Tag Archive for: Bob Kramer

Bringing together different perspectives with a common passon

Bringing Together Different Perspectives with a Common Passion

Nexus Insights is a think tank comprised of a diverse group of thought leaders and stakeholders in aging and health care (Nexus Fellows) with a shared vision to advance the well-being of older adults through innovative models of housing, community and health care. The goal of Nexus Insights is to affect change by sharing innovation across traditional silos, convening leaders from different perspectives in our Nexus Voices salons, and bringing positive, life-affirming ideas into the public domain.

What makes Nexus Insights truly unique is the diversity of our Fellows. We bring together different perspectives and different backgrounds, leaders with expertise in academic research, government policy, private sector startups, and successful businesses serving older adults. It’s the diversity of perspectives, together with the common passion, that drive the disruptive thinking within Nexus.

Bob Kramer is broadly recognized as one of senior living’s most influential and high-profile thought leaders and connectors. With over 35 years of industry leadership, he has earned the reputation of “agent provocateur” in the seniors housing and care industry and aging services field. He has been described as an ice-cutter and scout in identifying industries and trends that will disrupt the future of seniors housing, aging services, and aging more broadly. Learn more about Bob Kramer at Nexus Insights.

 

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Senior Living and Hospitality Industry

Senior Living – a Huge Opportunity for the Hospitality Industry

There is a newly emerging market for new models of lifestyle-driven senior living, and it’s a “mammoth market that nobody owns,” according to Bob Kramer, Founder of Nexus Insights, and Co-founder, Strategic Advisor of NIC – the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

With over 35 years of experience in the seniors housing and care industry, Kramer has long been recognized as one of the most influential and high-profile thought leaders in the field. In a recent article in the Boston Hospitality Review, he shared his thoughts on the changing market and the opportunities for the hospitality industry.

The market for senior living is growing rapidly, but the demand is for something different than traditional care-driven products. Kramer observed that baby boomers are the first generation to make housing and care decisions for their parents, due to lengthening lifespans. “And they didn’t like what they saw.” Rather than traditional assisted living solutions and nursing homes, boomers are looking for living situations that “appeal to their desire to remain engaged and fulfilled in their lives.”

“From 2020 to 2050, new models will be driven by a new type of customer, and a new way of thinking about retirement and aging,” Kramer said. “This generation of senior living products will attract younger seniors with products that deliver engagement, connection, and fulfillment, and will draw residents who still have decades to live. The business potential of such a market is significant.” Heavyweights as well as new entrants in the hospitality field, such as Disney and Latitudes Margaritaville, are already recognizing the business potential, and introducing novel housing developments aimed at seniors.

The opportunities are not without challenges, and Kramer identified several, including affordability for the growing middle-income market, sometimes called “the forgotten middle.” In order to be successful in this new market, it will also be important to address both lifestyle and care needs for senior residents. Kramer’s recommendation is “to leverage industry expertise to deliver what seniors want in terms of lifestyle choices, and what they need in terms of care.”

According to Kramer, the challenge for those entering the market, ”is to deliver personalized experiences that are metaphors for being alive rather than signals that meaningful life is over. The demand will be huge, but this product is yet to be delivered.”Read the full piece in the Boston Hospitality Review.

 

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Housing For Middle-Income Seniors

Middle-Income Seniors – The Forgotten Middle

When it comes to senior housing, wealthy seniors can pay their own way and low-income seniors often qualify for Medicaid. The real problem is for those in the middle. They aren’t wealthy enough for private pay, yet they are too well-off for Medicaid. To make matters worse, the number of people stuck in the middle will nearly double over the next decade. Senior housing operators and policymakers have the opportunity to serve this new market, but how and to what extent?

Nexus founder and Fellow Bob Kramer discusses “The Forgotten Middle” with Nexus Fellow Caroline Pearson, senior vice president health care strategy, NORC at the University of Chicago in an episode of Foresight TV hosted by Steve Moran of Senior Living Foresight.

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Skills in the Aging Services Industry

A Guide for Cultivating CEO Skills in the Aging Services Industry

In December, Jacquelyn Kung, Bob Kramer, and Ed Frauenheim published a column in McKnight’s Senior Living discussing the 5 critical CEO skills needed for the future of aging services. These included personal depth, operational savvy, industry awareness, government smarts and megatrend acumen. In response to the column, many readers asked for advice on how to develop these skills. Here are three things to keep in mind if you want to develop the CEO skills needed for the future of aging services.

Know thyself. Know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. And not just “hard” skills like finance or technology. You must know your emotional self. This emotional intelligence helps to create caring communities that people want to be a part of. It also helps you relate to and inspire all the people in your organization, top to bottom. 

Know others. Create a large, diverse network of friends and colleagues, especially those outside of aging services. It’s very handy to know thinkers and experts in other fields who you can call on for instant wisdom.

Know thy world. Keep up with developments in areas outside of elder services. There’s good reason to think big changes in culture, technology and economics will also have big impacts on senior living in the years ahead. The article provides three concrete takeaways in regard to the above three tenets. Read the full article here at McKnight’s Long-Term Care

Engagement Disruption eBook

Engagement Disruption – A New eBook from Bob Kramer and Sara Kyle, Ph.D.

Many senior living communities are preparing to get back to business as usual after the pandemic. This, however, is a mistake and a missed opportunity. Engagement Disruption: Start Engaging The Resident Journey is a new eBook co-authored by Bob Kramer, founder and fellow of Nexus Insights and co-founder and strategic advisor to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, and Sara Kyle, Ph.D., founder of LE3 Solutions. In it they outline the opportunities for senior communities as they prepare for a post-pandemic reopening.

They describe a new aspirational model of engagement based on individual resident goals and passions rather than just a busy activities calendar. Find out why the standard answers to questions like “how will mom stay in touch with the outside world” and “how will you keep dad engaged?” aren’t good enough anymore.

Instead, ask your residents: What’s next for you? What are your goals and aspirations? What would you like to learn and do? And, more importantly, how can you contribute to the wider community? The answers to these questions will help you form an aspirational model of engagement for each community member. The authors indicate that reopening in a post-covid world is a unique opportunity that should not be missed.

Read more by Downloading the eBook here.

Five Skills New CEOs will Need to Know

Nearly three-fourths of senior living communities CEOs will retire in just a few years according to a study by Ziegler. What qualities will the next CEOs need to have to successfully navigate the changes coming in the next decade and beyond? In a McKnight’s op-ed, Jacquelyn Kung, Bob Kramer, and Ed Frauenheim share the five key skills these CEOs will need in the very near future.

These key skills include personal depth, operational savvy, industry awareness, government smarts, and megatrend acumen. 

Read the full piece at McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care.

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Innovation for Senior Living

Are We Being Bold Enough? Bob Kramer Keynotes SLIF 2021

Nexus founder and Fellow Bob Kramer set the tone of this year’s Senior Living Innovation Forum by kicking off the first day of the conference with a provocative keynote speech. “Are we being bold enough?” asked Kramer. “No. The industry demands a significant shakeup.”

What does innovation mean for the next generation of senior living customers? Will they be our customers? Is increased longevity a blessing or a curse? Will the boomers be a vast resource that is both unwilling and unwanted as contributors to our society and economy? What does senior living have to do with it? And what about those who have been left behind in the longevity revolution?

According to Kramer, the upcoming generation of senior living customers “wants nothing to do with senior living” because the image that comes into their minds when they think about senior living is a negative one. It is our job, he said, to reimagine and redefine what senior living can mean for the next generation.  

His keynote set off some lively conversations and debates, with several following speakers referencing and adding further insight to Kramer’s remarks.

Other highlights of the event include a talk from Nexus Fellow and SmartLiving 360 CEO Ryan Frederick about his book, “Right Place, Right Time: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home for the Second Half of Life” and Fellow Sarah Thomas’ interactive session on experience design.

 

Watch Bob Kramer’s entire speech:

 

Photo courtesy of Influence Group.

 

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Jacquelyn Kung and Bob Kramer discuss surprises about Senior Living during the pandemic

Foresight TV Recap: The Counterintuitive Way to Attract More Move-Ins

The media has gotten it wrong when it comes to its coverage of senior living, particularly during the pandemic. 

“There’s a stereotype that older adults, especially those living in any type of senior living community, have lost all independent agency. So that feeds the perception, the sense that in the midst of COVID, they’re desperately lonely, desperately afraid,” said Bob Kramer, Founder and Fellow of Nexus Insights. “There’s no common perception that they, too, could rise to a crisis, just like we see other people in society do.” 

Senior Living Foresight publisher Steve Moran hosted Kramer and Jacquelyn Kung, Nexus Fellow and CEO of Activated Insights, in a recent episode of Foresight TV entitled “The Counterintuitive Way to Attract More Move-Ins.” 

“Media tends to write stories that reinforce what journalists feel, or what they believe their audience feels, and add facts to magnify those feelings,” said Kung. 

But it’s more than just the media, according to Kramer, “All of us quickly fall into believing in stereotypes, and parroting them. That narrative doesn’t get it right at all. And that’s what we’re trying to address, with the rich data that Jacquelyn and her team have collected at Activated Insights.”

Activated Insights has been surveying senior living residents and their families since 2018. These surveys provide insights into the actual experiences that residents and their families have with congregate living. Their experiences during the COVID pandemic and shutdown are surprisingly different from the national perception. 

One of the surprising findings: When looking at the incidence of loneliness in congregate settings, specifically senior living, the Activated Insights research found that just under 20% of seniors counted themselves as very lonely. 

“I think the image over the last year-and-a-half is that everyone in a senior living community is feeling trapped and lonely,” reported Kung. “But 4 out of 5 seniors are not feeling like that.”

Even more surprising? Prior to COVID, the incidence of loneliness among senior living residents was 26-27%, higher than what was found during the pandemic shutdown.

“It’s not that we’re saying there aren’t some very lonely and scared seniors in our senior living communities,” Kramer added. “But the perception that all seniors are feeling terrified, trapped and lonely isn’t borne out by what the data show. We’re all quick to jump onto stereotypes, and sometimes those stereotypes miss what’s truly going on. We want to get that contrarian message out.”

“Providers believe they know how their residents feel, because they hear from them every day,” she added. “But do they hear from everybody? No.” – Jacquelyn Kung

According to Kung, prior to the pandemic, resident survey responses frequently focused on “the usual: the food, the seasoning, the staff.” But during the pandemic, “The comments were an outpouring of community and belonging,” as well as gratitude for being in the community, and gratitude for feeling safe. “This isn’t what the media is covering about the pandemic,” she said.

The two pointed out that now, when the industry is particularly stressed, the data provide insights into how to attract people to live in a congregate setting. The important stories to tell are those about the sense of being safe, of belonging, and being part of the community. “It’s contrary to the perception,” said Kung.

“Providers believe they know how their residents feel, because they hear from them every day,” she added. “But do they hear from everybody? No. And providers are often surprised at the results when they finally survey everyone. When you don’t actually ask people, then you may be working on the wrong things. You may not be working on things that actually matter to your customers. How do we delight and provide quality experiences for our customers and their families? It’s by hearing from everyone, and not just a few who come to you.”

Listen to the full episode.

Jacquelyn Kung is the CEO of Activated Insights and a Nexus Insights Fellow. Bob Kramer is the Founder and Fellow of Nexus Insights. He is the co-founder, Strategic Advisor, and former CEO of NIC. Steve Moran is Publisher of Senior Living Foresight.

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Experience design in senior living

Experience Design for the Often Undervalued Longevity Market 

For Sarah Thomas, CEO of consulting company Delight by Design, and a Nexus Insights Fellow, “experience design” is about creating “an engaging experience that brings value to the consumer and delights them throughout the customer journey.” This is especially true in the longevity market, a market Thomas says has been undervalued in the past, and which is where her company is focused.

Delight by Design works with firms that are looking to design more accessible products or more inclusive services, and investors who are looking to expand their portfolios. These organizations may need assistance in understanding the wants, needs and market opportunities for the older adult consumers. That’s where the Delight by Design team truly shines.

Thomas was featured recently in an article entitled, “How Tech and Common Sense is Bringing Experience Design to Senior Living” on the Senior Living Innovation Forum (SLIF) blog. “Applying my background as an occupational therapist,” Thomas told SLIF, “I focus on human-centered design to create environments and experiences where residents are living their best lives, not defined by age.”

According to Thomas, experience design can “help companies foster a sense of purpose, encourage community engagement, improve mental health, elevate physical activity, increase healthspan and lifespan.”  

“We want it at the touch of a button with on-demand functionality, and we should be expecting the evolving consumer to want the same in senior living.”

Technology plays an important role in experience design, not for its own sake, but for how it can improve efficiencies and help consumers. “In Silicon Valley, we design products to replace the greatest caregiver of all—Mom!” Thomas said. “Bring me food, clean my house, make my bed, and drive me! We want it at the touch of a button with on-demand functionality, and we should be expecting the evolving consumer to want the same in senior living.”

Thomas predicts that tech-based experience design innovations will bring improvements across the entire senior living experience. She predicts that seniors, who are used to living in a high-tech world, will come to expect it. “We need more availability of basic tech-enabled experiences; we need to offer technology that reaches families beyond the walls of a resident’s community, includes more telehealth, counseling, dietary support, and increased access to other resources that improve quality of life across all dimensions of wellness,” she said.

Read the full article.

Sarah Thomas will discuss the importance of experience design at this year’s Senior Living Innovation Forum in October. Nexus Fellows Bob Kramer and Ryan Frederick will also be sharing their expertise as speakers.

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Seniors in group living situations are less lonely and more optimistic

Seniors in group living centers are feeling less lonely now and more optimistic

By Jacquelyn Kung, Robert G. Kramer and Ed Frauenheim

Contrary to popular opinion, recent studies show that older adults are not languishing in lonely isolation. “In fact, a large percentage of seniors in our communities are not lonely,” said Robert Kramer, Founder and Fellow of Nexus Insights and Strategic Advisor for NIC. “The common perceptions —  they’re wrong, ageist and miss the hopefulness of seniors in their finding a sense of community, even in the midst of the pandemic.”

In the past, we have seen people come together during national emergencies “to form communities around a common threat and a common need,” Kramer explained. “The one group we don’t expect it from at all are older adults in senior living communities —  but they are, and they are demonstrating it,” Kramer said.

Authors Jacquelyn Kung, Robert Kramer and Ed Frauenheim point to our elders as role models for healing the nation, and showing us how to live more fully than ever, in their recent column in the Dallas Morning News.


Our poor elders.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, and media coverage of seniors, you might think basically all seniors today are traumatized and lonely, right?

Wrong.

The stereotype of isolated, forlorn elders belies recent surveys of older adults in senior living settings.

Just 20% of senior living residents are severely lonely, according to a new 64,000-person survey from software firm Activated Insights. In fact, this survey of seniors in assisted living and other congregate living settings reveals a potential decline in loneliness among elders in retirement communities from before the pandemic. Prior studies before the pandemic of community-dwelling older adults found higher rates of loneliness.

We would argue that we as a country have a biased — and potentially ageist — narrative when it comes to elders living in congregate settings.

In fact, we should learn from the resilience of elders in the face of formidable challenges.

The stereotype of isolated, forlorn elders belies recent surveys of older adults in senior living settings.

Granted, the recent Activated Insights survey does not include most nursing homes, where particularly frail elders live. And the number of older adults in senior living settings overall, roughly 2 million people, is a fraction of the total U.S. senior population.

Still, the new research offers inspiration to the rest of the county as we work to construct our post-COVID reality and battle what some have deemed widespread languishing.

A key lesson from our elders in this moment is the power of community, friendship and gratitude.

Consider Patricia Finick of Dallas, co-author Jacquelyn Kung’s mother-in-law. By any measure, the 81-year-old has been through a lot. Her husband of more than 50 years died in 2019. After sitting in an empty home for half a year, she chose to sell her house in Connecticut, 20 minutes from where she was born, and relocate to Dallas.

In January 2020, she moved into Highland Springs, a senior living community in North Dallas. Finick swapped a 2,200-square-foot home for a 900-square-foot apartment. And then COVID-19 swooped in, isolating her in her new home before she had a chance to meet new friends.

Despite a very difficult year, Finick doesn’t feel beaten down in this moment. No, life is looking more hopeful to her. And she’s excited about engaging in more activities. “As long as my legs will let me, I’m going to go out and do it,” she says. “And if my legs don’t work well, I can get a walker.”

A key lesson from our elders in this moment is the power of community, friendship and gratitude.

One key to her optimism is her Catholic faith. Another is her set of friends, both long-standing phone buddies as well as some new friends she has met at Highland Springs over the past year. She’s part of a breakfast club, a group of residents who gather most mornings. “They’re really, really friendly, and we have a lot of laughs together,” Finick says.

Finick’s contentment is echoed by other residents of senior living settings, according to the Activated Insights survey of residents and family members during the first half of this year.

Many elders in these settings expressed gratitude, both for the sense of belonging they experience and for the caring they received from staff members of their communities.

Consider these survey comments from seniors:

“I’m more than satisfied with life. I feel safe and am especially grateful for the careful response to COVID-19. Gratitude and blessings.”

“(I had) a feeling of safety during a time of great vulnerability. Having the opportunity to make new friends helps a lot.”

These aren’t cherry-picked quotes. Before COVID, when asked for comments about the best thing about the senior living community, 20% or fewer responses were about belonging, community, appreciating the staff and being safe. This year, though, 60% to 70% of “best thing” comments mentioned those themes.

As a nation, America could use a booster shot of resilience. Observers note a kind of COVID hangover, or apathy.

Seniors in congregate settings, who in some ways bore the brunt of the pandemic, offer guidance for a brighter path forward. These older adults may be more willing than younger Americans to acknowledge our interdependence as human beings, experiencing the support they receive not with resentment but appreciation.

Far from feeling fearful, sad and isolated, seniors are showing us how to live more fully than ever.

A few months ago in The News, we authors urged the country to rethink how we view senior citizens and engage elders in the work of healing the nation.

The latest data suggests seniors are already doing this work. Far from feeling fearful, sad and isolated, many of them are showing us how to live more fully than ever.

Patricia Finick, for one, looks forward to more dinners and concerts with her new friends. Together, they are eager to put the last vestiges of the pandemic behind them.

Says Finick: “There is a whole world out there to explore.”

Read the article.

Jacquelyn Kung is CEO of Activated Insights and a Nexus Insights Fellow.

Robert G. Kramer is a Nexus Insights Founder and Fellow, and Strategic Advisor & former CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC).

Ed Frauenheim is co-author of several books on organizational culture, including “A Great Place to Work for All.”

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Tag Archive for: Bob Kramer

2022 SLIF Fall Conference

Senior Living Innovation Forum 2022 Fall Conference

The senior housing industry is undergoing a radical transformation. SLIF Fall is the place where the industry’s boldest leaders can have unfiltered conversations and explore the great unknowns ahead.
2022 NIC Fall Conference - Forward Together

Nexus Fellows at 2022 NIC Fall Conference

With thousands of senior housing and care leaders in attendance, the NIC Fall Conference is the place to deepen existing relationships, create new partnerships, and discover innovative strategies to adapt to an evolving market.

More info

Register

WSU Granger Cobb Leaders Live with Bob Kramer

Bob Kramer speaks at WSU Granger Cobb’s Foundations of Senior Living Industry – Leaders Live

FOUNDATIONS OF SENIOR LIVING INDUSTRY – LEADERS LIVE
AUGUST 23 @ 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM

Speaker: Bob Kramer, Nexus Insights

Join via Zoom: Leaders Live

More info at the Washington State University website.

vision2025-ziegler-2022

Bob Kramer at Vision 2025 Symposium 3.0: Executing the Vision

Bob Kramer will be attending this year’s Vision 2025 Symposium.

Register by June 13, 2022

SLIF spring 2022

Nexus Fellows at the 2022 Senior Living Innovation Forum Spring Conference

Join Nexus Fellows Bob Kramer and Sarah Thomas at 2022 SLIF.

Sarah Thomas’ mastermind session will be on adopting new technologies.

About Senior Living Innovation Forum – Spring Conference

Now more than ever, senior housing leaders must be willing to challenge their assumptions. SLIF is the place where the industry’s boldest leaders can have unfiltered conversations and explore the great unknowns ahead.

More info at Senior Living Innovation Forum

NYSHFA NYSCAL

Anne Tumlinson and Bob Kramer speak at NYSHFA | NYSCAL’s Annual Conference & Expo

Nexus Fellows Anne Tumlinson, founder & CEO of ATI Advisory, and Bob Kramer, founder of Nexus, will speak on the final day of the conference.

The Future of Long-Term Care

Many of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care were unanticipated and caused incredible disruptions to existing systems of delivering care. These disruptions changed many of the patterns in which providers operate and deliver care, including matters ranging from workforce shortages, reimbursement, technology and communication applications to transparency issues, market assessments and data analysis. This panel will discuss these and other topics in examing the future of long-term care and the changes that are temporary and those that are permanent moving forward.

 

The Annual Conference & Expo is NYSHFA | NYSCAL’s largest event. In addition to offering three days of education, covering a wide variety of topics that have appeal across many disciplines, this event includes an exposition to showcase the latest products and services available to the long-term care community. The audience is typically comprised of Owner/Operators, Administrators, Executive Directors, Medical Directors, DONs, and members of the Clinical Teams for SNFs, as well as all staff of Assisted Living Facilities. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to see inspiring speakers, attend great education, and network with industry peers!

More info at NYSHFA | NYSCAL

Granger Cobb Leaders Live Bob Kramer

WSU Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living – Leaders LIVE! in 45 with Bob Kramer

Nexus Founder and Fellow Bob Kramer will be presenting at the Leaders LIVE! in 45 at the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living May 10 at 2pm PT.

Join via Zoom.

Foresight TV

Foresight TV with Bob Kramer and Caroline Pearson

Nexus founder and Fellow Bob Kramer sits down with Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at NORC at the University of Chicago, March 11. Follow Senior Living Foresight on LinkedIn and YouTube to watch live.

A New Day

NIC 2022 Spring Conference

Senior housing and care leaders are convening in Dallas to explore new models of community and care, build strategic partnerships, and stay ahead of industry disruption, as they shape a new era. Don’t miss the year’s most important gathering of operator, investor, and healthcare provider decision-makers.

Nexus Fellows Bob Kramer, Sarah Thomas and Jacquelyn Kung will be in attendance.

More info can be found at NIC

Leading Age

2022 LeadingAge Maine & New Hampshire Conference

April 5 – Planning for a Post-Pandemic World

Keynote Speaker: Bob Kramer, Founder and Fellow, Nexus Insights, and Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor of National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC)

COVID-19 has propelled senior housing into the future faster than we anticipated as we approach the end of the first-generation senior living product developed to serve the Greatest Generation. Nationally renowned expert Bob Kramer will share data from new research on the impact COVID-19 has had on congregate settings for seniors. He will discuss what the future holds for senior housing and care leaders after a pandemic that has taken such an enormous toll on our residents, our teams and our image.

LeadingAge Maine & New Hampshire