On Tuesday, March 23rd, HEALTHTAC hosted its virtual connect event featuring three lively panels centered around hot topics facing the senior living industry as a whole. After over a year of hardships, challenges, and adaptations, leaders in the industry came together with positivity and resilience to move forward.
The first panel of the day titled, “On The Cutting Edge: What Role Will Technology Have Moving Forward” tackled the various ways in which senior living was pushed to adapt over the last year, and what we can expect as we come out on the other side. This panel featured an esteemed group of leaders: Lisa Cini, Mosaic Design Studio, Tod Petty, Lloyd Jones Senior Living, Parsa Famili, Cognistat, and Scott McCorvie, Alta Senior Living. The group discussed the challenges, benefits, and room for growth for technology in senior living. A common consensus was that the pandemic provided an opportunity for a much-needed technology upgrade across the board. Even during a time of isolation, technology allowed these leaders to provide communication, programming, and a safe environment for their residents. Communication was needed more than ever over the last year and being able to connect loved ones with their seniors was something that was a top priority in communities across the country. The panelists were impressed and inspired by their residents resiliency and ability to adapt to the use of technology as part of their every day lives. They also agreed on the importance of the basics, such as strong wifi within communities, noting that communities have to be equipped to handle the industry’s ever-changing needs.
The second panel confronted an important industry topic, ageism. Now more than ever, older adults are at the forefront of the media and there are still many stereotypes facing them as well. “Reinventing Senior Living: Shifting the Narrative and Tackling Ageism” is an extremely important and timely topic for not only the senior living industry, but for individuals across every generation. The group of passionate wave-makers shared their drive to combat ageism and create a more positive world for seniors to not simply age in place, but to truly live. The panel featured: Lisa Brown-Kennedy, Sunrise Senior Living, Matthew Griffin, Griffin Living, David Haack, Cadence Senior Living, and Nathan Mills, Solstice Senior Living. A key take-away from this session is that tackling ageism starts on the individual level and shifting our perceptions of aging as a society. The panelists all agreed that it is crucial to center programming around residents’ needs, abilities, and passions, in order to keep them alert, engaged, and well. Lisa Brown Kennedy encourages folks do shut down ageist jokes and remarks right in their tracks, she believes it is important for us to continue to educate ourselves and challenge the stereotypes that face older adults and senior living overall. All of these panelists are long-time industry experts that are leading by example within their communities and strive to create a ripple effect across the industry.
With all the challenges the last year has brought, the last panel of the day aimed to look forward. “Building for The Future: Shaping Communities For Safety”, featuring Mandy Hampton, Ridge Senior Living, and Pilar Carvajal, Innovation Senior Living, focused on what safety in senior living communities will entail as vaccination rates continue to rise. Both Hampton and Carvajal stressed the importance of technology and how it truly will help to power and ground communities of the future. In terms of occupancy, both leaders believe there will be a demand for senior living and are already experiencing it firsthand. By shaping communities for safety and creating a desirable senior lifestyle, they are confident that people will let their guard down and know their loved ones are safe within a community.
HEALTHTAC’S virtual connect event allowed for leaders across the country to come together and collaborate. The next Senior Living event is set to take place June 27th-29th, at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami, FL, where it will be incredible to be able to reunite in person once again.