This may be one of the very best things ever to come out of the pandemic.
We have written about it, others have written about it and talked about it. There have even been some feeble sporadic attempts to address it, and there have been some feeble attempts to fix the problem. But no one seems to have made any appreciable progress until maybe now . . .
For the past 8 or 10 weeks, senior living has played a starring role in the unrelenting 24-hour news cycle, as the villain. Making it worse, the media can’t even be bothered to figure out that nursing homes are not the same as assisted living communities.If you search for numbers of COVID-19 deaths in hospitals, you will not be able to find even a single number, though I promise you that number is HUGE! But search for COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes or senior facilities and it will seem like residing in senior living is akin to being on death row in Texas.
The truth is that nursing homes are not the same as senior living. The truth is that most nursing homes have done an amazing job of protecting residents and staff in spite of being on the front lines. The story is even better in senior living.
The truth is that not every nursing home or even every senior living community did a great job. In some cases, there were serious lapses in care and leadership that led to horrific and unnecessary deaths and illnesses. But it is also true that some of the deaths and illnesses lay at the feet of government, who in the early weeks did nearly nothing to help with the PPE problem.
Even More Frustrating
What was even more frustrating for those of us in senior living was to watch, day after day, the national press highlight the work being done by medical professionals in hospitals. While not wanting to take anything away from their accomplishments, they had the benefit of high salaries and access to PPE. Something that was not true for senior living workers, who, if anything, were even closer to the front lines with fewer tools to fight the battle.
A Time for Action
A small group of senior living leaders led by Scott Stewart, Managing Partner at Capitol Seniors Housing, decided to move beyond complaining and do something to combat the bad press. They decided to raise some money and start a targeted Facebook ad campaign celebrating the good in senior living and the heroes who work there.
To celebrate the truth that senior living is saving lives that otherwise would have been lost to COVID-19.
They set a launch date and a fundraising goal. They started sending some letters and emails. Within 10 or 12 days the whole thing came together. Funds came pouring in, 501c3 incorporation papers were filed, and PEOPLE OF SENIORS HOUSING (POSH) became a real thing.
Their original fundraising goal was $75,000 and they are currently at $180,000 with well over 90% of the funds going into advertising. They continue to aggressively advertise the positive senior living story on Facebook.
This is a movement that every single senior living operator, capital provider, and vendor should be involved with. Here is how you can get involved:
- You can start by going to their Facebook Page and liking it
- You can share your stories and photos in the group
- You can invite your friends to like the page and post their photos
- You can donate to the cause
This is such an important cause for older people. It is such an important issue for the industry, this effort could have a profound impact on the future of what we do.