The following is part of the “You’ve got Questions,…We’ve Got Answers” series featured in McKnights Senior Living
By Jim Moore
What practical options are available to enhance the flexibility of my service offering to be more competitive and financially viable without significant modification to my community?
Offer a unique and more flexible living arrangement for some of your independent living residents who obviously want to continue to maximize their independence, but many now need some moderate additional assistance in living. They may not currently require more extensive and structured assisted living at this time. But they could benefit from accessing additional a la carte priced assistance in living services that can be offered on a flexible, as-needed basis within their independent living unit. I call it “Catered Living.”
You can optimize the individual independence of many of your residents by providing the necessary services on a highly customized basis. What this means is that your residents can live as independently as their situation allows while having access to appropriate assistance. That’s the essence of Catered Living. Eventually, a particular resident might obviously require a more formalized high acuity assisted living setting, but short-run, many resident’s ideal lifestyle desires of experiencing optimum independence can be sustained.
As with every strategic opportunity in Senior living, there are challenges and cautions. Here are three; 1) Make sure regulations and licensing allow you to deliver Catered Living services in your state or locale. 2) Have a clearly documented policy as to when a resident must move to a more structured, formal assisted living setting. 3) Develop a financial model for equitable a la carte charges that avoids cost creep and delivers appropriate profit margins.
Jim Moore is president of Moore Diversified Services, Inc., a national senior housing and healthcare consulting firm based in Fort Worth, TX that has been serving clients for 46 years. He has authored five books about senior living and healthcare including Assisted Living Strategies for Changing Markets and Independent Living and CCRCs. Jim Moore can be reached at (817) 731-4266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.