2019 Senior Living Operations Report: Industry Trends & Insights

3 minutes


Get a sneak peek of our report

What keeps senior living operations leaders and executives up at night? 

We recently conducted a comprehensive survey nationally to explore this topic and got feedback from across several sectors of the senior living and long-term/post-acute care industry. We received and analyzed hundreds of responses from managers and executives across the continuum, revealing some interesting trends, from the competitive landscape and consumer expectations to operational challenges.  

Our goal with the survey and report is to provide awareness to the top challenges for leaders in the senior living industry and to help equip those leaders with context, trends and insight that they can use in future planning for their communities. 

Our survey questions and report cover a lot of ground, answering questions around: 

  • What risks keep operations leaders up at night 

  • If and how providers are addressing the middle market 

  • How operators are differentiating to effectively compete  

  • Changing consumer demands and expectations 

  • Staffing challenges facing the industry 

  • How operators are benchmarking their operations 

  • How providers are managing budgets and capital planning 

Several market segments are represented: 

  • Independent Living 

  • Assisted Living 

  • Memory Care 

  • Skilled Nursing/Rehab 

  • CCRCs/Life Plan Communities 

Results were compared/contrasted by: 

  • Service line 

  • Size of organization 

  • For-profit vs. not-for-profit status 

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the results. 


Navigating the Competitive Landscape 

A resounding 97% of respondents agreed that consumer demands and expectations are increasing.  

“Consumer expectations are extremely different now. They want nicer accommodations, increased physician access, and dramatically different food service than has historically been provided by the industry. They want more amenities and they’re not afraid to ask,” commented one industry executive.  

“Residents and their families are more educated and more demanding,” observed another respondent.  “The internet and placement services provide resources that consumers didn’t have easy access to in the past. And as the leading edge of the Boomers hits, we’ll see even higher expectations.”  

So how do providers respond to these demands? Many focus on differentiating their services from those of their competitors an improving services through assisted living software.

In this year’s survey, the top three most popular differentiators were customer service, staff capabilities and culture.


  • Customer service- 88% of respondents 

  • Staff capabilities- 78% of respondents  

  • Culture- 71% of respondents  

Not surprisingly, responses to effective differentiation varied by service line. For example, skilled nursing and memory care providers were more likely to rank staff capabilities higher while CCRCs/life plan communities were more likely to favor lifestyle and wellness programs than other care settings.  

Watch our webinar on the report to see more results.


[video Insterted]


Addressing the Middle Market 

Another major focus area for providers of all types is addressing the middle-income consumer or middle market.  

A full 52% of respondents reported having products that target the middle market. Another 27% are interested in addressing this segment. Survey results would suggest that for-profit operators are somewhat ahead of their not-for-profit peers in addressing the middle market. In for-profit respondents, 58% reported having middle-market product compared to 48% of not-for-profits. And twice as many not-for-profits indicated they were interested in this segment but hadn’t yet addressed it.  


See even more survey results by downloading a copy of our 2019 Senior Living Operations Report