Friday, June 25, 2010

New Career: Creating Community in the Senior Living Industry

Today I launch a new career. I've been investigating the senior living industry for the past few weeks  - as an offshoot of my broader survey of the commercial real estate industry. Today it's official.

I am pursuing a career in the entrepreneurial creation of genuine community. The senior living field brings a number of services, helping professions, and business disciplines together in a conscious attempt to deliver the experience of community. It's my hunch that the most successful senior living operators are those that can effectively invite people to participate in a thriving community AND consistently deliver a community experience to residents and their (very important) loved ones.

I'm especially drawn to the continuing care retirement community model (CCRC, also called a life-care community). CCRC's integrate a comprehensive array of services along the continuum from independent living, to assisted living, to skilled nursing care. I look forward to learning how the pieces fit together and which elements are key for developing and sustaining a sense of genuine community among residents, staff, and family/friends who live elsewhere.

In my next few posts I'll touch on the following:
  • An inspiring example that steered me onto this career path
  • Perspective from a Care Coordinator with decades of experience in assisted living
  • A 5-10 year outlook for the senior living industry from a CCRC marketing specialist
  • Updates as I learn about senior living and CCRC's in my area (Philadelphia region)
  • Pertinent discoveries during my job hunting process
  • Impressions as I visit senior living communities - surprises, what I like/loathe, comparisons, interesting people
My first significant goal: secure a challenging job with advancement potential in a thriving community in 5 weeks (by Friday, July 30, 2010)....Here we go!

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