The 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston was the most highly attended Annual Meeting in organization history, and Greystone took advantage of the many opportunities to connect with LeadingAge members, strategic partners, staff members and others on hand.

Read below about these five busy days in Boston, or see a brief highlight video.

Expo Photo

What Keeps You Up?

As a LeadingAge Gold Partner, Greystone participated in a meeting of the LeadingAge Board of Directors on Saturday afternoon. At that meeting, we were asked to spend a few moments describing what keeps us up at night — that is, what pressing industry issue should LeadingAge members be addressing?

Greystone President Mark Andrews described a need to embrace an accelerated pace of change. As the economy improves and demographics become more and more compelling, senior living will be swarmed by providers looking to take advantage. Non-profits must be prepared to act, expand their footprints and perpetuate their missions.

Take the Word ‘Retirement’ Out of Retirement

Greystone also introduced the Sunday afternoon General Session, which featured Drs. Joseph Coughlin and Mark McClellan discussing “The Intersection of Technology and Policy.”

Mark Introduction

As an introduction to this conversation, Mark Andrews and LeadingAge Board Chair David Gehm spoke about the need to reframe senior living by taking the term “retirement” out of retirement. Here’s a brief transcript of the thoughts Mark Andrews shared:

We were just talking about taking the word “retirement” out of retirement — which sounds odd until you think about it.

See, at Greystone, we have had the privilege of witnessing how seniors’ interests have changed over the past 30 years. In that time, we’ve noted seniors’ intensity to stay active and engaged. Retirement is not a passive activity, but the word retirement makes it seem so.

The words “supportive” and “care” need to be readdressed as well. We want to enable, not support.

Today’s seniors are far different from those we all served 30 years ago. A lifestyle of golf, a passive activity schedule and supportive care does not cut it. Today’s seniors demand more. They don’t see themselves as “retired from life.” They view themselves as productive, engaged, with a lot to contribute.

It’s been an honor to work with many LeadingAge members, more than 500 through Greystone’s 30-plus years of service. And today, as we collaborate with members to help plan, expand, market and operate quality living environments, we’re spending a great deal of time thinking through how we can innovate to provide environments today’s seniors will want and that will give LeadingAge members a competitive advantage and solid outcomes.

These seniors are our market, and we as an industry must improve our messaging, design and person-centered models to be part of the engaged, purposeful and experience-filled lifestyles seniors want and expect. The word “retirement” simply does not fit.

Technology is sure to be a big part of life for new generations of senior, which is one of the reasons why we at Greystone are so excited to be a part of this session.

Connecting Students and Seniors

Greystone’s Tim Mallad and Sue Plasterr took the stage Sunday afternoon as part of an education session titled: “Connecting Students and Seniors to Enhance Life in CCRCs.” This session also included three representatives from the University of Central Florida: Zan Reynolds from the UCF Foundation, Dr. Abraham Pizam from the Rosen College of Hospitality, and Dr. Paul Rosen from the College of Medicine.

The idea of university-based senior living communities is an emerging industry trend, and this session addressed the following:

  • How a major university and developer are working together to reshape the CCRC experience
  • How university faculty, staff and students engage seniors in the CCRC to mutually expand their knowledge and intellectual pursuits
  • How university-based research and resources benefit wellness and health services programs in the CCRC

Greystone and UCF are working together to develop Legacy Pointe, a CCRC planned for the Orlando area.

Launching the Business Strategy Council

This year’s Annual Meeting & Expo also marked the first-ever gathering of the LeadingAge Business Strategy Council. Made up of representatives from LeadingAge member organizations and Gold Partners, the Business Strategy Council will create a forum for sharing expertise, provide business intelligence and best practices to LeadingAge members, offer strategic guidance to LeadingAge staff, and help position LeadingAge as the leading expert in the senior living industry.

Greystone’s Mike Lanahan is serving as the co-chairman of the Business Strategy Council in 2016, along with Christie Hinrichs of Tabitha Health Care. Members of the Business Strategy Council used this first meeting to discuss pressing issues in the industry and ideas for how the Council can help members address these issues.

Thriving in Today’s Senior Living Landscape

One theme repeated over and over at the first Business Strategy Council meeting was this: Non-profit senior living providers need to share ideas and work together to maintain relevance and achieve progress. With that in mind, Greystone’s John Spooner, Mark Andrews, Stuart Jackson and Brad Straub took the stage for a Tuesday afternoon education session focused on current trends and best practices.

Stuart Session

Titled “Thriving in Today’s Senior Living Landscape,” this session shared how a diverse group of non-profit providers are choosing to grow in their respective markets. From single-site campuses to regional organizations to non-profits operating throughout the country, these senior living providers are choosing to expand their missions using methods that best suit their unique circumstances and needs. See a copy of this presentation.

See video highlights from the 2015 LeadingAge Annual Meeting & Expo.