Decreasing the number of residents that move out of the community is a priority for senior care executives. Resident retention rates can often show the overall success of a senior care community and can point to indicators such as resident health, family engagement, and general satisfaction. In order to take control of some aspects of resident retention, senior care executives are turning toward preventative care protocols and policies.
Why Preventative Care in Senior Living Matters
Preventative care for seniors is has the potential to be big business. According to the CDC, less than 50% of seniors over the age of 65 are participating in preventative care opportunities that are offered through Medicaid, Medicare or private insurances. Unfortunately, seniors who do not receive preventative care are missing the chance to maintain health and independence.
Preventative care is the key to giving residents quality of life and decreasing the need to move out of their current care community due to health reasons. Senior care executives are turning to their clinical managers to help increase the number of preventative care opportunities offered on-site. This attention to preventative care assures that medical professionals are able to find health problems before they start or become unmanageable at the care community. Seniors who are treated for conditions found during preventative care screenings are able to age in place for longer and avoid any unnecessary illnesses, falls, or complications thereof.
When senior living executives make preventative care a priority, everyone benefits. Residents stay healthier and independent for a longer period of time, families feel confident that loved ones are getting the best care, and residents stay in their senior living community for longer. This increased resident retention leads to a stronger bottom line for the senior care community, a solid reputation for high quality care throughout the greater community, and an advantage in the marketplace.
Preventative Care Best Practices
Under the direction of a seasoned clinical director, senior living communities can implement ways to take advantage of preventative care protocols, giving doctors and the nursing team the best chance to intervene before resident health declines. The sooner the clinical team finds an acute or chronic condition, the sooner interventions can start, which means the chance of the senior remaining at the senior care community increases.
Preventative care measures in senior living communities can include:
- Regular immunizations offered at the community for residents, staff, and family members
- Regular exams by an experienced geriatrician that include plenty of time for talking about issues with family participation (as dictated by the resident)
- Ongoing strength and endurance training through therapy and activity department teamwork
- Regular fall risk assessments that include resident and environmental factors
- Consistent skin care review and automated pressure ulcer monitoring
- Regular nutrition assessment and resident education regarding healthy eating to support diagnoses
- Access to mental health professionals who are able to diagnose and proactively treat both chronic and new mental health issues
- Regular screenings for common chronic conditions
It can be challenging to schedule and offer preventative care opportunities for residents. However, modern health monitoring and senior care technologies can assist with everything from fall risk assessments and alerts to early illness detection. As such, senior care executives are finding that making preventative care a priority can pay off in both resident and business health.
Preventative Care in Action
To keep resident retention rates stable and vacancies low, senior care executives who turn to preventative care are setting themselves apart in the marketplace. Referral sources such as hospitals or senior driven businesses are confident that communities focused on preventative care are resident-centered. Investors take note of stable vacancy margins, and residentsexperience fewer crises. Those that take advantage of preventative care are finding that residents are healthier longer, which means they are aging in place longer.
How does your community bring preventative care opportunities to residents? Have you noticed a positive shift in resident retention after implementing preventative care protocols?