Brio Living Pivots to Independent Living With Community Expansions, New Lifestyle Brand 

Brio Living Services has right-sized skilled nursing and is set to pursue independent living development to spur future growth.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based senior living provider operates two continuing care retirement communities, two market-rate independent living communities, two middle-market senior living communities and eight affordable senior housing properties. The company also offers certified home care services and has three majority-owned PACE properties. 

Total revenue for the company stood around $175 million in 2023, and looking ahead, Chief of Residential Services Nicole Maag said Brio Living Services has a “financial roadmap” crafted by CEO Steve Fetyko for the company’s future bottom-line success.


“It allows us now to go into being proactive versus being in that reactive mode,” Maag said during an interview with SHN at Senior Living 100 in Laguna Niguel, California. “Our focus is to build-out as fast as we can.”

The company is currently expanding independent living at select properties and has relaunched its Avenues continuing care at home program that was closed to admission during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Brio Living Services is also piloting programming and branded lifestyle offerings at its communities in order to inform a wider rollout down the road, Maag said. That rollout is slated to include a community paramedic program and a new wellness and lifestyle brand called Balanced Living. Brio’s leaders also are focused on expanding the organization’s PACE footprint and adding affordable housing units at those locations in the future.


The expansion into independent living has been driven by demand for an “in-between” IL model that will  include approximately 20 units to create a “hub” within the community for a new independent living product, Maag said. The first addition, known as The Ravines is set to open in 2025 following construction starting this summer. 

“It’s neither the 100-unit IL or cottages and we can replicate that model over and over again,” Maag said. “It will allow both the intimacy and the community that residents crave with not the huge operating costs that come associated with cottages.”

The push to expand IL was also driven by the erosion of reimbursements from Medicare Advantage plans and the expenses associated with administering higher acuity care, along with senior living prospects seeking more independence, rather than seeking assisted living or skilled nursing services, Maag said.

“It wasn’t due to a lack of referrals, we were getting the same number of referrals but as Advantage shortened that length of stay, we needed to double or triple those numbers to keep up,” Maag said of the pivot to lower acuity.

Chief Human Resources Office Michelle Baldwin Henderson told Senior Housing News that Brio Living’s staffing retention and recruitment is an “operational, financial and marketing issue” with its applicant flow having more than doubled since 2020.

“We have to make sure that we are responsive and figure out how we can keep team members beyond those first 24 months,” Henderson said. “We have to make sure that we are onboarding effectively.” 

Looking ahead, Maag said steps taken to transform Brio’s care continuum and efforts on staffing will help create stability and lead to the organization “to start to be proactive and creative.”

“It’s looking towards the future and how to capitalize on the opportunity in front of us and I believe we are poised to do that,” Maag said.

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