Senior Living Move-Ins Accelerate to Quickest Pace Since Covid-19 Began

With states across the country gradually lifting Covid-19 shelter-in-place restrictions, a majority of senior housing operators expect to resume move-ins within the next 30 days, and move-ins are accelerating at the best rate since the pandemic started.

Moreover, the rapid occupancy declines that impacted the industry as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country appear to have stabilized, and some communities are even reporting occupancy gains, according to the latest executive survey insights report from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). The industry association surveyed 150 senior housing and skilled nursing executives from across the nation between May 25 and June 7.

Move-in deceleration improved across all care levels during this time frame, compared to the previous survey. Independent living providers reported a 46% deceleration in move-ins from 62%, assisted living providers reported a 42% deceleration from 65%, and memory care provider move-in deceleration improved to 39% from 59%.

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In addition, nearly 20% of organizations with independent living, assisted living, and memory care segments reported an increase in move-ins over the previous 30-day period, the most of any wave to date since NIC began these surveys.

NIC data showing the pace of senior housing move-ins decelerating since the coronavirus pandemic forced closures across the country.

Nearly two-thirds of providers continue to attribute decelerations to a slowdown in lead conversions and sales. Half of organizations responding cited resident or family member concerns, and about 25% cited a mandatory government-imposed ban as the primary cause of deceleration.

Move-outs, meanwhile, appear to have stabilized after a chaotic April. A majority of respondents in independent living and memory care (68% each), and assisted living (63%) reported no change in move-outs over the past 30 days.

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Three months into the pandemic, 67% of respondents indicated that they are preparing to lift move-in restrictions within the next month. Another 9% expect to resume move-ins within two months, and 23% had no timetable to re-open.

A pie chart showing responses from operators on lifting Covid-19 restrictions on move-ins.

Access to personal protective equipment and Covid-19 testing kits show signs of improvement, as well. Nearly 25% of respondents indicated that both access to PPE and access to Covid-19 testing kits improved considerably, while 58% indicated it has improved somewhat for PPE and 47% for test kits.

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