By Steve Moran

This whole article is a complete contradiction.  

If you were to ask me about the senior living unique value proposition, I would tell you without hesitation that it is the ability to create community and human connections. You can get care, transportation, housekeeping, meals and even supervision at home … for a price. You can’t get the human interaction that people are hardwired to need.

And yet …

Over the last several weeks I have spent a bunch of time in senior living communities, talking to residents (mostly independent living) and resident families about their lives and their senior living experiences. I have found myself startled that their primary reason for choosing senior living is physical security.   

The lifestyle, dining services, friends, purposeful living, activities, trips, movies, housekeeping, maintenance are all important, but every single person, without a single exception, moved into their senior living community because they wanted to feel more physically secure.  

Many, more than I would have ever imagined moved into senior living from active 55+ communities when they realized they didn’t feel as safe as they wanted or they simply anticipated that in the future they would feel less secure.  


They were attracted to access to more advanced levels of care, that they could push a button if they had a problem 24/7 and someone would respond. But … the other thing I heard was great disappointment in the response time at night. Many told me that if they had a real emergency, they would start by calling 911 even before hitting their emergency response button.  

The Opportunity

This is a crazy good opportunity to differentiate. First though, this nighttime response problem needs to be fixed. It will take some creativity, but it is solvable at a reasonable cost, honest.   

Then to talk about your community as the safest place for an older person to live out their best life, then move to the rest of the good things you do. They are important, and clearly selling safety with nothing else would be a nonstarter, but if you start with safety and security and how and why you are the best, you will win more often than you can imagine.  

If you are sure this is true, talk about bad things that have happened at other communities, then talk about what you have done to make sure they will never happen in your community. 

It is simple and obvious, but I suspect almost no one is doing this. 

Let me hear your thoughts below.