“Older people are very resistant to only living with older people . . .”

By Steve Moran

Sometimes you can just tell when someone “gets it.” And in this case, it didn’t take me long to figure out that Josh Crisp gets it with regard to his new company, Solinity, a senior housing management and consultancy based in Knoxville, Tenn. I sat down with him at the 2017 National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) meeting in September to discuss his new business.

Older people are very resistant to only living with older people . . .

“We want to move the industry toward a collaborative approach that brings generations together. Some call that intergenerational living,” he said when I asked him to describe Solinity. “One thing I’ve learned is that older people are very resistant to only living with older people. And one of the things I’ve learned from working as an administrator and marketing director and working my way through the ranks is that when we segregate a group out and remove them from the society that’s given them purpose each day, they tend to decline must faster.”

More Than a Revelation

Mind blown. Not because this is a revelation but because I don’t believe there are enough operators out there who have caught on to these very important facts about older individuals’ preferences as they relate to connectedness and socialization.

In essence, Josh explained that he wants to move the industry forward by creating an environment where the young and the old live and work together. “We all have a unique purpose that I believe God’s given us,” he said. “And so we want to bring people together to live and work together, and I think that improves life quality.”

Embracing All Generations

I was very intrigued by this so I asked him to explain how he plans to operationalize this concept. Josh admitted that he doesn’t have a template to follow in this regard but he offered an example of something he is working on: In short, it involves working with a “small university town in the south” that wants to create an all age-friendly environment that embraces all generations and fosters comingling and perhaps cohousing.

Committed to the Goal

While not completely fleshed out, Solinity appears truly committed to this concept. They have even gone as far as engaging an urban planner that is examining multigenerational living spaces in conjunction with the university. “About a year ago, we created a board that is made up of stakeholders and we’ve been holding regular meetings. We are asking them such things as: ‘What are your preferences?’ ‘What are your needs?’ ‘What are your wants and what are your wishes in the perfect utopia of living?’” Josh explains.

By taking advantage of a university town’s cultural arts programming “and really unlocking the treasure trove that seniors, through their work and life experiences, have that is just waiting to be tapped into” Solinity appears to be creating a new and exciting concept that will indeed move the industry forward.

I can’t wait to find out more about it as they move forward.