This market analysis is based on data from the two counties neighboring Elderly Acres Nursing Home. The two neighboring counties are Yorkshire and Buffalo. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of people who are above 65 years of age in Buffalo and Yorkshire Counties is 938, 450. This number represents 15% of the total population in these two counties. Consequently, it is higher than the national average of 11.6%. It is expected that only 30% of the total elderly population in Yorkshire and Buffalo needs assisted living care. The rest of the elderly population is healthy enough to care for itself. Furthermore, some of the elderly people are already under the care of family members. After these considerations, Elderly Acres is left with a possible target population of 346, 440 clients. This number represents the number of patients living in both Yorkshire and Buffalo Counties. To be more realistic, Elderly Acres considers the number of patients living in the area but within a 30-minute drive from its premises. The number of those living within a 30-minute drive is projected to be 136, 906. Out of these 136,906 potential clients, it is expected that only 10% can afford full-time care at Elderly Acres. This leaves our premises with a potential patient population of 13, 691. The future of this business is likely to be affected by the shift in population trends. However, while the total population in our area of operation is expected to decrease, the population of people who are above 65 years is expected to increase (Hamilton, Strobino & Guyer, 2008). Therefore, our business projects a 3% business increase over the next five years.
The Prospective Payment System (PPS) was introduced to ease the pressure on hospitals. Under PPS, patients are discharged and sent to nursing home care directly. On the other hand, hospital resources are directed towards caring for patients with serious health cases. A recent study indicated that the number of patients in nursing homes has doubled since the inception of PPS (Mueller, Holland & Joy, 2009). PPS enables patients with lower incomes to afford to spend time in nursing homes. Elderly Acres expects to benefit from a potential 58,345 elderly patients in the $28,000-70,000 dollars income bracket.
The practice of taking the elderly home to recuperate or receive specialized care used to be accompanied by a lot of stigma in the past. This was when families could afford to take care of the elderly in the confines of their own homes. For the families who could not afford to take care of their elderly, churches and other humanitarian organizations usually stepped in to help take care of the elderly. However, economic constraints and the small-sized families of the 21st century have made it difficult for individuals to take care of their aging family members. Another factor contributing to the growing demand for assisted living facilities is the increase in the elderly population. Due to improved health care and well-informed nutritional choices, the number of individuals who are over 75 years of age is at an all-time high. Moreover, the largest generation in history (Baby Boomers) is approaching the age bracket of 75 years and above (Knickman & Snell, 2008). Women used to be the primary caretakers of the elderly but most women today are pursuing careers. Over the last two decades, there has been an acute shortage of nurses leading to high costs of home-based assistance. All these trends have been major contributors to the current boom in our line of business. Nevertheless, this boom has brought about stiff competition in the nursing home industry. The trends associated with the increased demand for assisted nursing care are set to continue even in the future. For instance, women will continue to pursue careers while families are set to become smaller. Therefore, Elderly Acres plans to establish itself as the home of choice for the current and the next elderly generation. Health insurance providers have also indicated their interest in covering assisted care costs.
Our experience in the assisted living care business indicates that people who are seeking these services have a few similar needs. First, the elderly patients need to be accorded dignity and respect. Second, our clients need to fulfill their need to be part of a community. Third, the patients need to be involved in decisions concerning their living arrangements as well as their treatment plans. Finally, our clients need to be reassured about the quality of our service including the skill levels of our nurses and other caregivers. The main difference between our service and that of our competitors is that our main concern is not the cost of our services but the needs of our patients. Most assisted living facilities tend to ignore the needs of their clients and focus more on the pricing considerations of their services. Another unique aspect of our service portfolio is our focus on our clients’ families. Our services are aimed at giving our clients’ families peace of mind and a well-deserved relief from the time-consuming task of taking care of their aging family members. In addition, our service is aimed at reassuring the families of our clients that we have the physical, intellectual, and emotional resources that are necessary for taking care of their loved ones. This reassurance relieves our clients from the guilt of not having the resources that are necessary for taking care of their loved ones. Nonetheless, when dealing with our clients’ families we have to keep reassuring them that they are making the right decision by leaving their family members in our care. This reassurance helps the families deal with the stigma of feeling as if they are ‘bad sons, daughters, or spouses’ who cannot halt their lives to take care of their family members.
In our area of operation, a family that is seeking assisted living care has several options. There are different kinds of facilities within our area of operation including a special facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease and several in-hospital recovery centers. However, our main competition comes from not-for-profit organizations that provide specialized care for people suffering from specific conditions such as diabetes, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, neurological conditions, among others. Currently, the number of licensed elderly-care facilities within a 30-mile radius stands at 105. Among these facilities, 15 are nonprofit organizations while 45 are part of a conglomerate. Nevertheless, our facility is the only one that combines a homelike environment with skilled nursing care. When families are looking for a good home for their elderly, they are usually guided by several factors. These factors include accessibility of the home, its affordability, their loved one’s special needs, and the quality of care in the home. Given that a client in our area of operation is most likely to choose the most affordable nursing facility within a 30-minute drive; our main competition is likely to come from three other homes.
The first home is Rockwell Wellness, part of a chain of proprietary nursing homes. Rockwell has a bed capacity of 150 and is not up to par according to the latest inspection where 12 inconsistencies were found. In addition, Rockwell provides a total of 3.5 nursing staff hours to each of its residents. Rockwell is a facility with a large capacity but it lacks individual attention as revealed by its low nursing staff hours and inconsistencies during the inspection. The other facility is the Clark Gibson Centre a non-profit home, which has a bed capacity of 125, provides each resident with 4.2 nursing staff hours and produced three inconsistencies during its last inspection. Clark Gibson presents us with the strongest competition in the area. The facility has a sizeable bed capacity and provides considerably quality service. The last competitor is Mountain Gate Community a non-profit organization that provides an impressive 5 nursing staff hours to its residents but has a capacity of only 40 beds. Moreover, the last inspection revealed only four inconsistencies at Mountain Gate. This non-profit home provides little competition to our business because it has a small bed capacity and only provides specialized care to those people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the potential population of Elderly Acres’ clientele is promising, success for the home depends on how well we market our products. Elderly Acres’ marketing strategy targets the residents around the home, families with elderly people, and the people with assisted home care needs. Most of the marketing takes place through word of mouth. There is a lot of stigma surrounding nursing homes. Most of this stigma revolves around the concept of a nursing home environment is similar to that of hospitals where invalids seek assistance (Nolan & Dellasega, 2009). In addition, some people view nursing homes as places where old people ‘go to die’. Elderly Acres creates a home environment and not a nursing home environment. Therefore, Elderly Acres aims to foster a home environment for its clients. The home generally targets individuals who need daily care and assistance. Moreover, these individuals need to have attained 65 years and above. Our target clients have to value being part of the community and should be willing to accommodate the input of their peers. Elderly Acres aim to turn this home into a community of choice. Those who come to Elderly Acres get a chance to teach and learn from one another. Nevertheless, the home recognizes that all our clients have different needs even though they belong to the same community. Furthermore, the input of our clients’ families is highly regarded at Elderly Acres. Sometimes our clients have a difficult time deciding to move into our home either for recuperation or for assistance. Our team assists potential clients to make a well-informed decision before moving into our home.
Elderly Acres Nursing Home strives to ensure that its workers function as a team. Our team consists of eight Elder Assistants and three Registered Nurses one of whom acts as the home’s head nurse. The team is mostly self-managed and it meets every morning to coordinate the events of the day. The team is led by a medical director who makes all the major decisions concerning the home’s visitors, residents, elder assistants, and nurses. Research has shown that one of the main causes of dissatisfied staff in assisted care facilities is the lack of professional recognition (Harrington & Swan, 2011). Therefore, our organization makes sure our staff feels recognized through our remuneration packages, division of duties, and management structure. Our Medical Director Dr. Lindsay has a cumulative experience of over fifteen years. Moreover, Dr. Lindsay has been involved in several programs targeting the elderly. Dr. Lindsay designed most of the programs that are currently being offered in our facility.
As part of a new initiative, Elderly Acres offers resident-oriented services as opposed to the usual hospital-model care. This sets our services apart from those of our competitors, especially the non-profit organizations. Although we aim to make a profit from our services, we have to ensure that our services stand out from those of our competitors. In addition, our for-profit status enables us to attract a qualified and competitive staff unit. Our whole operation is aimed at redefining the operations of a standard nursing home by offering clients a different experience but with similar results. This process ensures that clients can receive the best daily assistance and maintain their lifestyle of choice.
Being a proprietary organization Elderly Acres enjoys having state-of-the-art technology. Most of our competitors are non-profit organizations and they have to go through tedious procurement procedures. However, our facility can procure and dispose of any type of equipment that our budget can allow. Therefore, our services are top-notch in terms of technology levels. One of the distinctive features of our service is the use of computerized medical services in our operations. Our client’s medical records are stored electronically and they are accessible to the home’s clients.
Another unique aspect of our service is restoring purpose in most of our clients’ lives. When most people are brought into our facility, they are usually faced with the dilemma of lack of purpose in their lives. Therefore, our services include pushing the senior citizens in our home towards activities that they find meaningful. Most of our residents find meaning in activities that contribute towards a better community.
To remain operational, Elderly Acres requires at least fifteen full-time patients per month. However, our current model of operation has seen us attain an average of twenty-four patients per month. This number is expected to reach an average of forty full-time clients per month as a result of our abrasive marketing campaign.
The main challenge for Elderly Acres is to raise the occupancy levels of the facility to over 50%. Currently, the occupancy levels stand at 30% but our marketing campaign seeks to reverse this scenario. Although our rates are higher than those of our competitors, we have still been able to witness a business growth of over 16% in the last three years. Our scalable premises have enabled the facility to incur minimum operational costs even in periods of low business. However, our client retention capacity is unmatched. For instance, over the last year, our home has only lost two clients to our competitors while it has attracted over eleven clients from the same competitors. Eventually, our business model will help Elderly Acres to tower above the rest of assisted living care providers in our area of operation.
Hamilton, B. E., Strobino, D. M., & Guyer, B. (2008). Annual summary of vital statistics: 2008. Pediatrics, 119(2), 345-360.
Harrington, C., & Swan, J. H. (2011). Nursing home staffing, turnover, and case mix. Medical Care Research and Review, 60(3), 366-392.
Knickman, J. R., & Snell, E. K. (2008). The 2030 problem: caring for aging baby boomers. Health services research, 37(4), 849-884.
Mueller, C., Holland, D., & Joy, A. (2009). Nursing home staffing standards: Their relationship to nurse staffing levels. The Gerontologist, 46(1), 74-80.
Nolan, M., & Dellasega, C. (2009). ‘It’s not the same as him being at home’: creating caring partnerships following nursing home placement. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 8(6), 723-730.