At this year’s Greystone Event, we posed this question: What is your big innovation? We know that residents are continually changing and that their needs and expectations are different than 10 years ago. Beyond a good meal and a good value, residents are looking for a better experience in a comforting environment. To keep up with this pace of change and exceed those expectations, we must find ways to innovate.

We know that the not-for-profit senior living providers are the best innovators. They are committed to serving seniors well, which naturally leads to innovation. We posed our question — What is your big innovation? — and you responded. Here’s a sample of what we received:

  • Hotel-like concierge floor spaces and services with private access;
  • Outdoor movie pavilion;
  • Dog park;
  • In-room dining, much like a hotel’s room service;
  • Resident programming that teaches seniors how to interface with new technologies like Facebook, Twitter and iPads; and
  • Times shares between related CCRCs.

These innovative ideas fit perfectly with the four guiding principles we shared at The Event:

  • Seek to create a lifestyle that is experiential and comforting at the same time.
  • Pursue innovation purposefully, seeking to create a competitive advantage that provides a true resident benefit.
  • Consider the whole person, both physically and intellectually, when designing innovative programs.
  • Think in in terms of evolution rather than revolution. The innovation trail is littered with pilgrims, face down with arrows in their backs. Use a measured and managed approach to balance risk and innovation.

Following these principles will enhance our service to current residents, create a competitive offer to prospective residents and better prepare us for the next generation of residents.

— Stuart Jackson, First Vice President, Planning and Finance