Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are exploring strategies to expand their market reach to seniors—specifically the sizable group who don’t plan to enter a traditional community—and one model is a “CCRC without walls.”
The model isn’t exactly new, as the first one debuted in the 1980s, but it has picked up more attention in recent months. CCRCs without walls can be a very appealing product for healthy, active seniors who don’t want to leave their homes, but do want to make provisions for their future long-term care needs. The key may be viewing in-home care service providers not as competitors, but as partners.
It may be counterintuitive for CCRCs to expand to in-home services, but some in the industry say it is a brilliant move with little to no disadvantages. Rick Morey, president of HomeTrak, a scheduling and management software platform for the private-duty homecare industry, says the in-home services sector is an opportunity for CCRCs to expand market share and recoup losses experienced on campus.
In 1994, Morey was an administrator at a senior living community in Sun City, Calif., and decided to create an in-home services brand when he realized that only three to four percent of income-qualified individuals were actually moving into his community. The idea was a success and by 2000 had grown into a $6 million business.
Morey’s move in the mid-1990s was bold. At that time, in-home services were seen as a competitor to a CCRC’s marketing efforts. It seemed impossible for CCRC marketing teams to blend their efforts to attract people onto their campuses with one aimed at keeping people in their homes. But Morey says the tide is changing. Today, Morey’s business services the in-home industry and he’s watched as more CCRCs are stepping outside their walls and into the community little by little.
The advantages of CCRCs offering in-home services are boundless, Morey states. An in-home services arm allows LTC communities to generate a fresh revenue stream and develop a new pipeline which connects seniors to their facilities. It also offers economies of scale when it comes to marketing efforts and referrals. Perhaps most importantly, it enables a CCRC to further tap into the ever burgeoning direct-care market which, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), is expected by 2020 to be the nation’s largest workforce at five million workers.
Long-Term Living has the full article, which talks in depth about Evangelical Homes of Michigan’s CCRC-without-walls program.
Written by Alyssa Gerace