Recent data showed that retirement home occupancy remained unchanged in the second quarter of 2021, again raising doubts about the pace of the recovery from Covid-19. With that in mind, providers hope that the third quarter of 2021 will bring the usual seasonal spike in occupancy, and then some – but that outcome is uncertain.
There is reason to be optimistic. New inventory growth was the main driver behind the lackluster Q2, but demand had “increased measurably” in the second quarter, according to NIC chief economist Beth Mace and several vendors speaking to SHN for the story.
Although the demand is there now, seasonal trends are not guaranteed in the age of the pandemic. And with the number of Covid-19 cases rising again in every US state as the Delta variant prevails, some industry leaders are wondering how long this surge in demand will last. Additionally, much of the work driving the move forward in the third quarter is happening in earlier quarters, so to some extent the story may already have been written about how much occupancy boost vendors will gain before fall.
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