Driving around the area where we live, we see Senior Living Communities popping up everywhere. In fact, we have family members who live in these types of communities and love it. Reading these statistics, it’s no wonder there is growing demand for these communities.
- There were 40.3 million people age 65 and older on April 1, 2010, an increase of 5.3 million since the 2000 census. The 65+ age group grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, increasing by 15.1 percent as compared to 9.7 percent for the total population. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010
- The number of people 65 and older in the United States is expected to increase to 55 million in 2020; to some 70 million by 2030, and to 88.5 million —or 20 percent of the population —in 2050. (Put yet another way, between 2006 and 2030, the U.S. population of adults aged 65+ will nearly double from 37 million to 71.5 million people.) Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010
- Among the age groups within the older population, the 85-to-94-year olds experienced the fastest growth between 2000 and 2010, rising from 9.5 million to 12.4 million. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010
- The number of people age 85 and older will increase from about 14 percent of the older population today to 21 percent in 2050. Source: The Next Four Decades: The Older Population of the United States, U.S. Census Bureau 2010
All that to say, more of us are living longer, and with time, that number will continue to increase. Along with the longevity comes the ever growing healthcare need for that demographic. How can your practice engage and market to this population so you have the opportunity to meet and surpass their healthcare needs?
Building organic relationships with 50+ senior living communities is a great way to do this. And let’s be clear, we are not calling them retirement communities on purpose. Many residents in those communities are still actively employed and continuing to work in their careers long after the typical retirement age. In fact, some may be working in their second or third careers. Recognizing and remembering that these residents are active and busy is important to keep in mind while you market to them and plan events they can attend with a working schedule.
Get to know the Community Manager at the property. They would be a good first point of contact to learn more about the needs of the community. Offer perks for their residents like same-day appointments. Offer to be a resource if they ever need recommendations on great physicians – like Ortho and Cardiology. If they publish a community newsletter, offer royalty-free health articles that don’t sell your practice specifically. They could also use the same info on their social media. Basically, build a relationship so your practice is their go-to resource for anything health related.
Connect with the person that plans activities. Try to complement the community’s existing activities in addition to creating new ones. Offer to help them do a health fair. Offer to help with other activities. And if you are able, offer to provide free food, branded trinkets and health screenings at the health fair. Including child-centered activities (face painting, simple carnival games, etc.) for grandchildren is another great way to encourage grandparents to attend.
Connect with the people that run the fitness center. Offer articles or resident talks. Be a resource for them.
Connect with the golf, tennis, or pickle ball pro. Offer info for members (articles, videos, talks) on preventing injuries, and be sure to talk up good playing form. Be sure the pro knows you’ll give priority access to their clients.
The communities have several groups and clubs that cater to a specific interest or activity, like Cancer Support Group, Kiwanis Club, Parkinson’s Support Group, Serious Illness Support Group, Support Our Troops, and many more. Your providers could speak to and be resources for these residents. In addition to the normal health material, if your practice has any military doctors, offer to speak about military medical topics which, from our experience, is always well attended.
On-site Health Clinic
Many communities have an on-site health clinic. Connect with the Medical Director and/or manager to see how you can support the community. Many of these communities have in-house physicians, but not all residents want to see those doctors. For those residents, a nearby location is important to them.
Offer to provide hand sanitizer, bandaids, or other medical supplies to the different facilities, with your logo, of course.
On-site Vaccine Clinics
Offer on-site vaccine clinics for flu shots, COVID, and any other common senior vaccines if it clinically makes sense to do them outside of the primary care setting (pneumonia, shingles, etc.).
If the community has events and programs that can be sponsored, consider doing this. If you can sponsor, ask for face time with residents during that event or program, not just your logo on the sign.
Find out if there are volunteer opportunities in the community and consider having a staff member participate. Volunteering is an amazing way to build organic relationships.
In regard to digital marketing, set up or hire someone to set up a geofence around a specific community and do Facebook marketing to the residents. Residents are on Facebook and some lurk on Instagram, too. In your ads, keep them focused on meeting their needs and less about your specific practice.
The 50+ communities can be a captive audience for your practice if you are able to build authentic relationships with the residents and staff. Organic relationships built on a true interest in helping them learn and stay healthy is your best bet for successful engagement which could lead to the growth of your practice.