Assisted living 2005 report

We are a nation of people growing older. We are well into what may prove to be a watershed year for assisted living.

After several years of struggling to absorb excess capacity, many providers appear poised for new growth–but growth of a different order, targeted to specific populations. Occupancies appear to have stabilized, ending a downward trend. The financial community continues to show a healthy interest in lending to solidly performing assisted living communities. And despite a flurry of newspaper exposes last year describing resident injuries and deaths in facilities allegedly not equipped to deal with frail, vulnerable elderly, there has been no rush to federal regulation–yet. But this relatively good (if not great) news encompasses issues that could prove troublesome to the industry, including chronic staffing needs, occupancy turnover, and that perennial puzzle, the definition of assisted living itself. Recently, Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Management interviewed three industry analysts for their unique perspectives on today’s assisted¬†living state of the art. Following are summations of their comments.

Jim Moore, President, Moore Diversified Services, Inc.: “Occupancy is an important current issue because of the huge impact of resident turnover in this field. An average 50% of assisted living capacity has to be refilled each year. It’s obvious that marketing leads will not grow exponentially because there are finite limits to the market that assisted living, as constituted today, can accommodate. That means we have to manage our existing marketing resources more effectively. Basically, that means improving raw lead conversion ratios. Generally throughout the industry, the ratio of raw leads to admissions is 20 to 1; in some it’s lower, and in some higher. The question is, how well are we defining our leads and managing them?

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