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February 25, 2021 Article 4 min read

Since the onset of COVID-19, many senior care facilities have operated in crisis mode, propped up financially by emergency government aid. Looking forward, survival will hinge on the approach to big-picture challenges. Patrick McCormick discusses strategies for success via McKnight's.

Nurse helping an elderly woman with her walker in an outdoor area.The COVID-19 pandemic has undercut the finances and business model of U.S. senior living communities in a way that was simply unthinkable a year ago.

Occupancy rates fell further to a record low of 80.7% in the last quarter of 2020, compared with more than 87% at the start of the year, reflecting families’ reluctance to subject their relatives to the heavy restrictions of congregate living during the pandemic and, sadly, a higher death rate.

Most communities, understandably, have been in crisis mode for much of the past year and have been propped up financially by emergency government aid. But their long-term survival is going to hinge on how smartly they approach the big-picture challenges of the post-pandemic world.