This year at LeadingAge Dallas, the intent for our booth was to generate positive ideas, both big and small, on how we can move the senior living industry forward. As the economy improves, things are looking up with in our communities and we wanted to see if we could find some common themes that seemed to resonate across the industry. Often challenges are easier to come up with than solutions, so by asking our booth visitors for positive ideas, we hope to spark conversations that will move the industry in a positive direction.
The answers were as diverse as the people who shared them – reflecting the part of the industry they represent. After carefully analyzing the ideas, we found 10 emerging themes:
The overwhelming theme that emerged was that of model and culture change within our communities. While the ways of change varied, the underlying idea was empowerment by providing innovations to reflect the lifestyles of today’s seniors.
Many responders suggested sharing best practices and helping each other in order to make the industry more helpful to those we serve. Innovation and creativity was another theme that goes hand in hand with model and culture change. By working together to come up with more creative ways to serve the changing needs and wants of seniors the industry will be more effective and successful.
Giving a voice to our residents and having an understanding of their needs was also a very common theme. It’s right there in the name of the industry, senior living. We are dealing with the lives of seniors. Aren’t they the ones who know best what they need and want? Perhaps we get caught up in our great ideas that we forget to ask those we are serving what they think would best serve their future. Spending time fostering a better understanding is an idea that many attendees thought would help our residents.
And through all of our efforts remember that life is fun. No matter their age, every person wants to have a little fun and happiness in their lives. With every initiative we undertake, be positive, have a bright outlook and remember that life is too short not to have a good time.
As an industry, we should focus on a collaborative effort to create the best possible environment to serve seniors while also empowering them to be part of the change through innovation, kindness and positivity.
If you think your community or organization could use a big idea, DHD would like to help. Give us a call at 312 332-0808 or send us an email.