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User Experience of Nursing Homes: A Wake -up Call for Change


Would you feel comfortable putting your parents or loved ones in a long-term care facility that looks like the one in the picture? Unfortunately, this is not the worst that many nursing homes and long-term care facilities look like. Imagine being in a place that smells of urine, and chemicals, and where residents look sad and bored.

It seems that in the pursuit of making money, nursing home investors, owners, corporations, and others have forgotten the importance of the overall user experience.

Before the pandemic, nursing home utilization was already declining. According to Plante Moran, an accounting and business consulting firm, nursing home utilization has decreased by 32% from 2015 to 2022. The firm predicts that nursing home utilization will not recover to pre-pandemic levels.


With nursing home occupancy decline, it is crucial for nursing homes to pay attention to the user experience. Recently, I visited a nursing home and made me think about casting a light on the bigger issue that most nursing home is facing, the lack of UX strategy. When I entered the  nursing home building, I felt like I had traveled back in time to the 1950s. The decor, smell, colors, and even the people looked outdated. I couldn't help but think whether I would want to put my loved one in a long-term care facility that smells like chemicals and urine.

This experience made me realize the importance of user experience, not just in the digital space but also in the service industry, especially in healthcare. Unfortunately, nursing homes seem to have missed the boat on providing a good user experience. 

In today's fast-paced world, where technological advancements and evolving societal values have become the norm, it is crucial for businesses and organizations to adapt accordingly. Unfortunately, nursing homes have seemingly lagged behind in meeting the expectations of adult children, particularly millennials. They have forgotten that they are selling their facility to millennials not the baby boomers. The poor user experience at nursing homes, coupled with outdated branding strategies, hinders customer satisfaction, affects the overall success of the industry, and leads to decline in census. In contrast, other health care facilities have capitalized on proper branding and user-friendly experiences to thrive in this competitive landscape.

Failing to Appeal to Millennials

Nursing homes often struggle to appeal to adult children who are predominantly millennials. This generation values individualism, innovation, and personalized experiences. However, many nursing homes fall short in providing these elements. Outdated facilities, monotonous routines, and a lack of focus on meaningful engagement alienate millennials, who seek environments that are dynamic, inspiring, and socially connected.


The Importance of Overall Facility Experience

The user experience within nursing homes is equally important as the quality of care provided. Millennials want their loved ones to reside in a place that feels like home, where they can actively participate in decision-making, independence, and engaging activities. Nursing homes must focus on creating an inclusive, vibrant, and supportive atmosphere through interior design, recreational activities, and technological integration. Such improvements can enhance customer satisfaction and bolster positive word-of-mouth, leading to increased business and census.


The Impact of Poor Branding and Failure to Keep Up


Nursing homes often suffer from poor branding, failing to establish themselves as attractive options for adult children seeking care solutions for their aging parents. The outdated perception of nursing homes as sterile institutions that lack empathy or innovation plagues the industry's reputation. To address this stigma, nursing homes must embrace modern branding techniques, portraying their facilities as cozy, lively communities that prioritize the well-being and happiness of their residents.


Contrasting Success


Other Healthcare Facilities' Proper Branding Parallel to the shortcomings of nursing homes, other healthcare facilities have succeeded by placing importance on branding initiatives. Hospitals, clinics, and assisted living facilities have embraced innovation and modernization. They focus on patient experience, invest in state-of-the-art technology, and provide aesthetically pleasing and comforting environments. These efforts have not only improved customer satisfaction but have also attracted more patients. By prioritizing branding and adapting to the changing expectations of patients and their families, these facilities have thrived in the healthcare industry.



The poor user experience at nursing homes, coupled with outdated branding strategies, has resulted in dissatisfaction among adult children, particularly millennials, who demand personalized, engaging environments for their aging loved ones. By neglecting to keep up with the evolving world, nursing homes risk losing business, impacting their census, and ultimately their success. It is imperative for nursing homes to invest in comprehensive branding that portrays their facilities as vibrant, modern communities catering to the social, emotional, and physical needs of their residents. Only by embracing change and creating positive user experiences can nursing homes reclaim their relevance, reputation, and profitability in a rapidly transforming society.

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