EveryAge has some ambitious plans, as the senior living and aging services provider celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Last month, the nonprofit – formerly known as United Church Homes and Services – completed a rebranding in conjunction with its golden anniversary.
The new corporate identity goes beyond the company’s beginnings as a faith-based provider to be more inclusive of the larger communities it serves, CEO Lee Syria told Senior Housing News.
With the rebranding complete, EveryAge is turning its attention to a growth strategy including expanding its home health services line, and working on a prototype for a scalable middle-market senior housing product.
In the short term, meanwhile, EveryAge is contending with ongoing pressures stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. Expenses continue to be elevated, while occupancy gains achieved during the summer have begun to trend downward again.
Based in Newton, North Carolina, EveryAge owns and operates three life plan communities and nine affordable senior communities in North Carolina and Virginia, serving over 2,000 older adults. Additionally, the provider offers Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) services.
Home health growth
EveryAge is experiencing growing demand for home health services as the pandemic persists, which is a growing trend within the senior care industry. And the organization is taking steps to meet that demand, Syria told SHN.
The provider has a Medicare certified home health agency at Lake Prince Woods, its life plan community in Suffolk, Virginia. Its two North Carolina campuses have non-certified home care programs in place. North Carolina is a certificate of need state, but Syria sees growing demand for home care services and the provider is weighing options to tap into that need.
One option includes expanding EveryAge’s two PACE programs. Through the home care license it holds at Piedmont Crossing, a life plan community in Thomasville, North Carolina, the provider is able to offer home care services in its PACE program in the area. EveryAge’s other PACE program is located next door to one of its affordable communities.
“That is a significant revenue enhancement,” she said.
EveryAge has looked at scaling home health services through partnerships with PACE programs in its other markets, as well. It entered into a partnership with Elder House, a provider in Wilmington, North Carolina, last year, and received notification from the state in August that it can expand that program into another market in eastern North Carolina.
Syria recognizes the value of connecting its residents to these types of services, even if EveryAge does not have skin in the game.
“It’s the best way for someone to age in place that doesn’t want to go to skilled nursing, but doesn’t have the assets or the income to pay for private home health care,” she said.
Addressing middle-market demand
Between its life plan campuses, affordable housing portfolio, and PACE services, EveryAge has its hands in market-rate and lower-income senior housing. And the firm has its sights set on filling the gap in middle-market demand.
The provider is in discussions with a North Carolina-based developer to create a prototype that would fill the middle-market gap. This would be an independent living product that Syria envisions can be scalable across EveryAge’s existing markets, where it can also leverage the home health licenses of its life plan communities so that future residents can age in place longer without concerns about affordability.
Covid-19 is fueling the need for middle-market senior housing, which was already a priority across the industry. A November 2020 study released by Pew Research Center revealed that more baby boomers have exited the workforce during the pandemic.
The past 18 months have given more boomers the opportunity to reassess their retirement accounts and determine that, without having to spend money on work-related transportation and meals, their nest eggs can last longer. Moreover, many boomers have left the workforce for medical or family issues, and found life at home to be more fulfilling.
If this accelerated pace of boomers retiring is maintained, the need for more middle-market housing will become paramount. Syria hopes EveryAge can be in a position to meet that demand.
“We’re able to serve people, on our campuses and off. There might be the possibility to partner [with other organizations], if people move into a middle market product,” she said.