ALFA members see bright light at end of dark economic tunnel

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Senior living executives at a recent gathering of the Assisted Living Federation of America expressed their confidence in the strength of the industry, despite the current economic hardships facing other business sectors.

Though many assisted living companies have been forced to freeze wages, reduce spending and implement other recession-resistant policies, continued public demand for quality senior housing has softened the hardest economic blows. Also, the growing need for memory care services has been a boon to the industry, industry leaders said at ALFA's 19th annual meeting, held May 5-7. In fact, many facilities have converted independent living units into memory care units to both meet memory care demands and fill vacant independent living units.

Though confidence in the future was evident, some at the meeting were more cautiously optimistic. Loren Shook, the president and CEO of Silverado Senior Living told fellow senior living executives, ``This is a long haul. This is not a sprint.''