- Formed an educational non-profit to educate people about options for later-life housing, healthcare and costs.
- Held many educational workshops on aging choices.
- Met with development consultants who are working with other niche communities.
- Chosen a development consultant to work with us.
- Developed a core group of 73+ Founders. The list continues to grow.
- Commissioned a market analysis that was extremely positive.
2016 Market Study
TTMADRS hired Buckley Consulting to analyze demand for a new CCRC in an 11-zipcode area centered around Durham and Chapel Hill. The area included much of Durham County, the southern part of Orange County, some of the northern part of Chatham County and a tiny bit of western Wake County. Our consultant gathered data for each of the 11 zip codes and for the entire area on the numbers of residents in different age groups (e.g., those over 65, those over 75) and on the income and wealth levels of those residents. For the same areas, he also gathered data on the existing number, rates of occupancy and costs of three types of senior housing: independent living units, assisted living units (including memory care units) and skilled nursing beds. He visited the five CCRCs in the study area, those that include all three levels of senior housing. He also gathered information on proposed developments of each type of housing for our area. Using data on the percentage of seniors in different age groups and with different needs (e.g., needing assistance with dressing, medication) who live in each of these three types of housing, estimates of changes in population and income over the next five years, and some assumptions about how usage of types of housing might change (e.g., anticipated decreases in usage of skilled nursing care), our consultant then projected unmet demand for each of the three levels of housing for 2017 and 2020.
The results showed an unusually strong and growing demand for new independent living units, where there are very high occupancy rates and years-long waiting lists in the existing CCRCs in our area. There is more modest demand for additional assisted living units and a projected surplus of skilled nursing beds. Thus there is a clear need for a new CCRC in our area. The demand is strong over the entire area, but the gap between existing plus proposed capacity and projected demand is especially great in Durham County east of the city center.
As a CCRC, assisted living units and skilled nursing beds would be filled from within our facility and the number of each would be determined to meet the demand generated by the independent living units in our CCRC. The need to build assisted living units and a skilled nursing facility would also depend on what types of care services could be provided while keeping residents in independent living, perhaps through a home health care agency sponsored by our and other senior living communities in the area.
These very positive market study results are what we need to proceed to the next step: developing a programmatic and business plan for the type of community we want to create, and finding the financing to move forward.
Our research included consulting with many knowledgeable people and organizations specializing in aging and community. This led to identifying a company we can trust: Action Pact. We have engaged them to guide us through the process of creating a model CCRC that guarantees autonomy, community, and care during the fragile stages of life.