Tag Archives: health care

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Santa Marta’s Health Care Expansion Nearing Completion

Santa Marta is pushing toward completion of a health care expansion at its life plan community campus in Olathe, Kan. The $11 project will add eight assisted living units, 12 memory support suites and 18 private skilled nursing beds, as well as a new physical therapy gym.

The skilled nursing portion of the project is expected to be ready for occupancy this November. Workers are currently painting and installing flooring, tile and wall coverings. Final grading has also started in preparation for landscaping.

The assisted living and memory support portions of the project are expected to be ready for occupancy this December. Workers are currently installing showers and finishing drywall. Painting will soon commence.

In addition to its duties as management consultant at Santa Marta, Greystone is also development consultant on this expansion project. See photos of progress in the gallery below.

Learn more about Santa Marta.

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A Moment of Realization: Adult Children and the Holidays

The holidays are a time when families gather. That means adult children may be seeing their parents for the first time in months. This visit could serve as the moment when an adult child realizes his or her parents need assistance with day-to-day living.

The discovery that parents are surviving rather than thriving can lead to confusion on the part of the adult child. After all, mom and dad had seemed fine during conversations on the phone. But if the adult child had actually seen how they were struggling on a day-to-day basis, he or she would have taken action long ago.

Now there’s a sense of urgency, one that makes it difficult to find a starting point.

Swimming in a Sea of Options

The majority of adult children will begin the senior living search online. Inevitably, they will feel overwhelmed as they encounter an array of options — independent living, assisted living, memory support, private caregivers, long-term nursing, home health and more. How will he or she make the right choice?

The National Center for Assisted Living reported there were 31,000 assisted living communities in 2010 — and the number has only grown since then. Similarly, LeadingAge reported there were about 1,900 continuing care retirement communities (or life plan communities) in 2010. Add in the growing number of home health and hospice companies, and you begin to understand just how overwhelming the options can feel.

What Sets You Apart?

What sets you and your community apart from the competition? The answer is simple: Experience. Not experience as in the number of years you and your team have worked in senior living, but rather as in the experience you create for adult children and their parents.

Experience means creating an image in the mind of the consumer. When an adult child begins an online search, this experience includes where you rank in search results, the navigability of your website, as well as information sufficient enough to capture an adult child’s attention and motivate him or her to pick up the phone and call.

When you do make the call-to-find-out-more list, the experience continues when you answer the phone. Are you prepared to create the experience your community desires? What type of greeting do you use? If put on hold, how long does an adult child wait before someone returns to answer his or her questions?

Remember: These adult children are often battling feelings of guilt, desperation, anxiety, fear and, in some cases, sheer panic. They are often out of town or have just returned from traveling. It’s important that you and your community provide a sense of calm and relief.

Creating the Right Face-to-Face Experience

If you’re successful online and on the phone, you’ll earn a face-to-face meeting. And what’s most important at this face-to-face meeting? That’s right: Experience. Continue the adult child’s positive experience through a warm greeting at the door. Make an impactful first impression by offering visitors something to drink and creating an atmosphere of placidity. Think through how far an adult child and his or her parents must walk during a visit. Think about what they can see, hear, smell and taste.

Ask questions without interrogating. When the adult child and his or parents ask questions, provide information and follow up with questions of your own. Create a realistic picture of how you and your community can meet this family’s unique needs, and demonstrate that each resident is important and valued.

Be a problem solver, a solution finder, a hero. You can be the one who helps an adult child ease his or her worry, anxiety and guilt, helping him or her to make a sound decision. You can be the one who articulates the many advantages and benefits your community can deliver to the prospective residents. Always be flexible, and remember your job is to make their situation easier.

Closing the Sale

As your face-to-face meeting draws to a close, the air should settle and the conversation should get easier. If you’ve done your job, the adult child will begin to feel at peace. And that’s when you establish next steps. Gain a commitment to move forward, and let them know when and how you will follow up.

While the holiday season brought the need for your services to an adult child’s attention, the holiday season could also mean the process drags out over weeks or months — nothing happens quickly at the end of the year.

Remain patient. You’ve demonstrated your community’s value, provided clarity and created a positive and unforgettable experience. In doing so, you’ve become the provider this adult child and his or her parents will turn to when ready to make a move.

—Mindy Cheek, Vice President, Marketing Services

Holiday Marketing

Editorial: Maximize Your Campus Density with a Flexible Plan

By Burt Derr, First Vice President, Development Services

As the old adage goes “Real Estate is a great investment, because they’re not making any more of it.” Truer words have never been spoken.

In these days of extreme activity in construction and development, it can be easy to lose sight of a few of the core principles of sound development. A lot of today’s campus work is focused on expanding new revenue-producing units and associated services, as well as repositioning existing assets to improve operations and service delivery, and recalibrating unit mixes by service levels or within service levels.

One of the easiest routes to expanding, of course, is to overtake that large, undeveloped parcel on your campus. You could also secure adjacent property, if available. With each exciting path to new construction, however, come very serious, long-term considerations.

It’s very critical, before initiating a new development project, to pause and reflect on your long-term strategy. You should have a well thought-out roadmap, or at the very least, a business plan that takes you from your current situation into the next several years of evolution of your campus.

With a plan, you can be far more confident in your short- and long-term moves. With any plan you create, you will want to maximize the density of your new construction. This means building as small a footprint, with as many allowable stories, to which you are entitled by local zoning and development codes. You will have to ask many questions of your project. What can I afford? What other expansion needs should I incorporate at this time? What will my next step, then the next, be?

As easy and tempting as it may be, plan your new addition in such a way that allows you a zone for future growth. Perhaps you know exactly what that expansion might be, or perhaps it will be dictated by your future market. In either case, leaving a ‘future build zone’ on your campus will serve you well.

You should also give thought to where you will best be served in conserving expansion property on your site. While this might be more of a dice-rolling proposition, there are questions you can consider. What will my next two or three moves look like? What will my next best revenue enhancement be? What services will I need to stay atop my market?

Flexibility will always be your key driver in this instance. For example, you may have to decide whether to build adjacent to your IL cottages, or next to your health center. Your obvious first consideration is who you will be serving. In addition, which of your various business centers will you want to grow next – cottages, IL apartments, memory support or another health center related business? Finally, with the placement of your expansion, have you given yourself the widest range of options to further expand your future services?

Driving density in your planning is always a positive step. Now, get out there and grow your business!

Be Flexible


Kim Campbell to Join Greystone for Management Symposium

Greystone is pleased to announce Kim Campbell, wife of legendary country entertainer Glen Campbell, will speak at Greystone’s annual Management Symposium on Feb. 10 at the Hilton Dallas/Southlake Town Square. Mrs. Campbell will address her experiences caring for the country musician, who has Alzheimer’s, as well as the decision to place him in a memory care community last year.

Mrs. Campbell will share advice for family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, as well as the quality-of-life benefits Mr. Campbell has experienced since moving into memory care. She wrote in a piece for Fox News last year the community has “been good for him. He just seems more at peace there than he was at home, where he became increasingly agitated and frantic.”


Mr. Campbell released his final record and embarked on a cross-country farewell tour of America in 2011, shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The tour was chronicled in the 2014 documentary “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me.” The song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the film has been nominated for two Grammy awards and an Oscar. Tim McGraw will perform the song in honor of Mr. Campbell at the Academy Awards on Feb. 22.

“Kim has a unique message to share,” said Rick Cumberland, senior vice president of operations management at Greystone. “Our team has been able to meet with her recently and we share a common vision for delivering health care services to the memory-impaired. We appreciate her willingness to learn and help continue the conversation around memory care.”

The Alzheimer’s Association recently published 2014 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures, which reveals the following statistics regarding the disease and caregiving:

  • Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, accounting for an estimated 60-80 percent of cases
  • An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s
  • Every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s, and by mid-century, this will escalate to every 33 seconds
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheime’s and other dementias
  • Fifty-nine percent of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias rated the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high

The Greystone Management Symposium brings together executive directors and caregivers from the nation’s leading continuing care retirement communities. This year’s conference will focus on caring for seniors with dementia within the continuum-of-care provided by these communities.


Leading through Education

Greystone is committed to continuously providing platforms that inform and train the market. From innovation to the capital markets to the evolving continuum of care, Greystone and our partners have built robust agendas for two upcoming events:

  • Greystone’s annual Management Symposium will focus on caring for seniors with dementia within the continuum of care. Kim Campbell, wife of country music star Glen Campbell, will talk about her husband’s experience with Alzheimer’s, documented in the film “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me.”
  • The 2015 Ziegler Greystone Executive Symposium will center on the opportunities resulting from the current climate of sustained growth. Leaders from both companies will discuss how to stay ahead of increasing competition, the latest CCRC and financial market trends, expansion and redevelopment, change management and more.

Construction Update: The Westerly Residences

Wichita Presbyterian Manor recently began the final phase of a two-phase, $35 million campus transformation project. Expected to be complete this November, The Westerly Residences will feature 90 brand-new independent living residences in a variety of floor plan options, with amenities including multiple dining venues and an array of social, cultural, educational, and spiritual programs and activities.

Greystone is providing financing, development and marketing support for this final phase of the project. Greystone provided financing and development support for Phase I of the redevelopment.

The Westerly Residences will be a part of the Wichita Presbyterian Manor community, giving all residents access to on-site health care.

The Westerly Residences has already pre-sold more than 75 residences. Throughout the next few months, future residents will begin personalizing their homes and building relationships with their soon-to-be neighbors during regular social events. While many seniors who will soon call The Westerly Residences home currently live in the Wichita area, the community has also attracted older adults from out-of-state and elsewhere in Kansas.

The Westerly Residences’ construction partners are general contractor Paric, based out of St. Louis, Mo., and MKEC Engineering Consultants, based in Wichita, Kan..

The first phase of construction at Wichita Presbyterian Manor began in February 2014 and includes 48 modern assisted living apartments, 24 assisted living memory care suites, 50 skilled nursing suites, a PATH® (Post-Acute to Home) rehabilitation wing, and new health care common spaces, including a main kitchen.

The Westerly Residences and Wichita Presbyterian Manor are part of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, Inc., a not-for-profit, faith-based organization comprised of 18 affiliated senior living communities in Kansas and Missouri. PMMA has been serving seniors since 1949, and today serves more than 2,500 residents.

The Westerly Residences Groundbreaking

The Westerly Residences groundbreaking ceremony. From left: Amy Watson, Marketing Director/Senior Living Counselor at Wichita Presbyterian Manor; Steve L’Hommedieu, Project Executive at PARIC Corporation; Jill Coleman, Director of Sales at The Westerly Residences; David Reynolds, Director of Administrative Services at Wichita Presbyterian Manor; Bill Taylor, Regional Director of Operations at Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America; John L. Wells, Board of Trustees Member for Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America; City of Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer; Bruce Shogren, CEO of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America; Janet Miller, Wichita City Council Representative; Theresa Radebaugh, Board of Trustees Member for Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America.

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Recap: Leading Age 2014 Annual Meeting

What an extraordinary week for the Greystone team in Nashville! The education sessions, expo, receptions and networking gave us a platform for connecting with business partners new and old.

Education sessions

View Greystone’s presentations.

Tim Mallad, first vice president of management services, participated in two sessions and was joined by CCRC residents Gene Mitch and Margaret Hare, and Stayton Executive Director Scott Polzin for a discussion on resident councils. Through an open Q&A format, the panel touched on issues like formation, board involvement, hot-button issues and more.

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While the audience could not always agree on certain issues, heads seemed to nod in unison when one of the panelists imparted that resident councils “are advisory boards to management. Good management listens to what they hear.”

Sue Plasterr, departmental vice president of management services, took to the Ignite stage for a fast-paced talk on transitioning into life care. She offered many measures big and small to help residents feel comfortable. The crowd favorite may have been personal ice cream sundaes on a resident’s birthday – which doubles as a means of delivering medicine.


At the close of the conference, Mary Jane Fitts, departmental vice president of marketing, turned her session’s attention to direct mail. Along with Alyssa Adam and Mark Ingram, the team shared methods and reasons why direct mail remains a viable marketing tool among seniors.


Did you know? Ninety-eight percent of seniors get their mail daily and 90% open direct mail.

General Session

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix quoted Satchel Paige when delivering his keynote address on Redefining Age. You can watch his remarks in full, as he also addresses ageism and changing perceptions around aging.

Artist, designer and urban planner Candy Chang brought her “Before I Die” project to Nasvhille the help of LeadingAge as an “As I Age…” Wall, where visitors scribbled their goals. Best-selling author and TED Talks veteran Simon Sinek spoke about leadership, motivating employees and establishing a healthy workplace environment.


The event was also abuzz with the premier screening of “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me,” a documentary following the country star’s battle with Alzheimer’s while he embarked on a national farewell tour. LeadingAge and Volunteers of America are partners in the production of the film.


Greystone hosted a steady stream of traffic for the entirety of the expo. We had potentially rewarding conversations with professionals familiar with our team and those seeking information for the first time.

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Greystone would like to thank our longtime partners at LeadingAge for their commitment to the industry and for hosting their best event to date. See you in Boston next year!


Health Care Corner: Technology Joins the Sales Team

We know a lot about available technology, digital marketing communications and sales in senior living. But when we put the three together, we see a new opportunity to engage today’s tech-savvy customers in a new and exciting way.

Adult children and seniors alike have become frequent users of technology. As much as 25 percent of senior living website traffic comes from smart phones and tablets, and that number is on track to increase, with as much as half of initial inquiries coming via the web. A fully engaged tech consumer knows what is possible through technology, and we, in turn, should adapt senior living sales to speak to these consumers on their terms.

In health care, electronic medical records are becoming a standard, viewed by residents and families as improving the quality of care, fostering patient-driven communication and allowing for personalized care. Introducing that level of sophistication in the sales and move-in process can demonstrate a community’s commitment to quality early in a relationship.

Senior living is a relationship-driven business; digital tools, such as tablets, are most powerful when they enhance the relationship between the sales counselor and the client. In the sales process, tablets can bring a level of sophistication that adult children and baby boomers equate with quality.

Here are potential benefits of adopting technology into your sales process:

Customer Experience — Customized, relevant presentations meet customers’ specific needs and allow for interaction in conversation and relationship building. Additionally, with an aging population, customers who are physically unable to traverse long distances can view remote areas digitally — images of floor plans or other information can be digitally enhanced for ease of viewing. With increased visual engagement, a customer’s perception of the community is enhanced in a new way.

Sales Teams in Action — Teams can share information in real time. They can also respond quickly to online inquiries and access CRM from anywhere, on or offsite. Teams have the ability to rapidly customize presentations and demonstrate apartment customization possibilities, engaging customers in a visual and interactive fashion.

Community Benefits — Digital tools can provide cost control relative to printing, manpower and resources. Better time management tools lead to increased productivity. Coupled with a shortened sales cycle, this increase in productivity can positively impact sales and occupancy. Additionally, it becomes possible to share digital presentations with large or small groups gathered offsite, engaging them in new ways and driving new leads to your community.

To realize the benefits of bringing technology to the sales team, it’s important to have the right set of applications to meet team members’ needs. Functionality itself cannot replace a great sales counselor, but it can serve as an essential tool for creating a new customer experience that leads to sales success.

Sharon Hutson, Vice President, Marketing