The senior living industry is witnessing occupancy levels on a rebound. A recent survey underscores this optimism, revealing that 79% of stakeholders anticipate a surge in memory care occupancy through 2024. This positive outlook extends across the spectrum of senior living facilities, although with varied intensity—Assisted Living, Active Adult, and Independent Living sectors.

Amidst this upswing, the Independent Living sector has shown a notable increase in occupancy. And occupancy has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels for assisted living operators in secondary markets, with average census rates at 84.3%. Additionally, the long-term care domain is on a promising trajectory to regain its pre-pandemic occupancy levels as we approach the year’s end.

This occupancy rebound carries significant ramifications for hiring within the senior living and the home health & hospice sectors.

Demand for Skilled Personnel

The uptick in occupancy levels correlates with a heightened demand for skilled healthcare personnel. Facilities will need to bolster their staff numbers to cater to the increasing resident populace. This extends to hiring adept nurses, caregivers, therapy professionals, and administrative staff to ensure seamless operations and top-notch care.

As demand surges, the hiring landscape will turn fiercely competitive. Facilities vying for top talent will need to up the ante by offering attractive compensation packages, professional development opportunities, and conducive work environments.

Elevated Staffing Standards

With more residents to care for, maintaining high standards of care is imperative. This calls for elevated staffing standards, ensuring hires are not only proficient but also align with the compassionate ethos central to senior care.

The occupancy rebound might also accelerate the adoption of technology to streamline hiring processes, enhance staff training, and improve resident care. Innovative solutions like digital health records, telemedicine, and smart scheduling systems could play pivotal roles in attracting tech-savvy talent and elevating care standards.

Be More Strategic

In light of the occupancy surge, strategic workforce planning is essential to navigate the ebbs and flows of staff requirements. By forecasting staffing needs accurately, facilities can ensure they are well-prepared to provide exceptional care, irrespective of occupancy fluctuations.

The resurgence in occupancy is a beacon of hope, yet it brings forth challenges and opportunities in hiring. As senior living and home health & hospice sectors brace for this occupancy upswing, a strategic, holistic approach to hiring is necessary for ensuring both staff satisfaction and exemplary resident care.

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