‘Real estate needs to unite on healthcare’

Ron van Bloois, Chair, Senior Housing & Healthcare Association

The pandemic shows us how important our healthcare system – both cure and care – is for society and vulnerable target groups. Especially for middle age people with multiple syndromes, people with disabilities and seniors. 

Independent studies have shown significant excess mortality in the +75 cohort and (logically) in long-term nursing homes. State-of-the-art nursing homes should be more flexible, technically smart and resilient to major healthcare threats. Alongside this, the built environment and social infrastructure for seniors can mitigate loneliness, pressure on healthcare workers and improve quality of life (such as self-dependence, self-esteem and a useful daily routine). 

This underlines the importance of senior housing and healthcare real estate from an asset class perspective, both in mature and emerging real estate markets. The Senior Housing & Healthcare Association has been established to create alignment between operators, banks, investors and stakeholders, including local governments. 

We are faced with extensive challenges caused by outdated existing stock, changing consumer/user demand and climate targets related to the Paris Agreement. This requires close cooperation within the real estate value chain. 

Are we willing to share knowledge cross-border and across parties, create long-term value, work inclusively on cities/areas and develop more user-centred buildings? It should be a no-brainer, but will take leadership and connecting power to execute. I am positive about the purpose-driven attitude of parties in the field of senior housing and healthcare. So I call the real estate industry to action to unite and cooperate in a future-proof direction.