Taking action for more nursing care

With Deutsche Wohnen, everyone can find a home that suits them. Single people, couples, families and older people, too. Our nursing and assisted living facilities can be found in attractive cities and regions. New construction is also helping us create new places to meet growing demand. Dr Jochen Schellenberg, Managing Director Nursing Operations, gives us the lowdown.

A new facility was recently opened in Dresden, KATHARINENHOF AN DER HEIDE. Further new construction properties are planned for the nursing sector. Why is this issue so important?

Demographic change poses major challenges for all of us, as the number of people in need of nursing care is growing constantly. Deutsche Wohnen picked up on this trend many years ago. That’s why two major nursing care providers are now part of the group: KATHARINENHOF Seniorenwohn- und Pflegeanlage Betriebs-GmbH and Pflegen & Wohnen Hamburg GmbH. As demand grows, we are building new facilities and modernising individual buildings.

Where are you building?

New construction projects are currently under way in Dresden, Hamburg and the Berlin districts of Pankow and Köpenick. Further new construction projects, as well as the purchase of existing nursing facilities, are an explicit part of our growth strategy. There are currently no concrete plans in this regard. However, there are clearly defined regions in which we want to grow.

What distinguishes new construction in the nursing sector from traditional new construction for the rental housing market?

Our experience shows us that older people themselves – as well as their relatives – ask about the room or apartment first when they visit our facilities. How big is it? What’s the view like? Is it quiet? Additional services, such as day care or future options for full in-patient care, are usually the next thing they ask about. New construction gives us the opportunity to incorporate these preferences in terms of housing quality. Of course, there are also building regulations – which vary between different federal states – that need to be considered and adhered to.

A neighbourhood-focused approach to thinking and planning is hugely important to Deutsche Wohnen. Is that true for the nursing sector, too?

Yes, absolutely. We plan our new buildings for the neighbourhood and take a very close look at local requirements as part of this. In addition to this, our buildings are part of community life and are also very consciously open to people from the neighbourhood with their social and cultural offerings.

When we think of older people, “digitalisation” isn’t the first concept that springs to mind. Yet IT solutions are also playing an increasingly important role in nursing care. Does that apply to your facilities, too?

It’s an important subject and will remain so. We’re currently going through a process which often finds us a step ahead of the market. Let me give you two examples. In our facilities, nursing staff can use a tablet computer to record video and perform an analysis of how a person walks in 15 minutes. This automatically calculates their risk of falling. As well as that, an appropriate physiotherapy and activity programme is drawn up accordingly.
Digital nursing documentation modules and planning modules are another example. We have been using these for some time, in contrast to other operators. This makes our staff’s work easier and more appealing and improves the reliability of care for the older people who live with us. We will continue apace with digitalisation in our facilities going forward.

How much will Deutsche Wohnen invest in expanding provision of nursing care places in the years to come?

Our focus is currently on Hamburg: in the next five to eight years, we plan to build five brand-new facilities in the city. We are investing around EUR 360 million in these plans.

By 2035, over 300,000 additional care places will be required – the equivalent of around 3,000 new nursing homes.*

Demand is set to increase in the major cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich and Cologne.*

<p><em>Source:</em><br />
<em>* Pflegeheim-Atlas Deutschland 2018 (assuming consistent regional capacity and proportional/linear relation to growth in older group that is source of demand)</em><br />
<em>** Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2019 (assuming moderate growth)</em></p>



* Pflegeheim-Atlas Deutschland 2018 (assuming consistent regional capacity and proportional/linear relation to growth in older group that is source of demand)
** Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2019 (assuming moderate growth)

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