A few weeks ago at the Senior Living Innovation Forum, I got a chance to interview Lynne Katzmann about their Connect4Life! program.

By Steve Moran

Lynne Katzmann was a very early reader and supporter of Senior Housing Forum and has provided and continues to provide encouragement and support. We have become good friends and she is the one who talked me into attending the fantastic Aging Insurrection camp at Burning Man.  

She is also an amazing innovative senior living provider. As the founder of Juniper Communities she is constantly thinking, innovating and figuring out how to serve residents better. A few weeks ago at the Senior Living Innovation Forum, I got a chance to interview her about their Connect4Life program.

To Keep You Reading

To keep you reading, there are two really important things you need to know:

  1. Across their 20+ campuses they have an average occupancy of better than 96%.

  2. Since they have implemented Connected Living they have seen the average length of stay increase by one month.  

    At first glance that may not sound like much. It’s actually huge. In a 100 unit building that is 96% occupied that is an extra 96 months of occupancy every year. When you do the math that is equal to 8 additional residents . . . without any sales or turnover costs.

The Hard Reality

The hard reality is that residents who move into senior living today are older and sicker than they were 10 or 15 years ago. Many if not most senior living communities have moved to operating under a medical model. The goal then becomes caring for residents’ chronic illnesses and functional impairments in a way that allows them to live high-quality lives.

Making It All Work

Lynne and her team at Juniper created the Connect4Life program that has three main components:

  1. An electronic health record system that allows them to collect and access data real time. They are using PointClickCare, a Senior Housing Forum partner.

  2. They brought onto the campus of each of their communities ancillary care partners, the most important of which was physician services, but includes therapy and pharmacy. They then required each of these providers to enter all of their medical records into the Juniper EHR. This was non-negotiable.  

  3. They also require each of these ancillary providers to follow certain communication protocols that include:

    • Participation in care planning

    • Availability to family members

    • Willingness to have conversations with other care providers

    • Regular attendance at interdisciplinary meetings

Taking Control

Lynne and Anne Tumlinson dominated the NIC Spring Investment conference talking about connected living with the underlying theme being that senior living is the single best resource for reducing the cost of aging in the United States. We have always operated under the assumption that we had to do it the way healthcare care providers told us they wanted it done. We were happy with crumbs from the table. Lynne and the Juniper Team have demonstrated that we can be in the driver’s seat.

This is not something for just large providers, it can be done by any size organization.  

You can watch this part of the interview here: