​Assisted living providers are optimistic about the future, according to this year’s survey of the Top 40 Largest Assisted Living Companies.

No. 1 on this year’s ranking, Emeritus Senior Living, is upbeat on the sector—a message that came through loud and clear in the company’s annual report. Because assisted living is needs-driven, its 2010 report states, it is “relatively resistant to the economic downturns and will continue to benefit from other trends and factors in the industry, including growing consumer awareness of the types of services we provide and the increase in the number of seniors looking for care outside of their families."

Worth noting as well is the company’s plans to explore seniors housing investment opportunities in China. Having pulled ahead of No. 2 Sunrise Senior Living this year for the first time on the Top 40 list, with a total occupant capacity of more than 50,000 (due in part to the company’s acquisition of 11,800 units from the now defunct Sunwest Management through a joint venture), Emeritus plans to grow its revenue and boost profitability by entering into the rehabilitation services market as a provider.

Ancillary Services Up

Joining Emeritus in their optimism about ancillary services are a majority of this year’s companies. For the second year in a row, all but one company offers dementia care among their services.
This upward trend continues with 17 companies offering hospice services, 17 offering home care, and 12 offering pharmacy services. One company notes that it has revitalized its activities programs with new initiatives and the addition of an intranet for activity directors to share ideas.
Trilogy, No. 23 in this year’s ranking, has introduced a memory care prototype known as Legacy, a neighborhood model that allows residents to enjoy maximum independence that is personalized to meet their abilities and needs. According to Trilogy’s website, Legacy caregivers and residents are partnered throughout a resident’s stay, “allowing the staff to become closely acquainted with their personal preferences.”
The Arbor Company, No. 31 this year, is rolling out the Arbor Service Way, which features person-centered care, and Ridgeline Management is training its employees in Validation—the Feil Method, an empathetic way to communicate with disoriented elders.

The Line-Up

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Brookdale Senior Living is No. 2 in the rankings for the first time since 2007, with 27,447 total occupancy capacity and 431 communities operating in 34 different states. Sunrise Senior Living drops to No. 3 this year after holding the top spot for may years, and Atria Senior Living lands at No. 4 this year.
In fifth place is Newton, Mass.-based Five Star Quality Care with 10,591 capacity in 152 communities operating in 24 different states.
Assisted living Concepts, headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., at No. 6, went down one position from last year but grew to 9,305 occupant capacity, up slightly from 9,280 occupant capacity a year ago.
No. 7 is Merrill Gardens with an occupant capacity of 7,700 in 56 communities operating in 10 states.
HCR ManorCare is No. 8 with 5,084 occupant capacity in 65 communities operating in 13 states.
One Eighty-Leisure Care registers ninth place in the survey with 4,801 occupancy capacity in 34 communities operating in seven states.
Life Care Services jumped to No. 10 in this year’s survey with 4,331, an increase of 1,066 occupant capacity.
Some newcomers to the survey are Senior Care, ranking No. 13 with 3,855 total occupant capacity, and No. 15, Integral Senior Living with 2,977 total occupancy capacity.