White Papers Shed Light on Move-In Process Shortcomings

Navigating the resident move-in experience can be challenging, but it’s also essential that senior care communities get it right. The move-in period is full of emotions for residents and their families, and the experience residents have can set the stage for their time in the community. From ensuring residents have the support they need to helping new residents make connections and friends, a lot of thought goes into the move-in process.

Bild & Co examined the move-in process in two recent whitepapers. The studies analyze what works well in addition to common shortcomings, and they contain valuable information that senior care communities can use to examine their own move-in processes and create better experiences for new residents.

2023 Move-In and Move-Out Trends

Bild-co-white paper-imageBild & Co’s first study, published on August 31, 2023, examines data from more than 40 senior living communities during Q2 of 2023. The communities are located in 18 different states throughout the US.

The study found that 41% of all Q2 move-ins resulted from paid referral sources and digital leads, though professional referrals were another top source of move-ins. The average length of resident stay in Q2 was 507 days. Additionally, the average number of days from an inquiry to a tour was 68 days, and the average number of days from an inquiry to a move-in was 173 days.

The paper also examines move-out trends and finds that 33.99% of move-outs were reported as having no or an unknown reason. Death was the second highest reason, accounting for 32.01% of move-outs. Another 15.01% of move-outs resulted when the resident needed a higher level of care than the facility could provide, and 8.22% of move-outs were because residents returned home. Finally, 6.23% of move-outs resulted because a resident was not financially qualified. Just 4.25% of move-outs occurred when a resident transferred to a competitor.

Move-Out Shortcomings

Bild & Co followed up that first study with a second study focusing on the resident move-in experience and its shortcomings. Released on October 19, 2023, the study analyzed 2023 move-ins, including the experiences of more than 60 residents and 187 family members as reported 90 days post-move-in. Data reflects families and residents across multiple states.

According to the data, a majority of family members and residents reported a positive move-in experience, ranking the experience between 8 and 10. More than 47% of residents and family members were happy with the first 90 days of the move-in experience, and 91.5% of all respondents reported that the senior care associate communication and responsiveness were fantastic or average.

However, residents and family members also identified areas that needed improvement, with 8.5% of respondents saying that associate communication and responsiveness needed improvement. Some of the most consistent complaints from residents centered around customer service and meals and dining options. Residents also noted that the community needed to make a better effort in acclimating new residents to other residents.

Several complaints focused on housekeeping, and the top housekeeping complaint was that laundry was misplaced or lost and that clothes were not folded or put away. Other housekeeping complaints included that the bed was unmade, trash wasn’t taken care of, and that housekeeping wasn’t performed weekly.

In addition to housekeeping issues, respondent feedback also highlighted a general lack of communication about matters like paperwork, food, and care. Other feedback included issues like a long sign-in process for visitors, the need for better foods, and the need to properly update resident records. Food complaints included the overall quality of the food, lack of flavor, and limited choices, while the top care-related complaint was that staffing to ensure quality care was lacking.

Improving the Move-In Process

With the move-in process so integral to a resident’s and family’s impressions and experiences with a senior care community, even small changes can result in significant improvements. For example, many residents and families reported issues with communication during the move-in process, as well as with lack of support to help residents develop new friendships. Revisiting the move-in process and ensuring that a clear communication plan and resident supports are in place can improve the move-in process and help ease resident and family concerns. These small efforts are an excellent way to show that a senior care community truly cares for and is available to support residents.

Topics: Facility management , Featured Articles , Housing