By Steve Moran

You have never in your whole life met a group of people who are more committed to improving the quality of life for residents living in senior living than the people who attend the Pioneer Network conference. If you haven’t been, you should go.

What Else …

  1. There is a much broader cross section of senior living professionals than you will find at other conferences. Fewer C-suite people, though those in attendance are crazy passionate about the industry and its residents.
  2. The focus is 100% on the resident experience. Any talk of capital and transactions is simply a by-product of talking about the residents. It really brings home the curious paradox that I hear so often, that some companies and leaders really care about residents and others only care about profits. This is crazy thinking. The only way to a healthy bottom line and high profitability is to focus on high-quality care.
  3. Don’t go looking for a slate of big parties every night. I attended one reception, and there was a night at the ballpark hosted by Senior Living Foresight partner iN2L, TaleGate, and Select Rehabilitation, which I sadly missed.
  4. They do some weird stuff. I kind of struggled with how to talk about this, but they are much more touchy-feely in a healthy, noncreepy way. It is kind of not my thing, but I always try to play full-out at conferences, and it was fine. More than anything, it challenged my comfort level. And for a guy who showed up in bright-colored Chucks with light-up laces, you would think I would be in my element. What I love about it though, is that it is an expression of passion for the cause, and this may be the one thing that is missing in so much of senior living.
  5. One of the most distressing things about senior living is that if we are honest, much of what we do is ageist and designed to accommodate the needs of the operator, capital partners, and team members rather than the residents. Pioneer Network is exactly the opposite. It is all about giving residents the best experience. Too many times I have attended conferences, walked up to an older person, asked them what they do, and they tell me, “I am only a resident.” It makes me want to cry. At Pioneer Network, residents are taken seriously.

You should attend; you will be glad you did. You can check out the Pioneer Network here.