Leadership: The Most Mission-Critical Feature of a Successful Senior Housing Community

by Jerry Meyer

The general manager or executive director is the most important person in the business of providing care and services to the aged, period. That person significantly trumps everybody else in the organization. It is because the GM is the cultural head of the basic element of our industry individual community.

Aegis Living, for example, almost exclusively hires from the hotel industry, thus helping to ensure it has the people who have the big, caregiver heart to affect residents’ lives. They have the foundation for delivering great service, maximizing owners’ investments.

Read More


Jerry Meyer was a member of a panel of “Legendary Leaders” of the senior housing industry at the June meeting of the American Seniors Housing Association. Excerpts of his comments will be presented over several installments as part of Active Living International’s outreach activities.

The Actual Cost of a Caregiver

by Jerry Meyer

Labor is the largest of the controllable costs in most senior housing communities worldwide. It can account for as much as 50% to 65% of controllable operating costs. Most of this cost is for the individual caregivers.

Too often we only focus on the hourly rate of a caregiver, but there are other, tangential costs that are very real and that dwarf the hourly rate.

Read More


Older consumers will reshape the business landscape

The Economist April 9, 2016 Schumpeter

“IN 1965 Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, coined a phrase “youth-quake” to describe how baby-boomers were shaking up popular culture. Today the developed world is in the early stages of a “grey-quake”. Those over 60 constitute the fastest-growing group in the populations of rich countries, with their number set to increase by more than a third by 2030, from 164m to 222m. Older consumers are also the richest thanks to house-price inflation and generous pensions. The over-60s currently spend some $4 trillion a year and that number will only grow.

Yet companies have been relatively slow to focus on this expanding market—certainly slower than they were to attend to the youth-quake. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) calculates that less than 15% of firms have developed a business strategy focused on the elderly. The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister organisation to The Economist, found that only 31% of firms it polled did take into account increased longevity when making plans for sales and marketing.

But the biggest reason is that oldies are such slippery customers. The definition of what it means to be “old” is complicated and dynamic. Sixty-five-year-olds are not the same as 85-year-olds. Age affects people in different ways: some fade early while others march on. Class divisions are more marked now than for previous generations of retirees: the winners, sitting on suburban mansions and defined-benefit pensions, cannot spend their money fast enough, while losers go cap in hand to charities (31% of working-age Americans don’t have a pension or savings, according to the Federal Reserve). Most greying baby-boomers in the rich world are in denial about ageing: 61% say that they feel at least nine years younger than their chronological age.

Read More 

Source: The Economist April 9, 2016 Schumpeter


Active Living International’s Scott Eckstein to lead senior living program at WSU Everett

EVERETT, WA  March 14, 2016 – Senior living management executive Scott Eckstein has been appointed to lead the hospitality business management program in senior living at Washington State University North Puget Sound at Everett. Bill Pettit has been the senior-living-executive-in-residence since 2013 and will continue to be involved in advisory board and steering committee roles.

“As baby boomers head into their later years, the senior housing industry will need to train and recruit over 1.2 million new staff members by 2025,” said Pettit. “As a strong and knowledgeable leader, Scott will guide WSU in training future leaders in this industry.”

“We are all potential future clients,” Eckstein said. “Ensuring that our unique, hybrid business of care, hospitality, real estate and technology has a highly educated and prepared workforce is paramount.”

As part of the WSU Carson College of Business faculty, Eckstein will teach Introduction to Senior Living Management and begin developing it for online delivery. He will develop a new online certificate targeting senior housing industry professionals and associations.

He will form a steering committee, appoint a liaison to the advisory board and collaborate with other WSU programs in human development, nursing and psychology to build the program.

He plans to facilitate internships and graduate placement opportunities. Other priorities include exploring possible public/private research opportunities and establishing an endowment to permanently fund the position.

Source: NewsWSU.edu


“Active Living International congratulates our president, Jerry Meyer, for winning Best Assisted Living Design 2015. As president and COO of Aegis Communities in 2014, Jerry was responsible for the design and development of Aegis on Madison.”

Best Assisted Living Design 2015: the Difference is in the Details

by Mary Kate Nelson, Senior Housing News

“Strolling through Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood, you may not notice an assisted living community in your midst — let alone the 2015 Senior Housing News Design Award winner for “Best Assisted Living,” Aegis on Madison.

The man behind Aegis on Madison probably wouldn’t mind. In fact, he was thrilled when a FedEx delivery man entered and swiftly turned around to leave, assuming the building couldn’t possibly be an assisted living facility.

“We always want people to say: ‘This doesn’t look like anything like how I thought it would look,’” Aegis Living CEO Dwayne Clark tells Senior Housing News.

From the outside, Aegis on Madison rivals some of the trendiest boutique hotels in Seattle. On the inside, it has “everything you would expect in an assisted living building,” according to John Cronin, principal at AG Architecture and a 2015 SHN Design Awards judge. It also has all of the amenities you would find in independent living, he says, in reference to the community’s sports den, movie theater, cocktail bars and open-air, rooftop sky lounge.

And if you do happen to be strolling by, you can feel free to drop in: Aegis on Madison opens its shared spaces for private events and community meetings, and operates both a public coffeehouse and a mercantile boutique on-site.

This integration within the greater community, paired with Aegis on Madison’s unwillingness to play down to old people or to assisted living residents, led to its victory in the “Best Assisted Living” category.

Read More

Source: Senior Housing News