By Steve Moran

Recently I attended the 2024 LeadingAge California annual conference in Anaheim. I got to talking to David Lindeman about the work he is doing on technology for older people at UC Berkeley. He started telling me about the young people he is interacting with at both the university and high school levels.

He is in awe of the brainpower; they are thinking out of the box about how to create insanely wonderful technologies to serve older people. He told me it is like they are constrained by nothing.

It Depressed Me

I am struggling with how to write this without sounding like I am insulting all of us (yes, I include myself in this). My best effort:

It occurred to me that senior living might be so much better if we could attract those young people to senior living. They might invent brand new ways of doing senior living — things that none of could ever imagine. Ways to create better experiences for residents. Ways to reduce the cost of caring for residents, ways to make working in senior living more enjoyable.

Proving It

We don’t really talk about it, but if you are working in senior living, there are some companies you would want to work for and others you would hate to work for. If you are good enough, you will likely do everything you can do to avoid those not-so-desirable companies. This over time further degrades those already not-so-great companies. Often those team members are trying hard, have good intentions, but are simply not good enough to be excellent at their job.

I recognize that for various reasons, a really great leader/worker might still end up working for a not-so-great company. So if you are one of those people, please don’t see this as an insult.

Our Opportunity

We need to spend more time telling the story about how great it is to work in senior living. I am writing this while at the airport heading home from the NIC Data & Analytics Conference, and while there, I spent time with three young leaders who are crazy passionate about working in senior living. We need to be telling their stories. When we do this, we will improve the quality of everything we do.