Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) is still the nation’s largest senior living operator — but others are catching up, as the industry is still rife with disruption, according to Argentum’s 2022 Largest Providers Report.
The report, released Wednesday, was compiled in partnership with real estate finance firm Lument. It ranks U.S. senior living operators in size by self-reported measures such as number of units and employee headcount.
According to the report, Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) for the third consecutive year took the No. 1 ranking with 55,902 units and 679 properties, even as the senior living operator shed units from its total count between this year’s report and last year’s.
Thanks to its acquisition of and subsequent combination with Holiday Retirement, Atria Senior Living ascended to the No. 2 spot with 49,000 total units and 383 communities. Holiday previously ranked third on the 2020 and 2021 largest operator lists, while Atria was seventh in 2020 and fourth last year.
Rounding out the third spot was Des Moines, Iowa-based LCS with 32,196 total units and 135 U.S. communities. The company kicked off this year by completing a recapitalization while expanding its real estate development services business.
AlerisLife’s Five Star Senior Living brand moved up from fifth last year to fourth in the 2022 list, while Erickson Senior Living moved from the No. 7 spot to fifth. Sunrise Senior Living remained at sixth place.
Discovery Senior Living climbed from 16th in 2021 to the No. 8 spot in 2022, while Integral/Solstice Senior Living leapt from No. 19 in 2021 to No. 9 this year. As it did in 2021, Watermark Retirement Communities again ranked as the tenth-largest senior living operator.
One operator notably missing from this year’s list was ALG Senior, which ranked the ninth-largest senior living operator in 2021. But that was not to do with material changes affecting unit or community counts — instead, a representative told Senior Housing News the operator chose not to submit information for the 2022 count.
This year’s list also reflects a year of growth. Sinceri Senior Living — listed under its former brand name JEA Senior Living — jumped a whopping 51 spots from 2021 to this year’s ranking, going from No. 71 in 2021 to No. 20 in 2022.
The report also gauged senior living provider sentiment regarding the industry moving forward, and it appears that “hope is on the horizon” as providers make occupancy gains and continue stabilizing portfolios.
The survey asked operators who participated to weigh in a variety of industry trends, including the effect of Covid-19 on the industry and where occupancy is headed in 2022.
Regarding Covid’s impact on the industry, many operators noted they were seeing higher operating expenses, challenges related to staff turnover and placement, supply chain issues and inflation of food and insurance costs.
But the surveyed operators were more optimistic when it came to their outlook on occupancy, with the report noting that companies were “somewhat unanimous” that they expect to see steady occupancy growth and improved stability across their portfolios.
“Some companies are already on budget and on target, and several reported being at or above 80-90% with others stating increases in IL and AL, which they anticipate will continue into 2023,” the report reads.