Focus on the Fundamentals

by Jim Moore

“You’ve Got Questions . . . We’ve Got Answers”

I need to continue to survive and prosper but I keep hearing the Senior living industry is starting to experience performance “headwinds.”  What should I do?

Focus on fundamentals.  For many owner-operators, the industry is in fact going through another challenging business cycle.  Many stabilized occupancies have dropped from the 90% plateau to the mid 80% range.  Increased new competition has intensified demand vs. supply balance.  Many operators are struggling to sustain the critical 0.5% to 1.0% spread between annual operating expense escalation while executing market-responsive monthly service fee increases.  Some communities developed 10 to 15 years ago are facing stiff competition from new state-of-the-art competition in their market areas.  The average age of a new resident is increasing along with typical acuity levels.  Direct care costs, in terms of minutes per resident-day, are frequently not measured accurately or monitored resulting in uncompensated cost creep. Increases in the minimum wage in a number of markets is impacting labor costs beyond just entry level workers as many other staff members also expect traditional increases in their wages. Staff turnover is increasing.

This is but a sample of a number of sobering issues.  The good news is that there are a number of practical, cost-effective strategies that can be implemented if we just . . . focus on fundamentals.

Jim Moore is president of Moore Diversified Services, Inc., a national senior housing and healthcare consulting firm based in Fort Worth, TX that has been serving clients for 46 years. He has authored five books about senior living and healthcare including Assisted Living Strategies for Changing Markets and Independent Living and CCRCs.  Jim Moore can be reached at (817) 731-4266 or


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