By Steve Moran

I started this article sitting in a presentation at AHCA titled “Social Services + Life Enrichment = Success,” presented by Charles de Vilmorin, co-founder of Linked Senior, and Janean Kinzie, with American Senior Communities, and my mind is wandering, dreaming, thinking about life enrichment. I am far from having this all figured out ….

My Hotel This Week

Part of what is influencing my wandering mind is that my hotel this week is not a hotel but rather a guest room at Abe’s Garden, a world class memory care community that also has independent living and assisted living. I am in late and out early every day but experiencing moments of getting to see life in senior living.

Living Life

I am a very young 60-something but old enough to imagine living in a senior living community. I find myself thinking about how my day-to-day life looks right now and what it might look like living in senior living.

This is, of course, not quite the right question because I am still working, and currently it is really, really tough to live in senior living and maintain a career. There are simply too many stigmas that shouldn’t exist but do.

I have started to think a lot more about what it will be like when I retire and move into senior living. I look at my wife, who is retired; I look at friends who are retired, and wonder what their lives would be like in senior living.

Gains and Losses

Moving into senior living means gains and losses. As people make decisions about senior living, they are going to, in some fashion, work through this equation. As senior living providers, we have got to wrestle with important questions:

  1. Do we really understand what those gains and losses are?
  2. Are we willing to be realistic about the losses and their impact on the human spirit?
  3. Do we oversell the gains?
  4. Are we doing everything in our power to make sure that senior living provides more gains than losses?
  5. Are there ways we can increase the gains?
  6. Are there ways we can decrease the losses?
  7. How can we be more effective in telling the story about how the gains outweigh the losses?

I am fearful that in truth we tend to overstate the gains and underestimate the losses. This hurts our credibility in the eyes the consumer. I would love your thoughts ….