John O'Connor, VP, Associate Publisher, Editorial Director

There’s nothing quite like an end-of-year holiday break for de-stressing and recharging. Unfortunately, such benefits tend to be fleeting at best.

Barely a week into the New Year, many operators are already waist-deep in that old, familiar dread. If only the months ahead held the promise of relief. Frankly, that hardly appears to be the case.

For this dour outlook, we can thank, well, you, our readers. More than 300 professionals in this field recently gave us their take on the year to come. My colleague Kim Marselas presented the findings last week in an exclusive three-part “Outlook 2022” presentation.

Here are some of the, ahem, highlights:

•  Staffing, occupancy and compliance remain the industry’s top concerns

•  Operators are far more pessimistic than optimistic about industry prospects for 2022

•  The ongoing pandemic has forced most facilities to restrict admissions

•  Due to dire fiscal conditions, many operators are under pressure to deliver new services 

For more details, go here , or here or here.

So are things really that bad? Yes and no.

There’s no doubt that this is going to be a very challenging year for many operators. Some clearly will not survive. Yet other communities will continue to plod along, more or less. A few will even thrive.

That has been and continues to be the nature of this business.

Will the status quo continue? Who knows? In all probability the answer is yes. That is until something new comes along that adjusts or upends the existing reality.

That has been and continues to be the nature of all business.

John O’Connor is Editorial Director for McKnight’s.

Opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care columns are not necessarily those of McKnight’s.