It is critical that operators keep their financial partners happy, but when financial partners look at the wrong things or set the wrong priorities, it will, over time, create a sub-optimal quality of life for residents.
By Steve Moran
A few days ago I got a short email blog from a great company that sells a product or service into the senior living space (not a Senior Housing Forum partner) and the gist of the blog post was that the highest priority of any senior living operator is the health and well being of the resident.
The post then went on to very specifically talk about how senior communities need to provide a level of care that exceeds regulatory requirements.
Okay . . . still not telling who the company is . . . but I will tell you that it is a capital provider.
NO NO NO! That is not it!
Drives Me Crazy
This kind of thinking drives me crazy. It sounds so good, so perfect, and yet is so, so wrong. It represents why finance people and legal people, in general (there are exceptions, so don’t beat me up if you are one of those exceptions), should not be leading senior living organizations.
This thinking says that if you go above and beyond the regulatory requirements, with that as your benchmark you will be successful. Trust me, there are a ton of five-star skilled nursing facilities and deficiency-free assisted living communities that are not that good. I have also been in some buildings that are not five-star and are not deficiency free that are fantastic.
I am not saying those metrics count for nothing because they are important, but they are far from the most important thing. In fact a year or so ago, we published an article about an LCS building that went 5 years straight without a deficiency.
Why This is a Problem?
This is a problem because it is critical that operators keep their financial partners happy, but when financial partners look at the wrong things or set the wrong priorities, it will, over time, create a sub-optimal quality of life for residents. It is possible to use this approach and have unhappy residents, unhappy family members and poor occupancy.
It is the wrong standard as the wrong primary goal.
There is a singular path to stress free (relatively speaking) high performing, high quality care, high occupancy, low turnover senior living and that is to put the team first. Team first means a bunch of really important things:
Inspiring them by reminding them that they are doing a holy work
Giving them autonomy in how they get their work done (not what they have to get done, in case you are wondering)
Listening to their ideas
Celebrating their successes
Giving them opportunity to grow
Caring about their personal lives
Getting rid of skunks masquerading as team members
Do all those things and quality healthcare will follow as will high financial performance and low turnover.