By Steve Moran

Here is my proposition: the 24/7 news cycle is poisoning senior living leaders.

The news cycle is an irresistible drug that has the power of cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin for everyone, including those of us who are completely sold on the idea that senior living is the perfect choice for those living out the last chapters of their lives.   

The problem is that we are being sucked into a vortex of negativity that is crushing how we do business and how we think about what we do.

What We Believe

We have come to believe the lie that the public has a horrible, negative perception of nursing homes and senior living. This is a lie because we actually are not really that important or interesting to the general public. Because of this, they frankly have no particular bias for or against us.

What is True

It is true that when people find themselves in need of senior living, COVID becomes a consideration. However, it is primarily considered not because of a fear of catching COVID in senior living, but rather because of fear of the restrictions COVID places on residents’ freedom to socialize and go out, as well as freedom of family members to visit.

This is particularly true with the upcoming holiday season. And because of this challenge, it seems likely that we will see a measurable drop in interest in senior living. But again, not from fear of catching COVID in senior living but rather because of the restrictions on family time together over the holidays.

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Big Lessons

There are two big lessons here:

  1. The first is that we need to open up access to the maximum allowable by government officials. Right now we are erring on the side of caution and this is a HUGE MISTAKE!!!!!!
  2. We need to stop believing the press that senior living is scary and the wrong choice for older people. We need to believe that senior living is amazing. That even in the era of COVID, or even uniquely because of COVID, senior living is the very best choice. If we believed in ourselves, we would not be struggling the way we are. We are our own worst enemy.

One More Thing

Circling back, we all need to spend less time on the news and more time reading books. Here is why, and it is critical to your sanity:

The news focuses on the bad stuff. Worse than that, it amplifies the bad stuff. So, when we consume news, and this is true for everyone, we tend to extrapolate that the one bad story in a single location is happening all across the country. It just drives us crazy and makes us miserable.

On the other hand, books are almost universally aspirational, showing us the way to bigger and better. Take that hour or so you’re spending on social media, reading, thinking about, watching, and transform it.  

The news is just dragging you down. Pour that time and energy into a great book that will make you a better leader.

If you are looking for a place to start, we have created a list of our 10 favorite leadership books for senior living leaders and you can access it here.