By Steve Moran

(For senior living to realize its full potential.)

I already had a list in my head of things I think need changing, but I went to LinkedIn and asked the question. The comments blew up the platform.

Here is the list. Some of the comments are edited or summarized. For the exact quotes, click here.


Create milestones for residents to reach that signify aging well. Today, all we have is senior discounts at age 55 and birthdays. But when we are born, we are given milestones for each month — whether it is rolling over or first steps. By 5, you start kindergarten, and milestones are also set. There is a whole series — graduating grade school, middle school, high school, and college. Then more as adults, in our careers, getting married, having kids and grandkids, and then finally retiring. But for older people, there are hardly any milestones except birthdays and dying. What if we could set the bar higher and come up with other milestones that embrace a life well lived?
— Marissa Hodge, Eskaton Village

We need to stop making excuses, crush apathy, and instead embrace creativity, innovation, and affordability. We need to look outside our own industry.
Damon Thomas

A shift in operator mindset so that the focus is less on care and more on residents being as independent as they can be. A fresh look at the entire resident experience.
Larry Waldman

Deep psychographic consumer data that will facilitate building better communities and creating amazing living experiences.
Mary Ann Donaghy


Regulations and requirements for placement agents.
— Erica Martinez, Options for Senior Living

Standardization of regulations for assisted living and memory care at the federal level.
— Torie Pendleton

Eliminate and rethink mask requirements in higher care settings; let communities create their own policies.
Craig Erickson

Reform regulations so that senior living operators do not have to say NO to residents as often. Regulations are important, but they can be overreaching and intrusive to the point of taking away freedom and dignity.
Katie Butler


More rate transparency.
— Joe Jedlowski, Distinctive Living

More Medicaid-eligible memory care communities — specifically and more generally, more affordable care models.
Torie Pendleton

Increased funding for adult day services.
Torie Pendleton

More payers covering the costs of middle market assisted living, including health plans, recognizing that the right housing (AL) can avoid much more expensive hospitalizations.
Kristy Yoskey

High-quality affordable care.
Tom Carlson

Senior living needs to demonstrate trustworthiness, and this starts with people being able to understand what they are buying.
Jack Cumming

Stop paying big placement agency fees by paying more attention to local search, which will improve brand awareness and leave more money to pay salaries.
Noah Chrysler


Staffing levels need to increase to match the higher acuity levels we are seeing today.
— Torie Pendleton

A change in US immigration policies that will provide a pool of entry-level health care and food service workers.
— Craig Erickson, executive director, Wind Crest, and John Cochrane, Human Good

Add FUN to how we hire & retain team members.
Amber Cox

Focus more on the employee experience.
Annette Foght


Residents need more voice.
Jamie Floyd

More robust health and wellness offerings for active seniors. A focus on prevention rather than treatment.
Ami Schnauber

Improve the IT infrastructure in senior living communities.
Annette Foght

A full commitment to integrating technology for residents.
Jared Martz

Align with what our customers want and need.
Amber Cox

Be more informed and inclusive in the “difficult dementias.”
Pamela Corsentino

Make senior living more customer-focused for older people and their families.
Angela N. Moloney

Increase resident and staff interaction through programming and organization-wide events.
Jared Martz

More family involvement in the day-to-day lives of residents.
Jared Martz

Stop doing business as if the basic necessities equal a happy, healthy, fulfilling life. There is more to life than meds, food, and dry pants.
Kim Piaggio


Deliver what you promise, and stop taking shortcuts.
— Kristin Jackson, executive director

Senior living trade associations need to be willing to call out bad actors to protect vulnerable older people.
Jack Cumming

Capitalize on best practices used by other industries.
Amber Cox

Better cultural competency practices.
Denish Hobbs

More transparency in all aspects of senior living; deliver what is promised.
Mandy Shoemaker

It’s a powerful list of great ideas, and these ideas would make senior living better.


  1.  You can see the entire thread on LinkedIn here.
  2. Many of the comments have been edited by me for either clarity or length, and so if I got yours wrong, I apologize.
  3. This is not my list, meaning there are a few ideas that would not be on my personal list. Which probably needs to be its own article.