Why the GAO report ultimately could be good news for assisted living

The increased attention brought by a recent GAO report may be uncomfortable for those in the assisted living industry in the short term, but the health policy experts with whom I spoke suggest that the report ultimately could be good news for operators.

Medicaid, the Trojan horse of senior living

Like the citizens of Troy who failed to realize a hollow wooden horse contained something terrible, senior living operators have ignored the real threat Medicaid might unleash: federal rules and regulations.

GAO report on assisted living could be a game changer

As the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles faced off Sunday in the biggest football matchup of the season, the Government Accountability Office was preparing to release a long-awaited report that could have states, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the assisted living industry playing defense.

Attention senior living operators: Analytics will not solve all your problems

When it comes to senior living, technology arguably is the most disruptive force in play. And within the technology sphere, no tool is making a bigger impact than analytics.

A different take on intergenerational living

Senior living communities already know that marketing to a prospective resident includes marketing to the older adult's grown children because they are decision-influencers. Perhaps now it's time for communities to regularly market to those adult children as prospective residents themselves.

If this were an Olympic event, senior living would not medal

It's no secret that finding and keeping qualified employees can be a real challenge in the senior living field. But things may be even worse than many operators realize.

A bright spot in an otherwise grim weekend

During a weekend in which the federal government shutdown dominated the news, a bright spot emerged when Atria Senior Living residents and employees wished actress Kristen Bell good luck hosting Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards. See the video and read more about the shutdown, too.

For senior living, a time bomb dressed as a good deed

We're learning that the folks over at the Department of Health and Human Services are cooking up new rules for caregivers. It might not take much for this apparent good deed to go completely haywire, however.

Give flu vaccination a shot

This year's flu statistics are scary. Vaccination could protect you, co-workers, residents and the livelihood of your senior living community.

Senior living might want to reconsider its superiority complex

More operators are doing things that would have been heavily frowned upon in the past.

Kindness is good medicine

An act of generosity unexpectedly thrust one senior living CEO into the media spotlight, and he's using the opportunity to "spread a message of kindness."

A teaching moment for senior living operators

Don't make the same mistake your skilled-care brethren are now making.

5 senior living trends for 2018

What does the new year hold for senior living? I recently spoke with an industry expert to gain her perspective.

New signs that insurance companies might control senior living's destiny

It's starting to look like assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities simply may become spokes connected to a hub controlled by somebody else.

Want to be happier at work? Socialize more

One of the odd quirks of senior living is that it is full of happy workers and unhappy residents.

Why is senior living overlooking this golden opportunity?

To judge by many of the marketing materials the senior living field produces, a major benefit is not being touted.

There's a new way to help stamp out Alzheimer's

Whether you buy stamps at your local post office or online, you now have the opportunity to help lick dementia at the same time.

It's time for senior living leaders to man up

Here's my advice to the many men out there running senior living firms.

Fire safety advice from the pros

Two recent news stories may have you re-examining your emergency preparedness plans, especially as they pertain to fires. Two experts share tips.

Are you ready for an Alzheimer's breakthrough?

Some treatments for Alzheimer's may be available by 2020. If so, the U.S. healthcare system may not be prepared, according to a new study.

Pill's approval could be a senior living game-changer

Something happened Monday that could greatly improve medication adherence among senior living residents and others.

Thanking veterans for their service

As senior living and care communities observe Veterans Day, members of the federal government took the opportunity to share related news.

These senior living rankings might change a few perceptions — including yours

New rankings may force many operators to stop describing their workplace environments in ways that are pure fiction.

Senior living operators may be in for a very unpleasant surprise

You may not be terribly concerned that federal lawmakers are looking into recent deaths in a Florida nursing home. But this inquiry could blossom into something that affects senior living operators in one of the worst ways imaginable.

Growing pains for hospice care

My impression was that hospice is one of the best things Medicare has to offer. Fast forward to this week.

A new top concern for assisted living operators?

New contenders are challenging staffing as the issue most top-of-mind for senior living operators, according to participants in a panel discussion at the Oct. 15 NCAL Day that preceded the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living's 68th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

What about your non-hiring policies?

When it comes to bringing on people with a criminal past, senior living organizations can find themselves in a real bind.

When the going gets tough, the tough do something

Senior living operators can learn a lesson from the communication efforts of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living in advance of the group's meeting at the hotel, where the largest mass shooting in recent American history occurred just two weeks before the gathering.

Senior living could take a lesson from this Nobel Laureate

What does the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences have to do with senior living? Not much, except that perhaps the way you go about trying to fill your units may be seriously flawed.

Financial report suggests good news for operators

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests good news for seniors housing and care operators.

Four takeaways from the NIC meeting

While I have been attending NIC conferences for more than two decades, I marvel at how relevant and informative they continue to be. The 2017 event was no exception. Here are but four takeaways from last week's event.

Kim Campbell is on a memory care mission

Three years after Glen Campbell received his Alzheimer's diagnosis, his wife, Kim, didn't know that memory care communities existed. Now she's on a mission to ensure that other family caregivers of those with dementia don't find themselves in the same position.

A shift comes to senior living's great divide

Sooner or later, all discussions about the nature of senior living come down to this: Is this a real estate business with a healthcare component, or vice versa?

Designing for dementia

An app that was under development when we first told you about it in June is now available to help make living environments more friendly for those with dementia.

This isn't a horror flick; it's a lot more frightening

We've all seen those horror films where the villain appears to be terminated — only to return for more. A real-live version of this scenario may be playing out in Washington.

Senior living on the big and little screen

Retirement communities are becoming a popular setting for films and television shows, according to recently announced plans of studios and networks.

Please stop giving me bad advice on where to retire

It seems like hardly a month goes by without some organization posting a "best places to retire" list. Most of these scorecards have fallen victim to the same malady.

Irma, Harvey show how senior living exemplifies 'family'

The appropriateness of this year's National Assisted Living Week theme, "Family is Forever," is evident as the senior living industry recovers from Hurricane Harvey and faces Hurricane Irma.

The real problem exposed by declining occupancy levels

It's getting tougher to keep assisted living buildings filled, but some explanations as to why seem to be ill-fitting.

The hero next to us, the hero inside us

The recent actions of a senior living worker remind us of the good people who work in the field and inspire us to bring our best selves to each day.

Long after Harvey fades, this image will linger

Hurricane Harvey has caused never-before-seen flood damage across southeastern Texas. Unless you are physically there, it can hard to put your head around its impact. That is, unless you take a look at one hard-to-believe photo of assisted living residents.

A toast to creative marketing

Much of the buzz last week was about the solar eclipse, and rightfully so. But another big event was taking place in cities and towns across the country.

Wait, the government wants to cut back on regulations?

If you feel that regulatory compliance has become the bane of your existence, you're hardly alone.

Extraordinary events call for extraordinary events

Senior living communities across the country are marking today's solar eclipse with events for residents.

Barbarians at the firewall

Not to sound like an alarmist, but the chances of a cyberattack have never been greater.

A free online resource for your community's wellness programming needs

The National Institute on Aging offers an evidence-based program designed specifically to promote regular exercise and physical activity among adults aged 50 or more years. And senior living communities can use the program's free resources with residents.

Some days, it's best to let the music do the talking

Glen Campbell jumped into my life two times.

Efforts to end ageism grow

It wasn't even a year ago that LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan announced that LeadingAge had a new mission: to "permanently change the image of aging in our society." New efforts by that organization and others aim to accomplish that goal.

A great way to make good help harder to find

For a guy who claims to be a friend to business, President Trump sometimes expresses that affection in odd ways.

REIT investments suggest a healthy future for senior living

Back-to-back earnings calls Friday morning suggested a healthy future for senior living operators, as two large public healthcare real estate investment trusts relayed the growing place that senior living has in their portfolios.

The new cutoff for overtime eligibility? It's a fair question

It's probably safe to make two predictions now that the Labor Department has asked for feedback as it prepares to rewrite the overtime rule.

ADA compliance: Will you be the next one sued?

The country's largest senior living provider recently was threatened with a class action lawsuit accusing the company of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act at its communities. Here's how other operators can try to avoid a similar fate.

For many operators, an old adversary may soon be a good friend

If you run a senior living organization and are beset by labor-related challenges, Wednesday was a good day.

Six questions to solidify employee engagement

The single most important thing a supervisor can do to firm up employee engagement, according to one expert, is to ask direct reports six kinds of questions once a month.

Keep an eye on this arbitration ban

Forget about Obamacare's possible repeal. Or whether collusion took place in the White House. Or how many days of summer vacation the Senate might forfeit in August. The real story in Washington this week should be about arbitration.

Will we see CEO pay ratios in 2018?

Don't count on the federal government repealing or delaying a rule requiring companies to disclose the discrepancy between CEO compensation and the median compensation of employees.

Overtime is a touchy subject in senior living

Senior living owners and managers may welcome the news that a controversial overtime rule apparently has been shelved. It might be best to keep the celebrating to a minimum, however.

Look who's offering advice on tough labor questions

A new announcement from the Department of Labor comes as welcome news.

Sex and the brain

Results of a new study might create a sense of urgency in both senior living residents and operators regarding sexual expression policies.

Name changes bloom in senior living

For a variety of reasons, many senior living organizations are changing their names. A common idea underlies many of the moves, however.

You'll never find a better investment opportunity than this

An event happening next week is worthy of your most valuable asset — your time.

An arbitration victory that raises trust issues

In a year already brimming with regulatory victories, Monday's win might prove to be the biggest of them all.

What separates senior living's best leaders from the rest? As it turns out, these four things

The harsh reality is that finding the right person to run any senior living organization is hardly an exact science.

Want a positive workplace? Be a positive leader

Managers in flourishing organizations share optimism, hope and inspiration with employees, especially when things don't go as planned, according to one expert.

A spending plan that just might put you out of business

With the Trump administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, it's guns versus butter, and guns are now in the lead, right? Not exactly.

Gird your loins for Tuesday and Wednesday

On the heels of the release of the White House's proposed budget for 2018 on Tuesday, the CBO's release of a score for the revised American Health Care Act is expected Wednesday.

Seen the future of senior living? Actually, you probably haven't

If you are fairly certain about the road ahead for senior living, I have some troubling news to share. And it comes from just about the last place you'd expect.

4 lessons from 3 tech wake-up calls

Three tech-related stories that made the news Friday serve as wake-up calls for individuals and businesses.

You are using more tech than you might realize

A one-of-a-kind event recognizes providers that are harnessing technology to improve eldercare.

Innovation, customer experience and the 'yuck factor'

Two general session speakers at Argentum's Senior Living Executive Conference shared a message that creative thinking is necessary to address customer needs and realize long-term business success.

An Alzheimer's success story that defies the odds

I was heartened to see a recent study that actually seems to have generated measurable success in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Aging out loud

Recent dinner companions were a good reminder that aging doesn't necessarily mean losing vibrancy. That's a timely message as May begins.

An important 'connection' that senior living often overlooks

I am not a marketing director for an assisted living or independent living community. But if I were, my message would be simple and direct.

Some thoughts on Trump's first 100 days

President Donald Trump will hit the 100-day mark of his presidency on Saturday. A new replacement for the Affordable Care Act, a new surgeon general and a new FDA commissioner are some of the changes for the future.

Don't feel bad about Grandma's new weed habit

Dubious reactions to marijuana use among seniors speak to two truths.

Hollywood hints at real life

When some friends and I went to the movies the other night, they looked forward to escaping from the real world for 90 minutes, whereas I looked forward to seeing whether aging and older adults were portrayed realistically.

You may not like what the NIC's middle-market study reveals

It's very possible the real payoff of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care study of middle-market demand for seniors housing may be the reality check it delivers. And here, I'm afraid, the findings may not be so encouraging.

2017 a notable year for Parkinson's disease

This year's observances of World Parkinson's Day and Parkinson's Awareness Month are especially notable because 2017 is the 200th anniversary of the essay in which James Parkinson defined the movement disorder for the first time.

Too many senior living operators focused on the wrong benchmark

Talk to any operator, and it won't take long before you hear "quality" intoned in a highly reverential manner. Perhaps we should start using a different yardstick, however.

A move toward a more inclusive society

What do dementia and Parkinson's disease have to do with professional basketball? Read on.

No need to trash this emerging senior living option

I have seen the future of senior living. And it looks a lot like a trailer park. Come to think of it, it just might be a trailer park.

Payers 'can't ignore assisted living,' former senators say

Former Sens. Tom Daschle and Bill Frist showed prescience at the NIC Spring Investment Forum when they said that any reform to the Affordable Care Act would need bipartisan support to be successful. They also shared their opinions on what is ahead for senior living and long-term care.

Nothing magical about Disney's wage ruling

What does a recent Labor Department ruling against the Walt Disney Co. have to do with your senior living organization? Hopefully, not a thing.

A slam dunk to increase move-ins?

If basketball isn't part of your present marketing efforts, it could be part of your future, according to new research.

Regulatory update: 'If it's not one thing, it's another'

President Trump already has issued an executive order mandating that two regulations must be removed for every new one that is introduced. But just as one door may be closing, others are beginning to open.

Is it a zombie apocalypse?

Are your family members, friends and co-workers acting uncharacteristically? I conducted some research and am here to share my findings and quell your worries.

Why should Obamacare monopolize the Capitol Hill goofiness?

As a general rule, Senate confirmation hearings tend to be mind-numbingly boring affairs. Things got interesting recently, however.

Reduce burnout to reduce turnover

If you want to lessen employee turnover, then address employee burnout, according to a recent survey.

Makes you wonder what the governors might be smoking

What if your boss made the following offer: Many of the resources you need to do your job will be reduced or removed. But in exchange, you can play a more central role in making the cuts.

Win against fraud with these 4 approaches

The Jamaican lottery scam and other sweepstakes schemes are alive and well. So how do you help your residents avoid becoming victims? Read on.

Yes, thieves are coming for your data

Think your senior living community is exempt from data theft? Think again.

Workers want more than a paycheck

New research reveals a few changes that operators could make to appeal to potential employees.

Want to keep your best employees? Then break these two bad habits

Most organizations would dramatically trim turnover overnight by adopting a coaching mindset and eliminating annual reviews.

Celebrating the heart in senior living

February is a month marked with celebrations of the special people in our lives, appreciation for others and education to learn ways to take better care of ourselves, especially our cardiovascular health. Here's a look at some of the ways that those goals have manifested themselves in senior living.

I hate to bring up these senior living challenges ...

You don't have to be an expert to realize that many operators are not listening to the market. And as long-term strategies go, that's probably not a good one.

Taking age discrimination off the menu

A court case in Boston ultimately may affect hiring practices at all types of employers across the country.

Pretending to revamp Medicaid

It appears some significant changes may be coming Medicaid's way. And the early betting is that these adjustments are not going to be of the payment-enhancement variety.

Alzheimer's film: Not many surprises for you, but maybe some for general public

Those who care for residents with Alzheimer's disease every day shouldn't expect many surprises from a new PBS documentary, "Alzheimer's: Every Minute Counts." But you still may wish to see it.

Poaching on the menu at many fast-food establishments

It's hardly a secret that many fast-food joints serve revenge-seeking grub. But lately, they've begun doing something else that may cause indigestion.

An unsung benefit of CCRCs

Many continuing care retirement / life plan communities offer a benefit that is not mentioned explicitly on their websites but could be a source of comfort to prospective residents.

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In Focus

March 21

Hello, cello!

Corona, CA

Staff at Valencia Terrace, a Kisco Senior Living community, recently surprised residents with a visit from Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma.