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The senior living industry has a voice. You can hear it on Bridge the Gap podcast!


In the last 50 years, technology has rapidly changed the world and made communication and socialization much easier for people of all ages. In this discussion, we review how technological and social media advances can be leveraged to help senior living professionals bridge the gaps between generations and improve meaningful engagement for residents.

This episode focuses on how these advances can prevent isolation in the future as well as how they can use technology and social media tools to recruit and train our labor force in senior living communities.


Evan Friedkin, Head of Business Development, Roobrik, Inc.

Scott Smith, National Director of Resident Programming, Five Star Senior Living

Kris Frankel, Vice President of Engagement, The Arbor Company



Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Activities Strong Executive Edition webinar. My name is Meaghan McMahon and I am the Director of Strategic Development here at Linked Senior. For today’s webinar event, we are providing one free NAB, NCAP, NCCDP, NCTRC, and NZSRDTCEU credit to be eligible for those CEU credits, you do need to remain on the webinar for the full hour today. At the end of the webinar, I will provide the required post-webinar CEU survey evaluation link in the webinar chat room. And we’ll send it by email this afternoon to you, so please be sure to check your spam folder in case it lands there. This CEU survey must be completed by midnight Eastern time this Thursday. And if you do have any questions about our CEU process, please email us at CEU certificates will be issued by email before the end of the day on Friday, April 15th.


So today’s webinar is about leveraging technology and social media to improve engagement in senior living. And our featured speaker, Traci Taylor Roberts, president of Sodalis Senior Living is unable to join us today. However, we have an exciting lineup of speakers that will cover her topic, and I will introduce them shortly. So, as I said, I am the Director of Strategic Development here at Linked Senior. I joined the company full time in November last year, and I am proud to be the co-producer of the Activities Strong virtual event series alongside Charles De Vilmorin who is the CEO and co-founder of Linked Senior. 


As many of you know, our team believes in a world where people of all ages are respected and valued. And that is why we created our Old People are Cool initiative in 2017. We also believe that activity and life enrichment professionals are incredible and are our industry’s unsung heroes, which is why we created the activity strong initiative two years ago, to acknowledge, educate, and empower each of you. We are excited to be working with so many forward-thinking communities all across the United States and Canada, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more communities on board with us in the weeks and months ahead, We are working every day as a team to enhance life and senior communities by building simple and evidence-based technology solutions to bring person-centered experiences to older adults and their care partners. Our technology focuses on engagement, connection, and celebration of individuality.

Meaghan 03:26

In 2018, we partnered with the responsive group in Toronto and Western Oregon University to research our impact on resident engagement with funding for the Center for Aging and Brain Health Innovation. Results from that study show that our technology increased cognitive functioning and social engagement for residents and decreased aggression and antipsychotic medication use. So here is today’s agenda. I am now very happy to introduce our speakers for today’s webinar event, starting with Scott Smith, National Director of Resident Programming at Five Star Senior Living. Kris Frankel, who is the Vice President of engagement of Active Aging at the Arbor company. And last but not least Evan Friedkin who leads Business Development at Roobrik. And I am going to hand it over to Evan now.

Evan Friedkin 

Great, thank you Meaghan for having me and, and inviting me to speak along with two amazing people that I have had the privilege, with Scott I’ve known for a little bit, and Kris and I met on Friday last week. So I am excited to dive into some of the things that we get to see and, Charles and Megan, thank you for having me again. I’m excited to go through this. And was really excited after the conversation with Kris and Scott last Friday. I was sharing with them that it gave me the game completely different perspective on a lot of the data that we get to gather, because I don’t always get to talk to resident engagement and activities directors. I am on the sales and marketing front. So a lot of the information that I’m gathering are before seniors tend to move in.

Evan Friedkin 05:23

And so to kick it off for a high-level overview, what I’m going to, what we’re going to be covering today is the data that we’re gathering and how that can really be applied to the activities directors, and really make sure that we’re enhancing that customer journey. So trying to take the idea of that buyer’s journey and continue it through not just up until the point that they become a resident, but even after that. Once they are in the community and they’re participating in all of the different things that all your communities have to offer, and the way we’re going to do it is I’m gonna do a very high-level overview on kinda the way our tool works, so how we get the data that we do. Just so I can set the stage, but really the bulk of the conversation, which I’m most excited to participate in is actually just hearing what Chris and Scott have to say about the trends that we’re seeing.


And so with that, I’m going to do a quick kind of set leveling the ground and kinda what is this. And then I’ll let Kris and Scott do their brief introductions. And then we will dive into the fun stuff, which is the data. So to kick it off, we all know that there is a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about what senior living actually is. So back in December, senior housing news released this article, which was titled Rampant Consumer Confusion Creates Opportunities for Senior Living Innovation. And it’s something that we’ve all talked about. Senior living we truly believe more people would choose senior living if they actually knew what it was. And as resident engagement folks, my understanding through conversations that I’ve had is how do we make those lives out of the seniors who are living in the communities more meaningful, and really become and maintain that level of independence?

Evan Friedkin 07:16

And that’s what you all do in and day out. But the hard part is we need to get them to be open to the conversation, to be able to get in, see what you all have to offer. And so the challenge really is, how do we take that audience who is confused, concerned, overwhelmed, All of these things that are preventing them from moving forward and taking the next step. And so our background is in what’s called medical decision aids. And basically I chose the slimmest not a whole lot of content slide to show you all. So I really made sure it was really easy to digest. But I just want to hit on a few you areas of kinda, what is decision aids? Basically what it is is we need to understand, and this probably sounds like something you all, you all do day in and day out, which is understanding that this is a difficult decision.

Evan Friedkin 08:13

This is overwhelming. There’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s this and clear kind of guidance that they can go. There’s a lot of different resources out there that can ultimately lead to inaction. What happens when they become so overwhelmed is oftentimes they shut down and will delay the decision, which is not good. If we can get them in there, we can start to help them sooner. And the way you solve it is by decision support, which is we need to understand, we need we need to relate to them. We need to really address and understand what it is that they need to help move them forward. And so I’m going to share these slides. But if we want to sum it up, it’s first we need to know what do I do? What are the different options that I have available to me, not only what are the options, but what’s important? 


And if we can pull all those out, then we need to illuminate the path ahead, which is the phrase in medical decision aids. They need to know what’s coming down the pike. And if they don’t know that, that too much of a barrier for them to overcome that. And so the way we do it is via widget that lives on providers’ websites to help these folks who are curious about what senior living is, to help them move down that path in a structured environment, and where I’m going with this is we’ve got a bunch of different quizzes and surveys and assessment that gather a lot of data, whether they’ve choose chosen to speak to a provider or not, we still get to see who are they, how are they answering those questions? And that’s actually what we’re going to be covering today and getting some reactions. So that’s going be the fun stuff is how is the gen population thinking about this topic? What’s important to them? What are they looking for? And so the people that I had pulled in to provide the color and those reactions and facilitate the conversation with is Kris Frankel from the Arbor Company. So Kris, thank you for joining me.


Thank you for having me. 


I appreciate it. And Scott Smith from Five Star, Evan Smith. 

Scott Smith 

Hello, thanks for having us Evan. 

Evan Friedkin 10:23

Anytime. Well, I appreciate you both joining and I’m excited to start diving into some of this data. And so for the folks on the line, it is going to be interactive. So I’ve structured this so it’s a little bit more Family Feud style where you get to guess the number one chosen response to the questions that we’re asking. And so to tee it up, I want to just kind of set the stage on kind of what is this data? Who is it coming from? It is from a hundred little over a hundred operators which span across a little over a thousand is across the country. So it’s all over. It is U.S. bound, there is no Mexico or Canada in there. It is all U.S.. And it is across 75,000 families that have completed this assessment.

Evan Friedkin 11:11

So with that, we are going to dive in to the first question. So the first question we ask is, can you tell us who you’re doing this for? Pay no mind to the selection. This is just when I was pulling the screenshots. That’s the one that was selected. So in the chat, I would love to hear what you all think is the number one selected. And this is across the full continuum. So the, IL, AL, memory care and skilled nursing. So I will give it a second for people to make their guesses, see a lot of moms and dads. Alright. I saw a bunch of mom, dad, husband. Scottand Chris, any, you you all have seen the state of, when I move on to the next slide, does myself surprise you?

Kris 12:01

A little bit. [Yeah] Honestly, because I mean when I think of this question, I think a lot of people are looking for mom or dad. I don’t think a lot of people are looking for themselves.

Well, and the second piece of it, it tells us it’s a great indicator. If you’re looking at 49% of people are looking for themselves, that means 49% of our perspective residents are using the internet and using computer on their own, and probably have some expectations when they move in that we have that technology available for them. So that’s the first indicator that comes up for me, and very surprising.

Evan Friedkin 12:37

Cool. And, and Scott, our conversation on Friday, were talking about the idea of rolling out these these resident surveys to the folks that are living at the five star communities. And when you think about I, can you talk to me a little bit about the out the challenge of rolling that out and getting some of that data back that you’re UL ultimately looking for?

Scott Smith 

Yeah, so one of the things that we’re really looking to do is to understand the resident experience. So when they move into our communities, they’re an active part of our community, we try to survey every single resident twice a year and just, you know, what is this work we improve? Those types of things. And what we’re really struggling right now is with, where do we hold these surveys and how do we make this not such a large lift for our team members in the community? Most surveys are kind of created for people between the ages of 16 and kind of 54. So they’re all moving towards text-based. That’s the newest one is text you a survey or just internet-based surveys. Few people are looking at how do we create surveys that are gonna be easy for somebody in their eighties or nineties to take. And so one of the things that we’re looking for, and maybe even struggling a bit with is how do we get resident feedback at a large scale, in an easy way that doesn’t require such a hard lift on our team members?

Evan Friedkin 14:14

Chris, do you have any experience and, and how are you thinking about getting that feedback from the residents at the Arbor Company?

Kris Frankel

So I agree with Scott, it is hard. It is definitely hard to get residents to complete surveys. A lot of times they’ll go in the inbox and they never come back out. We do try to tailor something like that sometimes around an event that brings in a big crowd. So maybe we encourage them to come to happy hour. That’s that’s always a popular thing. And then that’s where we might, really try to get some information. We also use some calendar platform systems where we can gauge people’s happiness in activities and programs, but nothing truly can gauge it like asking those questions. So I agree. There’s no way once they’re there to really truly see how we’re doing with that, unless we ask. And it takes a lot of time to do that.

Scott Smith 15:08

Cool. And it goes into more than just the questions and the technology. It goes into somebody who maybe has some slight cognitive decline or doesn’t understand the wording of the question. So again, data is something that we need to get better at, especially in life enrichment, but in all of senior living, in gathering accurate data on a large scale, when a resident has moved in. I love this tool right here is helping us gather that data before they move in. And the great thing is if we really look at this and take this out of the sales and marketing arena and say, how do we utilize some of the data that rubric is gathering to really make decisions in the community for the residents? That’s kind of something that I think there’s a connection there that we haven’t really seen in the past.

Scott Smith 15:49

We gather so much data before moving, whether we use a tool like Roobrik, or just in that sales and marketing conversation, that sales conversation, that for many of our communities just kind of goes away and we start from scratch again when we move somebody in. And so really trying to create consistency and get rid of the silos as we hear all the time and say, how do we create this data flow from pre-resident, we’re just looking to, I’ve lived in your community for five years, that data should kind of move with that resident.

Kris Frankel 16:20

And I was just going to add and making sure that it’s all-inclusive. We include everybody. So all of the staff knows everything about those residents so that we can provide the best engagement and care along the way.

Evan Friedkin 16:34

I see a lot of people saying that they are surprised that so many people are looking for themselves. The next slide that I have is actually, how does that, and this gets to Amber’s question that I saw in the chat about the cognitive decline, a little bit where what I did here was I broke it out as to kind, what is that breakout across the different levels of care? It’s not overly surprising that that, that IL and IL focused community does tend to see more folks that are looking for themselves. And then as you start introducing the higher levels of care, so the AL memory care, we do start to see that, that start to decline a little bit more. But what that ultimately says is that almost a third of people, even with some potential cognitive decline, well, in the memory care-focused communities, it’s about 12%.

Evan Friedkin 17:24

It is definitely less. But this is always a fun slide to see kinda how that breaks out across the different levels of care. So I wanted to provide that for some context. I did see a question from how Helen, yes, I will share these slides so that you all have access to them. And I will make sure of that, and Megan will will make sure that she gets that these get out to everybody. All right. So moving on from the who is taking it, we’re moving into the age demographics. Again, just disregard the selection. In the chat, do we have guesses on what the number one selected response is here? I’ll give it just a few seconds. A lot of 76 to 85 seems to be a….All right. So I’m gonna move on to the answer. It’s pretty evenly broken out. When you think about age and kinda who is looking to these communities, is there anything, Chris, that jumps out at you? Well I didn’t quite expect that, or is this kind of what you were expecting?

Kris Frankel 18:34 

It’s kind of what I expected, but I think, I mean, I can’t speak for Scott or anybody on this call. But I think our goal is to get into that 66 to 75 and younger, because I think a lot of times people miss the boat and don’t look for senior living until they actually need it. And if we could get them moved in and understand the value of socialization and the value of, building those connections with people and trying new things, we would keep people younger, longer and independent longer. So I think that’s where we have to work toward making people understand that this isn’t the end. This is the beginning of something new, you’re moving in to learn so much, And it’s such a better thing. At that age group, the older age group, they’re coming in because they need us. And it’s too bad we can’t get them to move in before where they need us.

Scott Smith 19:36 

Yeah. And the other thing that stands out to me on this, it’s a little different than, Chris is taking about, which I a hundred percent agree with. And, and I think is super important that we really, again… the cognitive and social benefits of moving in at a younger age is very apparent. But the other thing that stands out to me is this gap. And the gap, I mean, is you’re looking at, so between 55 to your highest numbers’s kind of 95, everyone has at least 14%, which tells me that the age range in our senior living communities is very, very wide. And we’ve kind of always taken this approach that like, “hey, put on, this kind of music for people or play these kind of games, or watch this kind of show or a movie.”

Scott Smith 20:17

What we have is we have two or three generations of people now living in senior living and we have to program accordingly. And so when we look at data and we say most people’s interests and music, their music that they love kind of comes between the ages of 16 and 23, 24. That kind of eight year span It’s not a one-size-fits-all anymore. It’s not go ahead and put on Frank Sinatra and everyone’s going to be happy. You’re looking at an age range of 30, 25 to 30 years in many senior living communities. And so, take your age now and add 25 or 30 years either direction. Do I have a lot of in common with people of that age? I’m 42. I don’t have a ton in common with a 16 or a 17-year-old right now. Or I don’t have a lot in common with a 70 year old. And so this age discrepancy and the consistency across each one of these age groups tells me that our programming has to match that. And we have to offer more than just, here’s a one size fits all for everyone.

Kris Frankel 21:20 F

And I think that’s where, sorry, I think that’s where that parallel programming comes in where we can offer things to get them out. Just to encourage them to live life just because they live in a senior living community doesn’t mean that life stops, right. I can join anything I want to and make it more like a resort feel like here it is, here are all the options. And I can go to the things that I want and enjoy because you’re absolutely right. The one size fits all does not fit anymore.

Evan Friendkin 21:55

I think what I..and again from my perspective, and it is very limited since I just get to see the data that gets gets spit out. I don’t actually ever get to see the faces on the other end of these, of these numbers. And so I really enjoyed about the conversation and just love hearing from you both is I always look at these numbers, I’m like, oh yeah, I know providers want to get that younger resident. But I never actually fully grasped kind of what is so important about the age breakout until Scott, what you had just said, which is now we have two, three generations all living in the same community and that it really isn’t a whole lot of overlaps on. It gives me a little bit of color as to what do these numbers actually mean? And I’m curious from your perspective, do these numbers based on what you know of the ages of the folks that live in your communities is this representative of who ends up moving in? Because a lot of these people who may be younger maybe are looking for five, six years down the road and maybe not don’t move in. So how are you seeing that from on the resident side? Is what I’m showing here, representative of what’s actually in the communities?

Scott Smith 23:07

So what I would say is this, I think this is really important for us as leaders in our communities to protect kind of what our level of care is. And what I mean by that is, we see a lot of kind of people moving into AL, that maybe it’s more of a skilled nurse and there’s always this balancing act between the two. And what we’re seeing is there is a demand at that younger age. But when I walk in, does it feel like somewhere I want to live? Or does it feel very clinical? And so I think a lot of times communities lose that 55 to 65 or even that 66 to 75 because of the feel and, and the aesthetics of a building sometimes. Or I walk in, I see a lot of people in wheelchairs and walkers and you know, a lot and it doesn’t feel like what I’m ready for. So they turn themselves away from those types of things. And so it really, I think that’s the part of it, is creating that culture in your community, having really strong physical fitness and having very strong, therapy programs that can really create an active community. 


And you can tell, you walk in different buildings, you kind of tell the acuity level very quickly. Sometimes it’s parked outside the dining room, right? Like what does that look like? Do you have a lot of wheelchairs? A lot of walkers? That’s a turnoff for people and that younger bracket that a lot of people are going after. And that is not just Al that’s IL as well is, is really saying what is independent living for our brand? And really trying to make sure that, that your communities match that. And I don’t think many communities are….they’re struggling with this. I think a lot of people are struggling with this. And I would say for many communities, you’re seeing people moving inthat, that 76 to 85 or are more likely even that 86 to 95. So that’s 66 to 75, that 30% wheel right here, very coveted. But I think they get turned off by some of the things that they see. Sometimes they come into a building.

Kris Frankel 24:37

I think a lot of it too is perception of one’s self, because I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror, I don’t see a 51 year old. I still feel like I’m 20. So I may have a lot of those deficiencies that I’m seeing when I tour a community, but I don’t think of myself that way. So that can be a turnoff too. I think that parallel programming and offering things where anybody can come and participate and I think that’s good too, because they can also put themselves where they feel comfortable.

Scott Smith 25:29

Yeah. And I think long term, what we’re gonna probably end up seeing in senior living is a little more niche. It’s not going be the one size fits all as we said.  It’s gonna be, you’re not gonna have three, 400 people. It’s going to be very kind of segmented on what are your interests. Like as we have all of these kind of different options, we all have different interests. You can see senior living, following that path long term where I’m not going for everybody, I’m targeting a very specific group. So thinking of like, hey, I’m in a market where it’d be really great to have a senior living that was just really focused on people who were into meditation and yoga and that kind of holistic…hat could be its own senior living. And they’re not going after everyone. They’re very segmented. And I think long term, we’re going to see more and more of that. Overseeing this kind of, “hey, we offer living for seniors.” So whether that has to do with religious backing, that has to do with your interest age, whatever it may be. Right now, we’re kind of, “Hey, what is your clinical diagnosis?” And based on that, I don’t think that’s gonna be the answer long term.

Evan Friedkin 26:35

All right, moving on to the next question to everybody gear up to make your predictions. The next question is, let’s talk about why they think it might be time to consider a move to a senior living community. So they are telling us their number one indication, or why they are actually now making this decision. So I’ll give it a few minutes for, or a few seconds for people to read through the potential options and put in there guesses as to why most people are looking. See some safety, downsizing, loneliness, and isolation I see in there. some change it’s pretty, it’s pretty split, but everybody’s all over the place.

Evan Friedkin 27:19 

All right. So I am getting ready to move on to the answer. It’s pretty split, but there are a few people that there are, there are a few responses that do jump ahead pretty significantly. And that’s just curious about their options and concerned about care needs. And what we have here is we broke it out for the people who are looking for themselves versus looking for someone else. And so someone else includes the people looking their for their spouse or or their parents, or grandparents, or some or other people that might be involved. And so I’m going to throw out to you, Scott, when you look at this and I’ve heard you talk about it a little bit, for me, from a marketing standpoint that just curious about options is not surprising to me. Because people hear the, the phrase senior living or, nursing home, or other words that indicate the, this communal setting where seniors live, and they get curious, but they’re not really sure, they’re not far enough along in their decision-making process. When you look at this, what jumps out at you?

Scott Smith 28:31

So the first thing that kind of jumps out at me is that the market still sees us as a clinical option. And that’s really what it is. They’re not seeing us as something like the loneliness or isolation. They’re not seeing us as a solve for other things other than that clinical. So a change has to happen in the market to show people that we’re more than just that. And so I know one of the topics we’re talking about social media, and I think that’s how this can be changed, is really highlighting some of the really cool things that are happening in a community that aren’t clinical. That aren’t really for, taking care of somebody, but it’s for a better quality of life. So one of the things I always try to talk about with our team at Fivestar is one of the ROIs for a perspective resident for a resident moving in is that we should make their world bigger, not smaller.

If they come into our community and their world gets smaller, then we’re not doing our job correctly. We should be able to take someone who maybe is isolated in their home and introduce them to all new things, or connect them to things that they may have lost. Whether that’s through outings and things, and just bringing in guest speakers and partnerships with universities, that’s what we need to be doing. You can see right now, the market is telling us that people are more concerned about the health side of things. We have to change that narrative and because there is such a value in that loneliness side of things. And it’ll be curious to see after a year and a half of a pandemic does a year from now, does this shift, as people are more concerned about that than they were before? But that that’s what stands out to me right now.

Evan Friedkin 30:03

I will add into that. So this is something that we’ve been, we’ve been looking at since well before March of 2020. And we have seen with the, the rise of COVID back in 2020, that concern about loneliness and isolation has increased. There are more people selecting more of the, “I want be part of a community. I want to be around other people like myself, I don’t want to be home by myself.” That has increased. I believe it was, it was by enough percentage that we noticed it internally, that is increase. If anyone’s curious about the percentage increase, I’m happy to ask my team and get that for you. I just don’t have it off the top of my head, but if anybody wants it, I’m happy to get it for you.

Scott Smith 30:48

One of the, I see some of these questions, like how do we change that mindset? Or how do we look at that? And it’s really like, part of it is like, again, it comes from the very beginning. And so if you’re looking at an IL, we have to be investing in amenities, right? What kind of amenities are we offering that you’re going to get? How do we make this more of a, whether a high end building, this luxurious living style, how do we make things with the concierge and all those, and the transportation and different technologies that we use to make that come to life? In some of our maybe not as exclusive communities or high-end communities, but it’s about programming. It’s about keeping a busy schedule. It’s about options. The one thing that we’ve really struggled with in senior living is that we’re still under that mindset of a generation that had three channels to choose from. And we’re seeing that that’s not the generation that’s coming in. They have higher expectations and are used to choice. And so we have to build that into our culture. We have to build that into how a building is designed, how we program all of those things.

Kris Frankel 31:45

I would just like to add, I think the thing that sticks out to me a little bit is the worried about loneliness and isolation and self scored less than others. Because I think one thing we learned during the pandemic was residents are a lot more resilient than we thought they were like. They are now using technology. They now know how to do a lot of things that we didn’t think they’d be able to do. And that was a big struggle, right? Like how are we going to get the older, older residents to catch up and get integrated with the younger, older residents? And now that that happened, they are more resilient. I think that they’re a little more open to finding their own form of entertainment and not looking at us to entertain them. They know how to, residents are now doing artwork in their apartments.

Maybe they’re accessing YouTube more and taught themselves how to paint. So I think they’ve become, I think we got in that role a little bit of, “oh, we have to entertain everyone and make sure that we’re keeping them busy all day long.” But that’s not really what engagement is. We’re engaging them in their lives to find things that they’re enjoying and then pursue that on their own. So I think maybe, sometimes we all think they feel a little more isolated than they do, and that they are a little more resilient than we give them credit for.

Scott Smith 33:13

You’re a hundred percent, right. I think that’s a great observation on these numbers as well. And I look at at it and I say, that’s why one of the things I’m really trying to push. I think the industry needs to look at is, is how do we create more resident led programming? So operationally, it’s not going to be possible for us to add a lot of new staff to create three or four programs at the same time and go from five programs a day to 20 different options. You have to utilize the skillset of the residents are living in the community. And so when we start to look at those types of things, and saying how do we take that information and that knowledge and that passion that our residents have, then how do we help them kind of create programming that they’re going to be able to run, lead, and enjoy? 

Scott Smith 33:56

We see it happening, you’ll see bridge clubs and {inaudible} clubs. And A lot of different clubs coming, we need to continue to expand on that and give them the resources to do that. Vecause we don’t have the bandwidth to create, 15, 20 programs a day, but it ultimately is where we need to go. So it’s really changing the mindset, and, and asking more of the resident, and really leaning on those residents that have that skillset to lead in the building. And that’s where they’re going to find their purpose. And that’s the other thing that we’re really struggling with is purpose.

Evan Friedkin 34:28

All right, moving on to the next question. So what we did here, this came out of a conversation that Chris and Scott and I had on Friday, which was, I wanted to kind of pull out a subset of what I had just showed you, and only show you the folks who told us in the beginning, who they were doing this assessment for. If you remember, we asked the question, who are you doing this assessment for? They can select myself, mom, dad, others. And so I really wanted to look at people that were looking for a spouse, because one of things that I’ve heard I from sales directors and marketing. Which is, when I hear that somebody is looking to move with a spouse there are some things that are are predictable. And so I wanted to see how did their reasons for making a change differ potentially from the general population.

Evan Friedkin 25:24

And so the outcome of this one is obviously still care curious about their options. We’re never gonna get rid of that. There’s a lot of curiosity. But it care needs again, was still very high. So one of the things that, a conversation I was having with a client was, I had pulled this for their specific community. Now they are very AL memory care focused. And I  pulled this same report and 100% selected care needs and concern about safety. And so my theory here was if somebody’s looking with a spouse or a partner, one of them is not doing so great. And so this, this does kinda address it a little bit. But I’m curious to hear thoughts from Chris. When you look at this, is this surprising or is this kind of what you had expected?

Kris Frankel 36:21

That’s what I would expect. They’re definitely looking for care needs, but again, I think it goes back to this is where we might be able to make a shift, because if the caregiver is planning to move in with a loved one that needs more care needs, then they can build their lifestyle up as they move in. So they’re going to help themselves be more independent. They’re going to allow their loved one to be cared for as they need. And it’s actually a win-win for everyone. They get to come in and experience it. They’re not feeling lonely or isolated because as the caregiver, you become very lonely and isolated. It just, it works well. It helps people see that their loved one gets what they need and they get what they need. And then the loved one will probably get a little better because the caregiver isn’t the only person they’re exposed to.

Evan Friedkin 37:15

Yeah. Do you have anything to add on that before I move on?

Scott 37:19

I mean actually the downsizing one that kind of stands out a little bit too, which is, I mean, I think that that really works well for what we’re trying to say, which is  stress free living, right? That’s one of the values that we can add to you. From a provider side is going, “hey, we’re going help take care of the stress that you have right now of trying to care for a home.” And those probably go hand in hand, right? If the care needs go up, right, it’s more important to downsize because you can’t take care of the home you’re in. But again, one of the things that people struggle with is, I really try to get rid of, I have all of this, I’m gonna move into this small 250, 500, 400 square foot apartment, right?


Scott Smith 37:55

And, and so it’s really a good thing to be able talk about that in your communities. You’re not going down to a 400 square foot apartment. You now have a 60, 100 thousand square foot place that is yours, right? That you have access to. And that’s another piece of this that not really on this slide, but it’s just as a…we have to get better at creating environments that our resins want to be in. Not that just look aesthetically pleasing, but really create places that you do that. That third space living option, right? Like how Starbucks has become a place that people will just work out of and hang out of like, how do we create more of those type of places in our communities that get residents out of their room that make it feel like I’m not in this small apartment? I’m actually in this, this large living space.

Evan Friedkin 38:43

Do you have something to add?

Kris Frankel 38:45

I was just listening, looking at Jill’s response and maintain affordability. I think that’s really true. I think that goes along with a lot of people’s decisions. I think they move into senior living later and later and later, because it’s less expensive to stay home and maybe get help. But I think, again, it goes back to when they see that life gets better, when they move to a community, because of all of the different things that are offered that it’s worth that, but the expense is high. We all know that.

Evan Friedkin 39:20

All right. So the next question for everybody to start putting their guesses in. The question is, are you aware of changes in your mom’s memory and thinking? Keep in mind that this is showing your moms, but this is also asking the people who were looking for themselves. So there are people who said, “hey, it would basically, the question would say, are you aware of changes in your memory and thinking?  There’s that factored in as well. So go ahead and put in your guesses.

Evan Friedkin 39:53

See a lot of yeses, small change. Yep. I see. See a lot of, yes. All right. So I’ll give it just two more seconds. A lot of yeses. All right. Here’s the breakout. The number one selected is none that I’m aware of. Which I, I’m not overly when I look at this, I’m not overly surprised because you remember 49% of the people who completed this assessment were people looking for themselves. It may be hard to admit that there are declines. So this may be a jaded view. A rose color glasses view. So keep that in mind there that what they’re saying here may not actually be representative of where they actually are. This is from one person’s perspective, just a lot of them. But there are, there are a lot of people that 31% said that there are some small changes. What that means. I have no idea that is up for you all to have those conversations and dig in. I’m I’m curious, when you look at this Scott, what are, what are some of the thoughts that come to mind and kind of, how can you use information once they do become a resident?

Scott Smith 41:05

I think what it shows us is that when you have none that I’m aware of. So again, we have the perspective who’s answering this. But it’s also that our residents,or even prospective residents, are really good at hiding things. If I don’t live with mom or dad or I don’t see them every single day, I might not notice the changes. These changes are probably happening in a much higher percentage than what we’re seeing on this chart. And they’ve created ways to overcome that or they start to, they know what is happening. They don’t want to admit , and they start to socially isolate. And so we see it inside a community, as much as we see it outside, as somebody moves in, they actually are having cognitive decline and we see a drop in attendance in or participation in programming because they are embarrassed by the change that’s happening.

Scott Smith 41:47

So looking at these numbers it doesn’t surprise me because of on who the audience is, but two, because I think people are good at hiding their symptoms, but we will see modifications to their behavior. If they’re having cognitive decline. They are going to be less social than before and it’s something for us in a community to be very aware of. It’s also a struggle, I think, for every single operator, which is you, you can go into a community and you will have your activity professionals tell you, “programming is really hard because the cognitive variability I have is tremendous. I have very, very high functioning residents and I have four residents here that should be living in memory care, but family refuses to move them in.” Right? And so how do you program, how do you do things for people at on this large spectrum of the, the cognitive, kind of this cognitive spectrum? So I think this is a major, major issue in communities is just figuring out how to do this and put people on the appropriate level of care.

Kris Frankel 42:45

Yeah, I would, I would say that I’m not surprised at all by that number, and I’m going to go a little different route. If it’s the child answering this question, I think a lot of them are in denial because they remember mom the way mom used to be. And it’s very, very hard to look at reality. So you’ll have a lot of daughter’s son saying, “my dad is fine. He could live in independent living.” And then they move in and really, truly they need to live in a memory care neighborhood or close to it. I think too, it goes back to resiliency. I think a lot of times, kids have trouble making that decision because they don’t think mom or dad are going to do well. And I think that we don’t realize that they are resilient and sometimes they can do more think they can, and just giving them the opportunity and not pushing it, like letting people make choices slowly and slowly move in. I think is a really good thing. But I’m not surprised at all about that. Kids think that there’s not a lot of decline in their loved one.

Scott Smith 43:55

That was a great comment. I think it was Jack put it in there, you see the increase in calls after the holidays. So it’d be really interesting to look, to see how that data varies based on, times when families gather. With this pie chart shift in January, after people have just been together for the holidays or even in December and January, then it does the rest of the year. Because a lot of times it’s my perception versus I’ve actually experienced the reality.

Kris Frankel 44:21

Yep. We take a lot of time in our communities to self-evaluate. So, we’re always trying to program for the majority, but that majority changes. You may have very high functioning residents and then as time moves on, and we age in place and cognitive decline, that changes. So you’ll see that. And like Scott said, they’re very good at covering and their friends are very good at covering for them because nobody wants to share that cognitive decline.

Evan Friedkin 44:54

I just made a note Scott, to go back to my team and pull a January to February report so that we can see how this this comes back for that month. So I will for Megan, I will include that in my follow up. I’ll add that into the deck for you so that everybody has that. So good points. All right. Next question, which is readiness. So how ready are they to make a change? So if everyone wants to place their guesses on the number one selected, so whether she’s moved lived in the same place her entire adult life. Whether it’s been many years since she’s moved or she’s moved within the last few years. I’ll give it a second. And I know I’m, I am looking at the time, so I’m  not give as much time.

Evan Friedkin 45:43

All right, here is the breakouts. So 49% said that it’s been many years since they’ve moved. And then 38% had said moved within the last few years. Chris when you look at this, I guess from a sales and marketing perspective, and I guess it does come over, even, even once they do make the decision to move into a community, this is still, I would imagine, still in the back of their mind of missing where they were, or this decision to move into a new place is difficult. It’s not something that once they have decided, it goes away. No. I’m curious to hear what you all do do on that.

Kris Frankel 

I don’t think, I mean, I’m talking from a mom and raising my kids in my home to have to move out. I mean, if you just take close your eyes for a minute and think about all that means something in your house right now, your home? What makes it feel like a home? And having to decide what to take with you and what not to? And I think sometimes, looking at it from a sales piece, kids want to make everything new and great and wow, this is gonna be so nice, and they buy them new furniture, and new bedding and everything’s new. So then they move into this new home that doesn’t feel like home anymore because all the things that they love might not have accompanied them along the journey. So I think we forget that sometimes that new is great. And I think the younger we are, the more we love that new But, you know, to take someone who who’s lived in their home with their husband or wife and raised their children, that home means a whole lot. And to to put them somewhere new is very hard. And then to have new new things on top of it is just very, it can cause depression and a lot of different things. So I think we need to remember that that memories are more important than new things sometimes.

Scott Smit 47:45

Yeah. It’s a great point. I think when we look at it, there is like a, there’s a mourning process that happens with someone who’s lived in the same home for many years. There’s a loss, and we need to honor that and understand that. I don’t think it’s something that’s really gets down to the building very often Right? So it’s something that sales figure has, or they may know, or may not know but in the community. That’s a good indicator for us to know how are those first couple days going to going to be. Are they mourning the loss of a lot of different things? And so that may be different if I’ve moved a couple times recently, I’ve been downsizing over time. I’m not leaving the family home. That’s the other piece. And the second piece to me is for those, let’s just say 50% have not have not moved in a long time.

Scott Smith 48:26

What is our process then for moving a new resident in? Have we created a process to make them feel feel comfortable? I’m a military brat. So I went to a new high school, a new school every year or two. There was nothing worse than the very first day of school when you’re a new student going, “where am I going to sit for lunch?” Our new residents experienced that at an age that they, at a very, like an advanced age, so’s it’s a very, it can be a traumatic thing. And so have we put things in place in our communities to ensure don’t struggle with that? And so looking at 50% of our residents moving in, haven’t moved for a long, long time. This is gonna be… it’s… we want to build up excitement and make it fun and all those things. At the same time. We have to understand that they’re coming in, they are, they’re experiencing some form of loss or, trauma. So it’s a great indicator for us that we probably don’t know currently.

Kris Frankel 49:15

It kinda takes you back to your first day of college. When you move into the dorm and you don’t know anyone, and thank God, there’s an RA who can kind of show you the ropes and show you around. Those resident ambassadors are so important to help them, invite them to think and encourage them to participate, sit with them at dinner.

Evan Friedkin 49:35

Right. Next one. This is probably something that you all never get to deal with, which is families potentially disagreeing on this topic. So I thought this would be a fun one to talk about because I would imagine even after they move in that there are still probably some voices around the outskirts that may have disagreed. And so we had asked in the question basically if there’s any other family members helping with the decision. I see some guesses already and I haven’t even asked for it. So we are good. We all are getting the drill. I see some, yes. Having a hard time. No, see a lot of nos.

All right. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna show the responses. Thirty-eight said that they are handling the decision on their own, while 41% said that everybody is on the same page, and luckily only 10% having a hard time agreeing. When I saw, I was actually surprised that it was only 10%. But again, you all are on the front lines. So it seems like what you all guesses were spot on.  Scott, when you look at this, kinda what are some things we, there probably doesn’t need a whole lot of talkings. We’re all kinda on the same page, but I’m curious, kind of initial thoughts on this?

Scott Smith 50:50

Yeah. I mean, I think it’s not surprising. I mean, maybe that hard time… that that number probably changes as the level of care increases. As money gets a little bit tighter as they’ve been there a little bit longer. I think that number is going to always be fluctuating at a starting point. We might all agree that yes, we wanna move mom in somewhere, but then when we start to get into costs and paying for it and selling a home and all of those, I think that number probably increases. You’re catching this number at a very early stage in the process. So as the process goes on, you may see that number increase. But ultimately, I think what we see most of the time is you have kind of that ally in the family. They’re the ones that are the most involved. They’re visiting the most. And that’s the one we communicate. And that there might be some peripheral things, but usually we find that one primary person that we’re communicating with.

Kris Frankel

Yeah. I agree.

Scott Smith 


Evan Friedkin 51:42

All right. We’ll move on to the next one. This was, this was a a fun one that I took back to my team after our conversation on Friday because you all gave a slightly different perceptfulness than I had ever really thought of, whether or not she has any trouble walking, or just the mobility. And so I see some guesses coming in. Sometimes, sometimes, I see a lot of, yes, and sometimes. The breakout is 43% said that there’s no trouble. There’s 30% said that there’s some trouble. Twenty-three said that they’re, they are a fall risk. And Scott, and I think, I think both of you actually unanimously came to this this conclusion. And it comes back to there’s all this data that’s gathered in the sales process that’s living in the CRM, but sometimes doesn’t make it over with the resident when they move in. And this was one that jumped out because I had never thought of it because I, I don’t think about this the way you all do. But what can this data ultimately do to make that first day an ongoing life at one of your communities, easier, more engaged? Can you just share what you had thought of as soon as you saw this?

Scott Smith 53:05

Yeah. So the first thing that came to mind is this living in the sales world, but, are we using this data to help them selection a room? If you are going to have trouble with walking and we put you on the fifth floor in the upper wing corner, and all programming and dining is everything happening on the first floor. We’ve really just created an obstacle for you to engage in the community. So really looking at this going, “where is the primary life of their community and are people who struggle with walking living near that?“ Now we don’t want to make it so easy from all the time, but we can know that I don’t wanna take a 15 minute walk to come to a program that lasts 30 minutes and then walk all the way back to my room and they have to come back an hour later.

Scott Smith 53:46

We really want to make that as easy as possible for people. So really looking at room decisions and where someone’s living based on this. And then long term really going, can we do that based on interests? So looking at going, can we not just always base everything on the physical part of the building, but saying, “I know you’d really get along with these three people. And I think if you live nearby, that’s going to really improve your quality of life because you’re going to interact mostly with your neighbors.” And so not, not always the view out the window and all of those things, but really going, how would your quality of life increase based on where your room is? And so I would love to have this data go further than just the move, but actually the room selection process.


Kris Frankel 54:31

I agree. And I think to go along with that, another thing, where your rooms are. A lot of residents base, what they participate in on where the bathroom is located. If it’s far from where they’re engaging, a lot of times they won’t come because it’s too far of a walk or they’re afraid of falling. And we saw an uptick in participation during hallway activities during COVID because people could come outside their door and participate and still be close to a bathroom. I agree with Scott, strategically placing people near people that they think that they would get along with, but, you know, really looking at the building itself and where bathrooms are placed and where we’re engaging as well, I think is really important.

Evan Friedkin 55:19:

Now we’re getting to the fun stuff. They’re going to be telling us what they’re most, what activities that they enjoy. If we want to guess we but as you can, bu as we can probably imagine, it is pretty evenly broken out. This the way I kinda look at this from kinda how it would be helpful for you all from the resident engagement side is knowing their interests once they have agreed to move in. And so Scott, Chris, takes on kinda what you could do with this, not necessarily the breakout of it, but what you could do with this information and how you can make kind of that the first week or so really impactful for residents?

Kris Frankel 56:05

I think this is good information, but if it’s completed by the loved one, this might be about mom 20 years ago when I knew mom. So I think it’s great as a starting point, but I also think that it’s really very important for the engagement team to meet with this person and find out who this person is now, so that we can really tailor their experience to be very individualized and who they are today.

Scott Smith 56:35

Yeah. Again, we’re shifting. This generation that’s looking at senior living now has always had choice. And so we’re going to have to have more and more things available to them. And it’s not going to be about getting a group of 20 to 30 together. It’s going to be around finding three to five, seven people who have very similar interests and creating on ramps to connections for them. The question that I want to ask, but a resident moves in, like I would love to replace all of the resident satisfaction surveys with just one question, and it’s, “do you have a close friend living in this community?” Because I believe if the answer is yes, you will see move outs drop. You will see happiness go up. It’s not about keeping them busy. It’s about creating a meaningful connection with other people.

Scott Smith 57:15

And if they have that, then we’ve been successful. If we haven’t then we’re struggling and we need to figure it out. But understanding who they are will help us bring those two who people together, or that three or four people together, because they’ve some of ’em have lost us that skill of how do I make a new friend? And so the more information we have about who a person is and what, what they’re passionate about, the easier it is for us to build connections for people which will ultimately lead to people being happier and less load on us. If you have good friends and you’re hanging out, and you’re playing cards together, you don’t rely on the team of the community to provide all entertainment for you.

Kris Frankel 57:59

Absolutely correct. 

Evan Friedkin 57:52

I know we are. We are coming up on time. The last thing I wanna share, I do not have it in this slide. We do ask at the end of all of our assessments, what option do you think makes the most sense for either you or your family member, who you’re looking for? The three options that they are given is at home with help from a home care agency at home. With no help from family or friends, or a senior living community. Seventy five percent of the respondents say a senior living community is what they actually believe makes the most sense. So a vast majority of the people who are going through this truly believe that what you all offer is the right fit. So I did wanna leave everybody with that and I will end it there and hand it back to Meaghan 

Meaghan McMahon 58:36

Thank you so much, Evan. If you could just unshare, I’ll just pop up a couple slides here, Chris, Scott, Evan. Thank you so much for your time today. I know that we don’t have to time for questions, but I am happy to put up some contact information for folks here. So any questions about today’s presentation, you can reach Evan and Charles here through the email. And as we said, we will send out a PDF of today’s presentation deck so everyone can download that great data. And Charles has been dropping in the chat box today, a link to our co-branded tip sheet that we did on how to leverage technology and social media. So you can find a link to that, as well as a contest that we are currently running for our Old People are Cool Initiative. If you want to go ahead and submit your artwork to that by April 19th, when some Old People Are Cool stickers, we are also holding our first ever customer summit exclusive for link senior customers and partners on May 3rd, very exciting. And we have our Activities Strong upcoming events calendar. So you can find all of our upcoming events and registration links here and just as save the date for our virtual summit, that’s going to be six sessions long. So up to six, continuing education credits that day on June 21st, so Charles will put the link in the chat box for that, and we hope to see you there. So Chris, Scott, Evan, thank you again. And we’ll look forward to seeing everyone for the April 26th webinar later this month. Thank you.

Kris, Scott, Evan 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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