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Making a Business Case for Senior Housing

Posted: March 18, 2014

Making the Business Case for Senior Housing

I just came from the American Society on Aging annual conference.  One thing almost everyone in the field agrees on is that senior housing is an extremely efficient and effective platform for delivery of services to older adults.  I would assert that it’s also the most likely situation to preserve quality of life, but that’s another topic.

So while no one would doubt its efficacy, we do not have the right data to prove it—and to prove it so that we can attract investors who see it as producing a good return.   Many have tried to document and quantify—but somehow they have fallen short of creating a compelling case for investing in senior housing for all but the very wealthy (and the HUD investment in housing for the very poor).  Among other challenges, it’s very difficult to prove the absence of something—for instance, the avoidance of nursing home placements for our residents.  It’s very hard to prove the absence of loneliness.  Since we do not offer medical care, it’s even hard to measure the indicators that are avoided by avoiding chronic loneliness—the absence of increased blood pressure and worse immune systems responses that have been documented as results of chronic loneliness in numerous studies.

I want to frame it as our need to make a business case rather than simply talk about conducting research to document our success.  I hope this can focus our work and that some funder will find this a worthwhile investment because it has the finite goal of enticing investors in our future.  Stay tuned……..

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