Pay No Attention To Senior Living's Identity Crisis

April 19, 2018, John O'Connor, McKnight's Senior Living - The first-quarter occupancy numbers are in.  If they are not quite dismal, they're certainly cause for concern.  That's because assisted living occupancy dipped to 85.7% during the first three months. 

For perspective, that's down 1.3 percentage points from a year ago, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC).

To be sure, the usual downer is at it again.  By that, I mean absorption can't keep pace with all the new units to choose from.  That's a big part of the story. Perhaps the biggest part.  But I'm beginning to wonder whether senior living also may have a bit of an identity crisis on its hands.

Consider how senior living markets itself to prospects and their responsible children.  It's all about selling the great experiences to come.  Look at any brochure and the message practically leaps off the page: Mom's going to have a great time here.

It's not hard to see why giggles, friends and warm surroundings are standard elements of the sell.  After all, who wants to commit to a place that promises loneliness, threadbare carpeting and cold scrambled eggs?

But the responsibility operators ........ CLICK HERE TO READ MORE