Posted in on November 7, 2016

Special, Invested, Fed Up … and Gleeful

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind for our team — working to delight our clients while also seeking out new insights at one of the senior living industry’s biggest conferences, LeadingAge.

In addition to the audience we spoke to in-person in Indianapolis, we also were engaging with audiences across social platforms. This week, for fun, let’s abandon our “most clicked”/”most shared” structure and break down activity by network.

TWITTER – #LeadingAge16 Inspiration

“Make me feel special.”

That’s how Gregg Scott of RLPS Architects advised attendees of the 2016 LeadingAge Annual Meeting to attract baby boomers to their communities. Create an experience through innovative amenities (on-campus auto care!), doormen / concierges and flexible, inspired dining.

LeadingAge Annual Meeting 2016 - dining is one way to create an experience that attracts boomers to senior living

Making residents feel special and treating visitors like VIPs can speed a prospect’s decision to move. It also can positively affect boomer influencers.

Scott noted that the services must have substance, be of value to the older adults who live in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). “There is a risk of being over-Disneyfied,” he cautioned.

“When authority replaces reciprocity, the sense of community fades.”

Zachary Benedict of MKM Architecture proposed that more senior care communities need to focus less on care and more on intentionally creating communities based on reciprocal relationships, common and shared purposes.

reciprocity in senior living - activities vs engagement - LeadingAge 2016 conference

This theme of doing WITH seniors vs. doing FOR or TO them actually came forward in a number of ways throughout the conference.

Holleran Consulting reported that one of the insights coming from a recent survey was the idea of residents as “investors” not “renters.” In a session titled “Satisfaction is No Longer Enough,” Connie Wolfe of Holleran urged senior living providers to ask for input — not just feedback — from those they serve. You’ll likely end up with a stronger offering; you’ll definitely end up with higher satisfaction among those who gave input.

Greater engagement comes from seniors feeling like they’re involved in decisions about their community. This leads to a greater sense of elder autonomy which in turn leads to lower healthcare costs and mortality rates.

Keynote speaker Angela Duckworth also touched on the theme of invested seniors. She was talking about the need for senior care providers to have a sustaining purpose in order to persevere. But Duckworth might just as well have been talking about the desire for older adults to continue to have a purpose in their later years.

passion + perseverance = grit | Angela Duckworth, LeadingAge 2016


Providing opportunities for continuing care retirement residents to take actions that benefit others means keeping them invested.

“I like to be the one that initiates the action that indicates I’m interested.”

Kimberly Hulett and I shared this quote from a CCRC resident as part of a session we led, sharing “New Insights for the World of Digital Marketing.”

On the internet, we explained, neither movers and move helpers want to have actions done TO them. They’re saying no to pop-ups, no to filling out forms, and yes to finding information on their own via search tools and interactive features.

One of our dynamic audience members summed up the feeling in a tweet of her own:

tweet - LeadingAge 2016 Indianapolis


LINKEDIN – Is Minding Our Words What Matters?

A link to a piece by Tom Kelly in the Spokesman Review about “Preferred housing terms for seniors & boomers” not only was the most clicked item of the week, it spawned some very interesting conversations over on LinkedIn.

Some people told me they were simply fed up with the topic of terms. Others felt it is still important to discuss the language of aging.

Here’s a little portion of that discussion:

linkedin - discussion about preferred terms for marketing housing to older adults

And here is a link to the LinkedIn discussion about “labels” for older adults. We’d love for you to join in and share YOUR thoughts!


FACEBOOK – At Laaaaaaaaaaaaasssssttttt …

Meanwhile on Facebook, people responded enthusiastically to a different kind of label: Cubs Fan.

We posted a link to a story about some of the happiest older adults on the planet with the comment:

“The longer they lived, the greater the patience, the greater the glee. #CubsWin & seniors celebrate!”

The celebrations no doubt are continuing, on social media and in the homes of Cubs fans of all ages. Read the article at


Just like the older adults we target with our marketing programs, Creating Results appreciates engagement. Please make a comment below, or seek us out on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to share your thoughts.

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