Ever been to one of those weddings where the parents were a bit less than thrilled?

They might have been putting on a game face for the sake of the newlyweds, but there obviously was some unfinished business beneath the surface.

Kind of reminds me of the way a few senior living organizations are now looking at Argentum. In this case, however, it’s a very different kind of union behind the strained relations.

But first some background: Last April, Argentum applied to ANSI to become a senior living standards developer. By all accounts, Argentum had good intentions — and still does.

As for the problem that ensued, there are two, actually.

One is that other organizations serving the field were not exactly thrilled to learn they essentially had been passed over.

The other less spoken objection is that some other groups absolutely do not want guidelines, rules or directives being minted — lest what started out as suggestions end up as federal regulations. For as those who work in the skilled care sector can tell you, there is some precedent for that sort of thing.

Still, it’s not like anyone wants to publicly come out and say anything that might be construed as boat-rocking. So we are now knee-deep in what PR pros like to call the painting-lipstick-on-a-pig phase.

Rather than outright criticism, we’re hearing talking points that go something like this: We all want better quality; let’s just make sure we do it with consensus and due consideration.

For those of you unschooled in the ways of Washington-style tea leaf-reading, that translates roughly to: Not so fast, buddy!

Whether Argentum got the message or is interested in getting the message remains to be seen.

For what it’s worth, my guess is that the answer is yes on both counts. And we’ll probably see the efforts here become more deliberate and cooperative going forward. Which is probably a good thing. After all, one never knows how many family functions the future might hold.

Regardless, this is all a lot more cordial than a previous effort a while back to develop consensus on how assisted living should look and feel.

Given the disparate viewpoints among the various participating stakeholders, a lot more was said than done. In the end, simply finding agreement on the definition of assisted living proved too challenging.

So compared with that, we now seem to be making real progress.

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