By Steve Moran

This year’s Evolve conference (2023) is halfway done, and the content has been remarkable. If you were there, you know you have already learned about things that will make your life enrichment program massively better and will make it easier to hire staff and increase occupancy.

I could make a list of 101 things that you could do to improve your community, but naw … you should be there, and it’s not too late.

Two Big Things

There were two recurring themes, things that can make every single senior living community better. They are simple — so simple that you are likely to go, “Duh … I already know that.” and I am sure you do, but are you really doing it?

I have never once talked to a senior living executive who told me …

  • They don’t care about their residents.
  • They don’t care about their employees.

And yet over and over again, I hear from residents and team members how uncared for they feel. There is a huge difference between saying you care and showing you care.

The two big things:

  1. Listen to your residents.
  2. It is all about relationships.

That’s it, but if we are honest, most senior living leaders have a tough time with both of these. We tend to see residents as customers, people we trade services for money with. It is true we do that, but our residents were smart enough to make and save enough money to move into our communities. They might actually have some pretty good ideas about how to improve your business.

Just one idea: Every senior living community that is struggling with occupancy should have a marketing committee that is mostly composed of residents. They want you to be 100% occupied, and they can help you make that happen.

The one thing senior living can do that you can’t ever get at home is create a community of people who can be friends. While activities that entertain or create physical well-being are good — even necessary and important — the magic of senior living is making it possible for residents to have meaningful, powerful friendships.

You can access Evolve 2023 and the recordings here.