Last week, leading industry players met at the national ALFA conference and expressed overall optimism and in the state of the industry and optimism about future prospects at its annual conference in Philadelphia. The tone of the conference and the speakers show that while the recession is providing challenges, they feel that they are weathering the economic times better than most as the focus has been on providing quality care to seniors and their families. Many providers expressed that capital and financing have proved the most difficult to come by over the last twelve months and thus reducing their plans for expanding their businesses and forcing examination and development of strategies to streamline costs to reduce costs and overhead. The executives expressed that memory care services for seniors who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have actually grown during the recession because of increased demand.
"Assisted living has become synonymous with a philosophy of care that allows seniors to age with dignity, independence and choice," said Richard Grimes, the President and CEO of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the nation’s leading association for professionally managed assisted living providers. "The participation of more than 2,000 professionals at our 19th annual conference this week at a time of great economic uncertainty demonstrated the underlying strength and appeal of this movement."
"Needs driven products are the ones doing best and holding their own," said Mike Leader, the President and CEO of Country Meadows Retirement Communities.
"Our industry has fared better than other asset classes," said Tom Grape, the Chairman and CEO of Benchmark Living Assisted Living. "In the long run, demographics will be a source of real appeal to investors."
Highlights from the 2009 ALFA conference and expo can be found at www.alfa.org.