The “household” concept is helping many senior living communities successfully compete in today’s markets. This case study, provided by David Slack, principal at the Aging Research Institute, helps CFOs and CEOs understand its potential impact.

Felician Village in Manitowoc, WI, decided to use a household design to downsize its 267 nursing beds to 84 private nursing rooms and 48 private assisted living rooms. The campus also includes independent living and assisted living. 

The repositioning of the 1954 building was completed in 2010. It included three phases of build-demolish on the existing site to decrease nursing, add memory support AL, and increase AL. Today the organization is self-supporting, including its new debt costs.

The project reduced the campus size by 100,000 square feet, saving utility, housekeeping and maintenance expenses. Lower operating costs also resulted from a smaller nursing facility and a more efficient design.  

Total costs for all phases were $24,029,801 for 125,479 square feet of construction along with demolition of 226,000 square feet. It included building a new chapel and therapy and medical clinics.  

Single-story households were designed for 16 residents, with four connected nursing facility neighborhoods (a neighborhood is two households sharing kitchens, spa and support space). 

One neighborhood also was designed for residents needing memory support. A 20-person household for short-term Medicare rehab was built with a separate entry. Every neighborhood has a dining room and “country kitchen.” Two households of 16 people each were created for AL-memory support. 

“Felician Village is AHEAD of budget on cash at over $1 million with a paid waiting list for independent living,” Pat Kaldor, CEO of Felician Village, said. “It continues to be a remarkable story.”