By Steve Moran

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to have quality in senior living. At first blush, you might tell me that the quality of the amenities translates into luxury. But not really.  So as not to offend any senior living companies (or mischaracterize) let’s use hotels as a proxy.

Quality and Luxury

It would be easy to say that Ritz Carlton is high quality and Hampton is low quality, but that is not at all right. I have had a couple of really bad fails at Ritz Carlton and some amazing moments of service at some Hampton Inns.

Fast Food

Maybe even better would be to look at fast food. Compare In n Out Burger with McDonald’s. Both serve the same general market and, in some sense, a similar menu. Yet it would be hard to argue they have the same level of quality.

Easier & Harder

In some sense, you might argue that getting to quality at Hampton Inn is a lot easier than at Ritz Carlton because expectations are lower at Hampton Inn. And this is a fair argument since the bar for excellence is maybe a little lower at Hampton Inn than at the Ritz Carlton.

But not as much as you would think. In both cases, people want to be treated with respect, have their needs anticipated, and have things like clean rooms and hot or cold food as appropriate.

Quality in Senior Living

When thinking about quality in senior living, the right question is this: What would delight residents, family members, and even team members? What is curious is that it is often tiny little things. I remember staying at a Hampton Inn in Texas and going out for an early morning run. Even though it was early morning, it was still crazy hot. When I returned, the front desk person was standing at the entrance with a bottle of cold water for me.

He repeated this each of the three days I was there.

Try This

Ask everyone on your team to come up with two ideas for ways to delight residents, family members, and staff. You will be blown away at the ideas. Then try some and tell us about your experiences.