stethoscope draped over piggy bank

The leading indicators all are pointing toward recovery, according to executives at both Brookdale Senior Living and Capital Senior Living during presentations this week at the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference.

Brentwood, TN-based Brookdale reported zero new resident cases of COVID-19 over the past several days across its more than 700 senior living communities, thanks to the completion of all of its second vaccination clinics and half of its third clinics. The firm also has seen consecutive monthly move-in growth since November, even amid the December and January virus resurgence, Brookdale President and CEO Lucinda “Cindy” Baier said.  

“As the country gets vaccinated, the number of Americans affected by the virus will decline, and we believe that a lower infection rate in the U.S. will allow the country to return to a more normal life,” Baier said. “When this happens, we believe that we’ll see an increase in interest in the prospects of joining our communities, and this will enable us to win the recovery faster. We expect to see a positive turn in occupancy in the second quarter.”

Brookdale also expects to see a slight step-down in COVID-related costs in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2020, and a “sizeable reduction” in those costs in the second and third quarters of this year, said Steven Swain, Brookdale’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

At Dallas-based Capital Senior Living, 2021 year-to-date leads and tours are at their highest levels since pre-pandemic, the firm reported Thursday. In a company presentation posted Wednesday, executives noted that 85% of tours now are being conducted on-site and in person versus virtually, and the company has seen a reduced time from lead to move-in, suggesting the realization of pent-up demand.

“The leading indicators suggest recovery has begun,” the firm wrote.