Tag Archive for: Jacquelyn Kung

Senior Care Staffing Shortages

Senior Care Staffing Shortages

The skilled nursing industry has not recovered from staffing shortages spurred by the onset of the pandemic in 2020. According to Nexus Fellow and CEO of Activated Insights, Jacquelyn Kung, prior to COVID-19, employee turnover in senior care positions was 65%. It’s now at 85%.

“We need to look outside our own industry, we need to think about how we embed ourselves more in our communities and institute community hiring initiatives and rethink the requirements that we have in our role definitions,” said Kung.

An article, which appeared in Skilled Nursing News, poses possible solutions to staffing issues from experts in the aging industry.

  • Offer more hours to part-time workers
  • Provide work-life integration
  • Encourage workers to create their own solutions
  • Know what employees want in order to help retain and recruit

Read more at Skilled Nursing News.

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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

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

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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Best Senior Living Listing

U.S. News partners with Activated Insights, Launches Best Senior Living Listing

Big news for the senior living industry and for consumers. U.S. News & World Report, a company widely known for its health care rankings and consumer advice, has turned its attention to the senior living industry. The company, which has more than 40 million website visitors per month, has now launched a “Best Senior Living” listing.

To accomplish this, U.S. News has partnered with research firm Activated Insights

The company plans to launch the first listing in Quarter 1 of 2022. It will recognize senior living communities in four categories: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and life plan/continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). 

In an interview with Senior Housing News, Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights and Nexus Fellow, said that participating communities might be recognized in tiers such as “Best” and “Recognized.” Those communities that offer different levels of care will be evaluated separately in each category. She said that the listings will help consumers, while also benefiting the industry.

“There are incredible providers in our field transforming people’s lives,” Kung said. “We want to help those communities get the recognition they deserve and help consumers find those communities that best match what they’re looking for.”

U.S. News also plans to cover the senior living sector more regularly, to help clear up consumer confusion about the different types of senior living communities and how they are distinct from nursing homes, Kung told Senior Housing News.

“We want to help communities get the recognition they deserve and help consumers find those communities that best match what they’re looking for.” – Jacquelyn Kung

“For consumers, it’s a wonderful opportunity to have such a highly regarded group of organizations taking a look at our industry and sharing information that they can trust,” said Juniper Communities CEO, Lynne Katzmann.

More than 2,500 communities have committed to participating, according to McKnight’s Senior Living. Communities that earn recognition in the U.S. News listing will benefit from high visibility, an independent quality assessment to which they can refer families, and branding elements that can be used in consumer marketing. “There are no downsides to participating in this inaugural survey,” said Kung.

The cost to participate is $995 for smaller providers and $1,495 for larger providers. According to Kung, this covers the cost of survey administration. Neither Activated Insights nor U.S. News intends to make a profit from the participation fees. 

Find out more.

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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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LeadingAge Colorado

LeadingAge Colorado 2021 Assisted Living Virtual Conference

Thursday, October 14

9:00am – 9:05am MST
Opening Remarks

9:05-10:00am MST         
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Discussion
Idalia Hill, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Strategy & Operations Leader; Jacquelyn Kung, Activated Insights; Joell Siciliano, Sunrise Senior Living; Ali Edlestein, Sunrise Senior Living    Moderated by Anthony Ormsbee-Hale, Civitas Senior Living

The past few years have brought ever-increasing attention to diversity, equity and inclusion concerns in our society. Many assisted living providers, both here in Colorado and across the country, have taken steps to build a better understanding of diversity and inclusion among their constituencies. Join fellow thought leaders as they share the diversity and inclusion journeys communities have undertaken, and how that journey is enhancing the experience of residents and staff alike.

More info: https://www.leadingagecolorado.org/2021-assisted-living-conference

Argentum Senior Living - Better Together

Argentum – Igniting Your DE&I Journey

Over the last year, many organizations have made new or renewed commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Whether your organization has just begun a journey or wants to ignite a renewed commitment, the question remains – where do you start? Join this interactive panel to hear about the latest research, spark actionable ideas, and learn about resources and tools to support your organization’s DE&I strategy. During this panel discussion, you will:

  • Learn about the importance and value of building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace
  • Learn about the importance of leveraging data to build your DE&I strategy by first examining industry trends to help HR executives examine their own culture, practices, policies, and opportunities to build an intentional DE&I strategy
  • Learn about best DE&I practices from top Fortune 100 companies along with healthcare and hospitality sectors
  • Learn about critical elements of a DE&I plan
  • Learn about organizations, resources, and tools to get you started on your DE&I strategy journey


Panelists:

  • Mako Fitts Ward, PhD, Assistant, Professor of African American and Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation Arizona State University
  • Jacquelyn Kung, DrPH, CEO, Activated Insights
  • Akerah Mackey, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist, Vi Living


Moderator:

  • Judy Whitcomb, SVP, Organizational Strategy and Effectiveness, Vi Living

More info: https://conference.argentum.org/agenda-2021/

Argentum Senior Living - Better Together

Argentum – CEO Collaborative

Invitation Only

9:45 – 10:45 AM
Top 3 Ways to Increase Customer Leads Every CEO Must Know
Speaker: Jacquelyn Kung, DrPH, CEO, Activated Insights

11 AM – 12 PM
The Intersection of Senior Living Insurance, Claim Trends, and Public Policy
Speakers:

  • John Atkinson, Managing Director, Industry Leader and Chairman, Marsh Chicago
  • Tara Clayton, JD, Senior Vice President, Marsh Senior Care Practice

Sponsored by Marsh

More info: https://conference.argentum.org/agenda-2021/

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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