COVID-19 Q&A Senior Living Expert Series: Community & Consumer Insights


About the COVID-19 Q&A Senior Living Expert Series: 

While working with over 300 communities across the country, we’ve diligently been monitoring the changes that are happening rapidly — daily — during this quickly shifting marketplace. We’re all feeling the effects of the “new normal” on community operations, sales and marketing, but quick action is needed. Trust us when we say this is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve been working around the clock to help our communities pivot to the right methods in order to sustain business, and this video series is a direct output of that thought leadership. Each week, we’ll be speaking with a new senior living marketing or sales expert as we explore ways in which you can steer your community’s occupancy efforts and facilitate change as we weather this storm. Together.



Moderator: Brandon Painter, Director of Integrated Content

Expert: Bryan Herrman, SVP of Insights & Strategy

Note: It was stated in the video that the amount of IL communities allowing move-ins had dropped from Wave 1 to Wave 2 and it was actually AL communities that have reported this decrease. We apologize for any confusion.


Low Sentiment & Confidence in April

In April, GlynnDevins kicked off a longitudinal study to track consumer sentiment and confidence in senior living during the COVID-19 health crisis. We surveyed 250 consumers across the country to assess their current attitudes & beliefs. In Wave 1, we saw very low numbers across most measures.

Key Data: Wave 1 – April

  • 22% Strong Confidence in IL Communities as a Safe Place to Live
    • Only 13% Believed that it is Safer than Staying Home
  • 20% Strong Confidence in AL/MC Communities as a Safe Place to Live
    • Only 15% Believed that it is Safer than Staying Home

We also looked at data across different age segments and regions and found some interesting insights. The older the consumer, the lower their sentiment and confidence regarding senior living. And, consumers in the Northeast region of the US had generally higher confidence than other regions.

Optimism & Lift in May

As part of the ongoing research, we recently completed Wave 2 in May, and see fairly significant increases in both sentiment and confidence across nearly all measures.

Key Data: Wave 2 – May

  • 33% Strong Confidence in IL Communities as a Safe Place to Live
    • 21% Believe that it is Safer than Staying Home
  • 27% Strong Confidence in AL/MC Communities as a Safe Place to Live
    • 20% Believe that it is Safer than Staying Home

While sentiment and confidence are still low, it’s important to note that the increases in just 30 days are substantial and a positive sign for our industry.

A couple of interesting insights also emerged in looking at Wave 2 data by different segments. Older consumers (70+) had the highest increase over Wave 1 in sentiment and confidence. And, the South region of the US has the highest increase in sentiment compared to other regions. 

Key Takeaways?    

There’s a very positive sign in the lift in sentiment and confidence in just a 30-day period so early on in this world-changing pandemic. We believe that this positive shift can be attributed to two key factors:

1. Continued Communication

It’s been GlynnDevins’ recommendation from the onset to keep open channels of communication with prospects and leads with an emphasis on continued nurturing relationships versus selling. We believe that consistent, continual and transparent education regarding the safety measures for residents during this crisis is paramount – and it appears to be breaking through. Education is alleviating fears, but we still have a long road to recovery in rebuilding confidence in senior living as a viable and safe option for retirement. Our recommendation: Keep the foot on the pedal to build trust.

2. Alternative Realization

Early on in the health crisis, consumers considered the alternative of home care to be a better option – strongly fueled by the negative press around senior living communities. As consumers have explored this option, they are finding that home care also comes with its unique set of challenges at this time. This realization, combined with better education about senior living communities’ resident safety, are resulting in an upward trend in sentiment for communities.

To get our full report on Senior Living Consumer Sentiment & Confidence, please reach out to your GlynnDevins contact. We’d be happy to send you a copy and discuss our findings.