Shortages of personnel will challenge care sector into 2022

While 2021 was a tough year for the care home sector a clear positive was the close harmony between the stakeholders, says Senior Housing & Healthcare Association co-founder and chair Ron van Bloois.

“It was unprecedented times both for care workers and also for board members of senior homes and nursing facilities,” he said. “But the good thing was that, at least from my perspective, there was was close cooperation between operators and investors.”

The focus on the sector also helped the SHHA become “one of the most impactful associations in Europe,” he added. “It is quite unique to have a multi-stakeholder platform with ccross-border activities and it’s great added value is to actually speed up the maturity of the asset class.”

The outlook for the sector in 2022 is interesting, van Bloois told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts. “From a real estate perspective we do see rising deal flow, assets under management and exploration of emerging markets,” he said.

The focus on decarbonisation that followed COP26 is also positive. “On one hand it is a really big challenge because we have enormous existing stock which is mostly outdated so it will take considerable capex to redevelop and upgrade,” van Bloois said.

But he pointed out that this is aligned with the desire for impact investing and ESG.

“Investors are really driven to make impacts especially on the social side. Of course, healthcare real estate and senior housing ticks all the boxes.”

One major challenge that the sector faces in 2022 is the scarcity of suitable personnel. “It is a tough one because we do need a lot of personnel in terms of the aging demographics. But rising costs is really one of the topics for our board members. This is a hard one to tackle.”

He said new concepts are needed to empower the aging demographics to “live as long as possible at home.”

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.