CEO, Sunrise Senior Living.
They forecast the following:
1) Americans will proactively choose senior living.
Americans’ perception of senior living is evolving. Increasingly, people are not viewing senior living as a step on the way to higher-acuity care but rather as somewhere to age in place.
2) Consumers need guidance in saving for senior living.
Although demand for senior living will increase, Americans’ ability to finance their retirements may be in jeopardy. The industry can play a role in how educating consumers about how ot finance this part of their lives.
3) Senior living will become a leading career path.
Millennials and members of Generation Z increasingly will choose to work in the senior living industry, seeing such work as fulfilling a goal of altruism. The field will require caregivers but also professionals in finance, asset management, sales and marketing, food service and healthcare.
4) The senior living and healthcare industries will converge.
As healthcare systems focus on population health and seek to improve outcomes and reduce costs, they will need to collaborate with senior living providers. Assisted living communities will develop partnerships with home healthcare providers, hospitals and physician practices to provide integrated services.
5) Formalized standards will create a “seal of approval” for senior living operators.
ALFA will introduce formal industry standards and a credentialing program to enable its members to enhance or acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to perform at the highest levels within the senior living industry.