How Things Change

I’m clearly not the best, most consistent writer. I came back to my blog, realizing that it had been a while. I saw my last post: “NADSA 2020: 5 Trends To Follow.” It’s full of optimism. The trends for adult day looked very bright last fall.

The world changed in January or perhaps in December with the novel Coronavirus.

As we all know it has hit the United States hard as we practice social distancing.

For Adult Day, this disease and what we are experiencing is devastating. I have spoken to large adult day providers who have closed their centers (and laid off staff) because there were not enough participants coming. They hope to reopen and restart the magic. I have been involved in an academic study with a number of other centers. The message went out, but already a number have announced that they have closed and laid off staff. In some states, centers remain open with business as usual. Other centers remain open, but with dramatically lowered censuses.

The optimism of the last post is now followed by the reality of COVID-19. What will happen to adult day programs? I fear that many will not be able to reopen. It appears that a lot of money will be coming out of Washington, DC in the form of loans. How long will it take for the cash to materialize though? How long will landlords and other vendors work with cash-strapped business.

It’s going to be interesting. We have temporarily closed our Skylark centers; although, our home care service remains open. So, far landlords have been understanding. Vendors are willing to work with us. If we can reopen with a significant percentage of our former members, we’ll be ok. The longer this goes on, the more customers we will lose. This will make it more difficult to open.

Interestingly, all the positive trends for adult day remain. Perhaps, COVID-19 makes it more promising as I question whether families will want to utilize residential care for their loved ones while this disease continues to rage.

Let me know what you think? There’s an opportunity here, but also we need to figure out how to climb out of the current hole.

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