The nursing homes model, which has grown exponentially since the 1980s, is now having to be extensively reshaped in order to meet the new needs of dependent elderly people and their families.

As key players in supporting dependent elderly people, the nursing homes will require further development in the years to come due to the inevitable ageing of the population. Although these institutions operate in a highly regulated and supervised market, they are nevertheless the victims of numerous misconceptions, frequently of a simplistic nature, that have gained ground during the COVID-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns. This unprecedented health crisis has also brutally highlighted the limitations of the current nurs-ing home model. The nursing homes are accordingly having to reinvent themselves in order to meet the needs of dependent elderly people and their families and create the nursing homes of tomorrow, which will offer services, comfort and a true “home” that is open to the city.

The role of investors and operators in supporting this change The requirement for comfort, customisation and well-being, as well as the consideration of environmental factors, are essential components for building these structures. And time and investment are needed in order to review the configuration, installations and equipment in anticipation of future standards and the changing expectations of future generations of residents.

The supporting role of partners and particularly of investors will therefore be crucial for the nursing homess to achieve this change. It is only through long-term financial support that they will be able to meet all these challenges. An educational approach and transparent communication between the different stakeholders are therefore essential for enabling them to build long-term relationships of trust and to function smoothly. Investors need to understand and appreciate the challenges faced by the nursing homes in order to con-tribute to this much-needed transformation. At Swiss Life Asset Managers France, we therefore have a very different perception of the nursing homes and are aware of our role: 

  • towards our investors of shedding light on this specific asset class.
  • towards our operators of helping them to rethink both the asset itself and op-eration of the site. All this requires funding and the establishment of a true partnership with a long-term vi-sion.

We have put together all our beliefs in a newly published white paper entitled "Nursing home sector in France (EHPAD): Supporting the transformation of a solid model" in collaboration with EHPA, the advice and training site for the medical-social sector. This aims to highlight the reality of the nursing homes and illustrate the prospects of the medical-social sector.

In this white paper, we take stock of:

  • the development of the nursing homes model over the last 40 years. 
  • the necessary transformation of this model, a social issue. 
  • the role of real estate as an integral part of this transformation.