Editors' Columns

Editors’ Columns

John O'Connor's Columns

Uncle Sam, protector of senior living?

As bad as this year has been, observant operators have learned an important lesson: the government considers senior living too important to fail.

Memories are made of this

In all our lives, there are things that happen. And then there are events that are so profound they become the pillars of our collective memory. For the senior living sector, COVID-19 has the potential to become one such pillar.

Senior living’s slide into the welfare class

The push for support for assisted living from Uncle Sam is intensifying. But as any skilled care operator will remind you, Uncle Sam tends to be a very demanding business partner.

But wait, it gets worse

We’re wading into uncharted waters that are unlikely to provide much relief. I’m referring to the 2020 election season.

Give yourself a break

Your opportunity to create some great news for your organization is literally one click away.

Please don’t feed the zombies

It’s convenient to blame many of the senior living sector’s debt woes on the coronavirus. Convenient, but not entirely accurate.

COVID-19 unleashing new labor challenges for many senior living operators

Occupancy is down, revenue is declining, and it’s anyone’s guess if or when a vaccine might be available. As if that’s not bad enough, many operators soon might find themselves dealing with an assortment of new labor-related headaches — ranging from new rules to revitalized organization efforts.

The calm before the (dealmaking) storm

Among other things, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the pace of mergers, acquisitions and other dealmaking activities. But that may soon change.

Why senior living needs to step up its game

Senior living will adapt to COVID-19 by doing away with buffets and using design that encourages social distancing. But what about the proverbial elephant in the room?

The four stages of senior living?

So will this sector be different in say, five or 10 years? Absolutely. But the sector was going to be very different, regardless of COVID-19.

It’s a bit early for a victory parade

The stock market spiked notably Monday, following news that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown encouraging trial results. But before you load up on Moderna stock, it might be helpful to keep a couple of things in mind.

Lois Bowers' Columns

Fall conference season: A new, virtual reality

Our professional and personal lives have been upended in ways we would not have imagined a year ago. Some conferences have been canceled, and others have been rescheduled and moved online. But fall conference season has begun.

A special week during an unusual time

If ever there was a year that “Caring is Essential,” it is 2020. Indeed, the theme of this year’s National Assisted Living Week (with an emphasis on the AL in essential), which began Sunday, is very appropriate.

Training could help employee retention, survey says

In the midst of a pandemic, when your organization is trying to keep up with and adhere to local, state and national regulations and orders to keep residents and staff members safe and healthy, staff training on human resources issues may not be foremost in your plans. Yet as recruiting and retaining workers continue to be challenges in senior living, a new survey suggests the importance of such training.

Combatting ‘another pandemic’ related to COVID-19

When coronavirus hit the U.S., Buckner Retirement Services’ CCRCs “acted swiftly” to protect residents and employees, Senior Vice President Charlie Wilson says. “But as the situation lingers, we are seeing another pandemic affect residents: loneliness,” he adds. Buckner and LeadingAge Texas have a plan.

Take heart in older adults’ resiliency

We’ve heard a lot lately about the loneliness and isolation that some residents — and their families — are feeling during the pandemic. These feelings are real, and there are real consequences of the separation of residents and their loved ones. Nonetheless, I took some comfort in the results of a recent study.

New book can help you welcome LGBT residents

Tim R. Johnston, Ph.D., senior director of national projects for LGBT elder advocacy organization SAGE, spent a year and a half working on his new book, “Welcoming LGBT Residents: A Practical Guide for Senior Living Staff.” He recently answered some questions for me about the book and its subject matter as well as his work at SAGE.

Industry, lawmakers agree: Assisted living needs COVID-19 help

Now that Sens. Warren and Markey and Rep. Maloney realize what the industry has been saying to anyone who would listen for months now — that senior living operators need resources to battle COVID-19, too — it’s time for them to convince their colleagues in the Senate and House of their discovery and then put their (our, actually) money where their mouths are.

COVID caregivers, don’t forget to take care of yourselves

Results of a new survey bring potentially troubling news for those in senior living employees and the companies for which they work: Personal exposure to the coronavirus is linked with poor mental health. Fortunately, there are steps that front-line heroes and others can take to lessen the stress they might be feeling related to the pandemic, regardless of whether they have been exposed to the disease.

Aging successfully is not a game

Coming this summer wherever video games are sold: A product equally offensive to both millennials and senior living residents.

Balancing safety, quality of life in the COVID-19 era

Pavlo Kononenko doesn’t think his company’s approach to battling the effects of COVID-19 is unique, but what he described in a recent blog certainly is different from media reports that portray senior living residents as lonely and isolated from fellow residents, and family members as pleading to see them after months of separation.

A veteran gives thanks for senior living heroes

As Americans paused over the weekend to remember Armed Forces members who died while serving the United States, one veteran was giving thanks to several heroes who “by their sacrifice, saved lives and catastrophe.”
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