John O'Connor
John O’Connor

Counting the days until this year is over? Consider yourself in good company.

No matter how you slice it, 2020 has been a miserable year for most in senior living and just might be the ruination of more than a few. For this, we can thank a villain invisible to the naked eye: COVID-19.

This little bugger has helped cause the deaths of more than 300,000 people nationwide, of which roughly 40% resided in senior housing and care settings. That kind of human toll almost defies belief. As if that’s not enough punishment, there has been plenty of fiscal carnage as well. Across the board, expenses are up, whereas occupancy is down.

Small wonder we’d all like to put this sad chapter behind us, posthaste.

But for all the bad we’ve seen, I remain hopeful about this sector’s future.

As for the why. It’s simple, really. You deliver a service that’s needed. Every day, you and your colleagues make life better for hundreds of thousands of people who could really use the help. It’s important work. Moreover, the demand for your services only will increase.

Yes, this year’s headlines have been almost unrelentingly bad. But keep in mind, they tell only part of the story; the part that has already played out.

I realize that predicting the future can be a risky business. But I do believe better days are coming to this field. And not just because they can’t get much worse.

So hang in there, and keep doing the best you can. Just as important, try to stay positive. And should you develop an uncontrollable urge to torch your 2020 calendar, here’s my advice: Go for it.