We seem to be in a transitional phase for all of senior living: more inventory, Boomers who may or may not want what we have, increasing interest rates and a quicksand like health care financing environment.
By Steve Moran
A few times a year there are waves of senior living conferences . . . someone needs to create a master calendar I think. The third week of March was one of those weeks with the LeadingAge PEAK Leadership Summit in Washington, DC for the first half of the week and the NIC Spring Investment Forum in the second half of the week.
The PEAK Conference
My friend Denise Scott, founder of DRIVE, has raved about how great the PEAK conference is, describing it as one of her favorites of the year. I was looking to mix it up and signed on to try it out. I found it to be a mixed bag.
I had some great conversations with folks I already knew and a handful of new people. I spend a lot of time chatting with current Senior Housing Forum partners and a number of future partners. I got a better handle on some of the issues facing the not-for-profit providers.
Tough Networking Environment
I also found it to one of the most difficult networking events I have ever attended. My first reaction was, what an unfriendly group of folks, tough event structure, maybe it was even the venue, but on further reflection, think that is rather harsh. Rather I need to rethink my networking strategy for that event and maybe even for the not-for-profit sector. My lessons for what they are worth:
Each event is different and has it’s own dynamics. It is not their job to make it a better networking opportunity, rather my job to figure out how to work it.
I needed to spend more time in sessions getting to know people I didn’t know.
This was a case where I should have set up more appointments with people I don’t know.
We seem to be in a transitional phase for all of senior living: more inventory, Boomers who may or may not want what we have, increasing interest rates and a quicksand like health care financing environment. There were two themes that seemed to reverberate:
Obstructionist Board of Directors — Obstructionist may be too strong a word, but boards can get pretty comfortable doing things the way things have always been done. I found myself thinking if boards are really a problem then board members need to be replaced or perhaps the vision needs to be better sold to the board.
Reimbursement — Government finance is a big deal for senior living. It has a huge impact on every level of what we do. Residents get their healthcare through Medicare, and many team members are impacted by Medicaid and the Affordable Health Care Act. This has added significance because on Wednesday of that week LeadingAge members went to Capitol Hill to lobby in favor of issues important to seniors and senior living providers.
This is a topic that will receive some additional attention in future articles.
I am looking forward to PEAK next year and a slightly modified approach to that conference.