In recent years, we have seen increasing demand and need for medical care and office space. One of the main drivers of this demand is the aging population– largely, the aging baby boomers. The other main driver is the increasing popularity of delivering healthcare outside of hospitals, which is known as outpatient services.
Older & Wiser
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the silver population, those age 65 and older, will nearly double in the next three decades, making their population segment consist of more than 92 million people by 2055.
We all know that with age comes more doctors’ visits. According to the Census, after age 64, 66.5 percent of people start frequenting the doctor three or more times a year. Elderly individuals require more care, so, as their population size increases, so does the demand for healthcare services. That, in turn, also translates to a rise in demand for quality medical office space to deliver those services and meet the population’s needs.
Physicians should ensure that their medical offices are senior-friendly in order to adapt to the demographic shift. Certain items are standard for senior accessibility in your office space.
The standard senior-friendly measures that your office should comply with are:
- Elevator access
- Patient drop-off areas
- Hallways wide enough for two wheelchairs to travel through
- Firm chairs with armrests in waiting areas
- Automatic door openers
- Ramps to entryways
- Way-finding signs
- Enough room in examination rooms for a wheelchair to maneuver
There are also things you can do that are outside of the norm to appeal to seniors. For example, some offices are partnering with ride-sharing services to pick up their elderly patients.
Other bonus items for senior accessibility are:
- A wheelchair scale
- Height-adjustable examination beds
- A ceiling lift
- Emergency call bells in examination rooms
- Grab bars
- Patient forms with large type
Your office should be adequately prepared to deliver quality care to elderly individuals. As improvements in health and technology are made, the average lifespan will continue to increase.
The Outpatient Setting
Another trend that is driving demand for medical office space is outpatient care. Patient preferences are shifting to convenient, accessible, and patient-centered practices.
Medical practices are responding by better catering to the needs of the patients. More and more medical offices are opening in mixed-use environments in order to better deliver community-based care. Having a medical practice that is strategically located near your patient-base and complementary medical services is more important now than ever.
The Silver Lining
The growing healthcare industry means that medical real estate should be a paramount priority for practices. Your location and office space are huge drivers for patients. As you examine your practice’s current and future needs through the lens of real estate, contact the experts at Gittleson Zuppas for a consultation.