“Let me assure you that our communities have not closed!”

That’s the message that Loren Shook, president and CEO of Irvine-CA-based memory care provider Silverado, recently felt compelled to convey to consumers after resolution of a paperwork issue, slowed by the onset of the pandemic, led some to think that communities had closed.

In 2019, real estate investment trust Welltower transitioned ownership of 20 Silverado memory care communities in California to a newly formed joint venture with Frontier Management. As part of the process, Silverado, which still operates and manages the communities, was required to submit change of ownership applications with California’s Community Care Licensing Division. The pandemic slowed the processing of those applications, which were approved in the past several weeks, resulting in new license numbers being issued for the affected communities.

“Confusing messaging” from the California Department of Social Services, however, led some to infer that the communities linked to the previous license numbers had closed, according to Silverado. 

A company spokesman told McKnight’s Senior Living that “a couple of family members and another professional” contacted the company and said they had received the closure message from the state. That prompted Shook, a McKnight’s 40 for 40 honoree, to send a message to families to clear up the confusion.

“Let me assure you that our communities have not closed!” Shook said in the message. “Silverado has continued to operate and manage each of these communities in the same way we always have. The change of ownership does not impact operations at the community level.”

Shook said the “computer-generated message” from the state acknowledges that the old community licenses were terminated, a step that is required before new license numbers are activated.

“It’s unfortunate their system auto-generates this confusing message,” he said. 

Silverado believed that it needed to be proactive in releasing a message before the issue confused more families, according to the spokesman, who indicated that the situation “had no impact whatsoever on our strong brand or interest in move-ins.”