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May 1, 2024

Leaders debate what to change, retain in senior living

McKnights Senior Living

PHOENIX—If there was one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was “everyone opening the kimono,” being raw and asking for help, according to a panel of C-suite senior living experts who tackled issues affecting the sector on Tuesday during the second day of the Argentum 2024 Senior Living Executive Conference.

“We had to be collaborative, and we had to be vulnerable, and we had to show our imperfections,” Priority Life Care CEO Sevy Petras said. “I feel that the industry is getting back to the ‘before’ times, and we need to stop.”

Referencing the recent negative lay media scrutiny of assisted living, Petras said that what’s good for one is good for all, and what’s bad for one is bad for all. She encouraged fellow leaders to stop looking at each other as the competition and instead look at them as colleagues. Just as everyone celebrates success, she said, it’s just as important to pick up the phone and check in with peers in the industry when something negative happens.

Chris Hyatt, New Perspective Senior Living co-CEO, echoed Petras’ sentiment and encouraged leaders to “reach across the aisle.

“There’s not much we want back in the rear view mirror [of COVID], but one thing is to keep being innovative and share ideas,” Hyatt said. 

Doing what’s right for residents and keeping them at the forefront of everything a community or company does wil prevent those barriers from going up and will continue to “make the industry what it needs to be,” according to Bryan McCaleb, president of Sagora Senior Living. 

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