February 21, 2018, Steve Monroe, Senior Care Investor - It is a horrific flu season, but it may be unfairly blamed for current seniors housing woes. So, we have all been hearing about this horrible flu season, especially with the unusual number of children’s deaths, including in my home town.
But what I fear is that it will be blamed for more than its fair share of census problems in the senior care market.
Granted, when the worst flu season in nearly a decade hits, it is bound to impact senior care communities, where the residents are much more frail than the population as a whole. But for some reason, this flu season is impacting seniors housing communities, and companies, in very different ways.
Believe it or not, some have seen little to no impact on census, while others apparently are feeling the effects in major ways, both with their residents as well as with their staff. Is it new “flu protocols” that are helping some companies, are they in pockets of low flu incidence, or is something else going on? I am not sure, but I am trying to find out.
The other problem I have is that the flu season just hit its peak, but apparently some companies had a big fourth quarter negative impact on census, well before the peak and basically during the early part of the flu season, which was mostly in the second half of the quarter. If it hurt census back then, what are we going to see for the first quarter?
Let me know your thoughts.