They should be shamed out of business.

By Steve Moran

I am writing this from the airport in Chicago. I am exhausted and wound up, just coming off two days of powerful, amazing discussions about how to grow the academic pipeline for future senior living leaders. One of the themes was the perception many young people have that a career in senior living is not very sexy. And it would be fair to say to a person, the 100+ people in that room think it is, and puzzle over how to convey their passion.

But There Is a Huge Problem — That We Don’t Like to Talk About . . . 

The huge problem is that there are too many crummy operators who care more about the bottom line and profits than residents or their staff. We don’t want to be critical of ourselves and our fellow owner-operators so mostly we stand by when stories of crummy, terrible care pop up. In many cases, we even make excuses for it, saying things like:

  • “We just can’t pay enough to get good staff.”

  • “The reimbursement rates are just not high enough.”

  • “Bad things can happen to any operator.”

In that context, while I was sitting in the airport ready to head home, I saw this Facebook post by my friend Chris Gutierrez, who runs a local placement agency in the Los Angeles area.


You can see that he is reluctant to post this but feels compelled.

We Need More of This

If we want the industry to trust us, if we want young people to salivate about working in senior living, we must bluntly and brutally condemn bad operators like these two facilities. They didn’t get unlucky, they didn’t have a rogue employee who did something unconscionable, which can happen to even the very best operators. For reasons I am not privy to, the owners of these communities have allowed them to continue to . . . do I dare say it? . . . abuse residents and staff, by providing substandard care.

As an Industry, we must condemn this, we must fight this, we must shout out THAT IS NOT US. They should be shamed out of business. While I think trashing the competition is its own form of sleazy marketing and sales, what we are talking about here is a gross instance of hurting people and that is wrong. We should call it out.

When We Do This

When we do this we will have a lot more people who want to move into our communities. We will have a lot more families that will love us. We will have fewer people leaving the industry and failing. We will have a much better bottom line and live happily ever after.