By Steve Moran
The Argentum 2022 conference is history. If you were not there ,you missed out (doing my FOMO thing for next year). It was the first conference produced by HPG, and they did a great job.
- The very best part of the conference was the human connections. So many conversations, hugs, and handshakes with old friends. … It was so crazy good to see you. And I know there were a bunch of you who were there and I never saw you or only saw you from across the room. We need to do better at the next conference.
- It wasn’t just seeing old friends, it was making new connections, new friendships. Hearing stories of challenges and wins, big and small.
- Oh, the passion. … It would be hard to imagine a more passionate, positive group of people. The single consistent theme was that “we made it.” Not only did we make it, we did pretty damn well.
- The “good old days” are gone forever, which is a good thing because the good old days were way too often a time of complacency, a time when we were neglectful of some important things, in particular frontline staff.
- We were convinced that we could not pay our workers any more money than we were paying them, but we found out that we could pay them more. We also discovered that paying them more is a good start, but it is not enough.
- We appear to be taking workplace culture more seriously than we have in the past, where it has been more lip service than a serious commitment. It still remains to be seen if we will actually do the work.
- Occupancy continues to be a significant concern, and at the same time, it seemed as if every other operator had new developments that were rapidly moving forward.
- Active 55 continues to be a major focus, believing there is untapped demand, with the additional benefit of requiring far less staff. While from “the stage,” there is a lot of interest in active 55, much of the conversation with thought leaders exposed real skepticism about how deep the need and whether senior living operators can get it right.
- The need for technology that will supplement staff and improve the quality of life for residents and team members was a significant topic, but it is an area that continues to be super messy. It is expensive, and there are so many options, and those options do not do a very good job of talking to each other. This is further complicated by the demands of capital providers who, for various reasons, force operators to choose suboptimal solutions.
- Finally, we are still struggling with what the next generation of senior living will look like. What will boomers want, and as importantly, what can they afford, and what will they pay for? There are lots of ideas, but honestly, WE HAVE NO IDEA!
If you were there, I would love to have you add to the list … or dispute it.