By Susan Saldibar

Back when I was researching assisted living communities for my mom, I wanted her in a place with people who were looking forward, not backward. A place that was connected to the industry, introducing the latest care models and technologies into their community. And I don’t think I’m alone.

How would your community have stacked up? 

Would you have talked about being part of a global coalition on brain health? Would you have discussed a recent trip to Washington, DC, to advocate for change? How about your community’s efforts to help fund innovation?

Now there is a way to have that conversation … and more.

Because there is a new coalition that’s making waves. And you’re invited to join in.

Behind all those waves is Sarah Hoit, Social Impact Partners co-founder and chairman. I have to admit that after talking with Sarah, it’s hard not to get excited. Social Impact Partners is a global nonprofit group focusing on something that sits at the center of what senior care is (or should be) all about: brain health. They’re already attracting an impressive array of colleagues, and they’re all working together to put brain health at the top of priorities for everyone everywhere.

“What we do every day — what we eat, how we sleep, our stress levels, our exercise — impacts 70 to 80% of our health outcomes,” Sarah explains. “Knowing this, we feel compelled to come together to determine and deliver best practices in all the places we live, work, and age. We encourage leaders and organizations to join us in this critical mission, because the challenges we face in brain health profoundly affect us all, and it is personal for all of us.”

Sarah and her two children lost her husband to early onset dementia only 18 months ago. Samantha Bevins, her 21-year-old daughter, says, “We won’t stop until no other person goes through what we went through.”

There is so much to unpack about this coalition that I can’t do it justice in one article, but I’ll try.

Their Olympics have attracted scores of young people. When was the last time our industry did that?

Social Impact Partners has created the Global Brain Health and Longevity Initiative, which brings together a diverse array of stakeholders united to revolutionize brain health care and promote longevity for everyone.

As part of the initiative, Social Impact Partners launched the Brain Health Innovation Olympics. Participating were brain health experts, global executives, and student leaders worldwide. More than 100 youth leaders from 10 countries have contributed to conducting research and devising innovative business concepts to serve brain health and longevity.

These are exactly the kinds of people we need in the industry. 

Just to give you an example, take a look at the 2023 Olympic winner, Kognition in the Kitchen. Students at Dartmouth College have developed an app that gives users a central location to track their brain health and makes recommendations to put better foods into their bodies to feed their brains.

If you think young people are tuned out of this industry, check out this video. Almost all the contestants are students who are not only tuned in but contributing their creativity.

Don’t we want to encourage more of that?

Social Impact Partners just wrapped up their 2024 Olympics season, which was more narrowly focused on the senior living space. Among several areas for competition were:

  • Food as medicine
  • AI integration
  • Autonomous living communities
  • Employee reinvention strategies
  • Prescriptive nutrition plans
  • Concepts for brain health investment funds

“In terms of both quality of life and economic drain, the unsustainable costs of poor brain health present a clear call to action. When we factor in the immense value that better brain health can add, the extreme urgency of becoming proactive about our brain’s health and wellness becomes obvious. Changemakers in all disciplines must collaboratively lead the way. ”

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, chief director and founder of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas

What would involvement do for your communities?

If all this seems overwhelming, that’s because it is. Most movements are. But this one hits us square in the middle of what senior living is supposed to be about. And people are starting to get it. I could list all the movers and shakers Sarah Hoit is connecting with, but why not check out their website and see for yourself?

As for involvement, you can dip a toe in the water or cannonball in — it’s up to you.

You can become a member:

  • Get access to the latest solutions to incorporate brain health into your culture.
  • Be part of the global conversation by participating in or supporting the Social Impact Partners Innovation Olympics.
  • Collaborate with global industry leaders.
  • Be part of making an impact and creating opportunities for innovators.
  • Tune in to the Brain Health Speaker Series.
  • Stay tuned in with the monthly Brain Health and Longevity Innovation newsletter.

Or become a sponsor:

  • Participate in industry thought leadership and innovation.
  • Share new product, service, and brand opportunities.
  • Get access to recruitment and engagement of the talent pool.
  • Know you are making a significant impact on brain health.

Either way, you’ll be joining the best and brightest — and those working to create lasting impact, who are doing things like going to Washington, DC, and meeting with heavyweight influencers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Cory Booker.

Industry leaders, including Benchmark Senior Living, Silverado, Belmont Village, Avanti, and many others have already been part of the innovation. Also involved are major service providers, such as Social Impact Partners partner Sodexo, who has long played a critical role in brain health and longevity.

We believe that food’s impact on healthy living, healthy aging, and brain health is profound, and we are committed to being a part of the solution as we work to pave the way for healthier communities and a more sustainable future.

Marc Plumart, Chief Growth and Commercial Officer at Sodexo

And one more thought …

What would telling prospective residents that you are involved in a global brain health initiative do to bolster interest and engagement in your communities? What if you enrolled employees? How cool would that be?

Social Impact Partners is a movement. Could it also be our “moment?”

If what Social Impact Partners is doing has you scratching your head, maybe that’s a good thing. This industry cries out for disruption. We talk about it all the time but back pedal when it comes to taking action. Where to begin? How to organize it? Who to include?

Now someone has done the hard work for you. Social Impact Partners has created the infrastructure. You have a platform. Maybe it’s time to find out more about the Global Brain Health Initiative. Do a deeper dive and check out the videos.

Maybe this is our industry’s “moment.” Maybe yours too.