August 8, 2022

7 Tips for Renovating a Senior Living Community

The senior living industry is gearing up for explosive growth.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, continuing care retirement communities reached 85.7 percent occupancy, according to Ziegler Investment Banking. As the United States population ages, the sector has the potential to reach even higher occupancy rates in the next decade. The NAIOP projected that the 75-and-older age group in the U.S. will increase by 76 percent from 2020 to 2035, creating new demand for senior living.

For some senior living communities, renovating or rehabilitating the facilities is critical to preparing for this growth. Roughly 58 percent of senior living communities are more than 20 years old, according to the National Investment Center. Renovations allow property managers to upgrade their facilities, provide better support for current residents, attract new members and signal a change in ownership or services.

Here are seven ways to prepare for a successful renovation.

Gather feedback from current and prospective residents.

Invite current, prospective and future residents to participate in the rehabilitation process. Interview residents in one-on-one settings and host open forums for their family members to gather feedback on the project. Including your residents and families in the planning allows them to take ownership of the rehabilitation, which may make some people more open and receptive to the changes to the facilities.

Create a two-year budget and implementation plan.

Comprehensive renovations are likely to happen over the course of years, so begin by creating a long-term budget to upgrade the facilities without breaking the bank. In partnership with your moving company, develop a continuity plan to minimize disruptions to your residents and your business. Your moving coordinator will work to ensure the community stays comfortable during the renovations keeping residents excited about the changes and not stressed.

Expand independent living units.

Many apartment renovations today demonstrate an increasing preference for more spacious one- or two-bedroom units over smaller studios. Housing providers are adding space to their facilities by combining units and adding new options to accommodate residents’ spatial needs. Investment firm Lord Abbett reported that 86% of bond deals underwritten by Ziegler between 2014 and 2019 involved an expansion of independent living units.

Move valuables into short-term storage.

While expanding the units, store any bulky or valuable items with the moving company to clear up space for the contractors. Full-service movers will remove, store, transport and reinstall the furniture for you, coordinating with the contractors to keep the process as efficient as possible.

Add luxury amenities to meet changing lifestyle preferences.

Since COVID-19 first hit, senior living communities have seen an increased desire for more at-home health and wellness services. While some age groups decreased their physical activity during the pandemic, data from the Canadian Community Health Survey found that seniors increased their physical activity in 2020 compared to prior years. In response, senior living providers are adding fitness centers, pools, spas and other resort-style amenities for health and wellbeing to their existing facilities.

Refresh your furniture, fixtures and equipment.

No facility refresh is complete without new furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E). Find a few big-ticket items that will add value to your community, and reupholster other furniture and furnishings to match your refreshed look. If your moving company has FF&E expertise, its crews can receive deliveries, store items, transport furnishings and install equipment for you. While your movers handle the day-to-day logistics of your FF&E, you can focus on your residents.

Improve lighting and flooring.

One of the simplest ways to breathe new life into your senior living community is by replacing lighting and carpeting. Adding new LED lights and window treatments to rooms and common areas will instantly brighten the spaces, making the space feel warm and welcoming. Similarly, installing new floors or carpets can make residents feel more at home while reducing the signs of age in your facilities. Your moving company can help organize, assemble, arrange and install the new fixtures in a way that is considerate of your residents and your timeline.

Ensure success on your next renovation project by partnering with Armstrong – Houston. From receiving and storage to fulfillment, delivery and installation, Armstrong has you covered. Get started today by calling 281.897.118 or requesting a free quote online.

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Houston, TX 77040

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