Of the many thoughts and ideas that came out of this year’s ALFA Conference & Expo, assisted living executives expressed concern over the possibility of increased federal oversight of the assisted living industry and encouraged fellow leaders to increase their involvement with state associations, according to an article on McKnight’s Long Term Care News. Increased involvement at the state level can give legislators a deeper understanding of assisted senior living and a context within which to strengthen state legislation, says Brenda Bacon, president and CEO of Brandywine Senior Living.
Beacon served alongside other industry leaders at the Senior Living panel at the 2011 ALFA Conference & Expo. She notes that the industry to date has fallen behind the curve when it comes to regulations and says a better strategy is to proactively reach out to legislators to demonstrate the differences between assisted living and other, more institutional models of care, such as skilled nursing facilities.
Another key component discussed by the panel is the implementation of technology into their assisted living communities. Marilyn Duker, of Brightview Senior Living, says her company’s focus is on technologies that improve the quality of care over those that save money. One example is the possible introduction of iPads to direct care managers to update care plans, a concept that could save time, money and improve the quality of care by providing more accurate, timely updates to critical patient records.
As an overall view on the state of the industry, panelists see potential rate growth on the horizon and say occupancy rates have risen slightly.
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