[Updated] Five Star Senior Living Rebrands as AlerisLife, Marking Expansion of Lifestyle Services

Five Star Senior Living (NYSE: FVE) is changing its name to AlerisLife, reflecting a growing focus on offering more lifestyle services.

The company has updated its website to reflect the name change, and starting Jan. 27 it will trade on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol “ALR.”

The name change is a milestone in the Newton, Massachusetts-based company’s ongoing evolution “from primarily a senior living owner and operator to a more diversified and comprehensive partner,” according to CEO Katie Potter — a shift that was already underway.


“As we’ve announced our strategy around building this platform and … maybe acquiring services, growing services or partnering with people to deliver other services, we needed an umbrella brand that brought it all together,” Potter told Senior Housing News. “And that’s really what AlerisLife is.”

Despite the rebranding, the company will continue to use its “Five Star Senior Living” and “Ageility” brand names in its operations. And while the company is broadening its focus with the shift to AlerisLife, it still has deep roots in senior living operations.

“That is still a very important part of our service offering,” Potter said. “But now, we’re looking at the whole customer in terms of what they may need across the spectrum, and to support them through their aging journey.”


“Aleris” is a Latin word that means “nourish.” And to that end, the company is fostering new ways to offer both traditional senior living services along with lifestyle offerings aimed at “younger, choice-based consumers.”

“Our customer is really changing,” Potter said. “So, we have to evolve our product offerings and our service offerings in order to be attractive, and that includes within our senior living communities and outside them.”

Five Star has deepened its lifestyle service offerings in recent months, including by growing its Ageility rehabilitation and fitness segment, collaborating with Compass Group on dining services and partnering with Dispatch Health to bring more acute care to residents.

In conjunction with the rebranding, Five Star also appointed Lauren Cody to the role of chief customer officer and Michael Lopez to chief people officer.

Cody has more than 20 years of leadership experience, and most recently worked as senior vice president, chief of staff and chief customer officer at Panera Bread. Lopez has more than 20 years of leadership experience, and he most recently worked as vice president of human resources for Royal Caribbean International.

“Both Lauren and Michael brought so many ideas and thoughts to what AlerisLife could be,” Potter said. “We feel strongly that it’s going to be a great team.”

AlerisLife Inc. Investor Presentation January 2022

Changing customers, changing focus

Underpinning the company’s shift in focus is the fact that the baby boomers are thought to prefer a more individualized approach to senior living. Whereas the previous generation of older adults might have desired the traditional “one-size-fits-all” model of senior living, boomers “would like to pick and choose the services that are important to them,” Potter said.

Offering services on a more a la carte basis can also create a more financially flexible model, she added — also a plus for many baby boomers.

Although the company is taking a greater focus on lifestyle services, it is not shirking its senior living management operations by any means. In fact, Potter envisions the company’s lifestyle services acting as a potential referral source for new Five Star community residents.

“We want to try to engage with them earlier in their aging process, become that trusted partner and work with them,” Potter said. “Then, when and if they become ready to move in, we’re the obvious choice.”

In response to those shifts in preferences, the company plans to create new consumer-facing brands as it develops new business lines, such as more active adult management and home care and concierge services. The newly rebranded company also expects to forge more strategic relationships along the line of what it has done with Compass Group and Dispatch Health.

AlerisLife has in the past explored the possibilities of either acquiring new service lines or growing organic service offerings to create new brand names. Potter also sees a future where the company might take a more segmented approach to its portfolio with sub-brands — something that AlerisLife is already doing internally on an informal basis, she added.

“We’ve done that internally … not necessarily as a brand, but in terms of the type of resident experience we’re going to deliver at each tier of our communities,” Potter said. “There could come a day where, like some of the other senior living companies, we start to brand those tiers.”

AlerisLife’s deepening focus on lifestyle offerings started in early 2019, shortly after Potter’s appointment as CEO was announced. In the time since, the company has substantially restructured its relationship with Diversified Healthcare Trust (Nasdaq: DHC) and overseen more growth of its Ageility service line.

AlerisLife Inc. Investor Presentation January 2022

Looking ahead, AlerisLife plans to grow Ageility and other service lines and continue to evaluate opportunities for new partnerships. The company has previously stated a goal of opening two to four Ageility new clinics per quarter, and as of the third quarter of 2021, that plan was still on track.

Above all else, the new brand doesn’t represent an end to the company’s evolution — instead, it’s a new chapter in it.

“This really feels like a foundational step in executing on the broader strategy and transformation going forward,” Potter said.

Staffing still a challenge

It’s no secret that staffing remains a top challenge for senior living operators in 2022, as is the case for AlerisLife. But Potter is hopeful that Lopez moving into the chief people officer role will help the company boost its workforce efforts.

“That, combined with our new branding around our mission, vision and values and our commitment to our team members I think we are … going to continue to evolve and improve our team member experience, overall, to attract the best talent,” Potter said.

In the months and years ahead, Potter believes the wider senior living industry will have to tackle issues in engaging workers, and that is no easy feat.

“We’re going to have to think through and be innovative about how we staff communities and how we make it attractive, both from a team member experience perspective, but also from a flexibility and work-life balance perspective,” Potter said.

But she is slightly less concerned about staffing up the company’s ancillary service lines as they grow and transform.

“I think on the services side … it’s a little bit easier [to hire workers], because a lot of people work in the gig economy, and we really see the services side of the business being an opportunity for that,” Potter said. “We can engage people for shifts or for full time roles.”

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