Senior living providers in the U.S. have yet to substantially tap into the Asian market for senior housing development, though many have explored the potential there.
And Chinese companies are taking some cues from senior living operators in the States, at least from an exploratory standpoint, as Chinese leaders visited a series of communities last year.
But a few companies are starting to see success in China, writes the Seattle Times this week, focusing on several Seattle-based companies that are expanding their efforts abroad.
One of those companies is Cascade Healthcare, part of Seattle-based Columbia Pacific Management (see SHN’s recent interview with the company’s founder, Dan Baty).
Cascade, along with Seattle-based Merrill Gardens and New York City-based Fortress Investment Group, are testing the waters to meet the needs of China’s massive population of aging people.
The opportunities are not for the flighty investor, operators say.
“China presents tremendous opportunities for companies that have the bandwidth to hang in there and watch it all come together,” Barbara Nopen, chief operating officer of Merrill Gardens China, told the Seattle Times. ““We really have a lot of work to do to educate a country about why it’s a good lifestyle for them.”
The opportunities are big, but so are the challenges, not the least of which include major cultural barriers. But familial stigmas are beginning to subside, with those committed to the opportunity beginning to see success.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker