Five Predictions for Senior Living Trends authors

5 Predictions for Senior Living Trends in 2021

In 2020, COVID-19 slammed many industries, but the hardest hit was definitely senior living.

But 2021 offers leaders in this industry several unique opportunities to turn the corner. An immediate need is to prevent additional infections and make communities safer, in part through effective distribution of vaccines. However, even as senior living executives manage the ongoing crisis, they must build towards the future. The pandemic didn’t create many of the problems that are now being spotlighted as glaring issues in the senior housing world. We are now at a crossroads, a perfect opportunity to renew the mission of senior living.

We predict five trends will be critical to Senior Living in 2021. Will your organization seize the moment or miss the boat?

Five Predictions for Senior Living Trends 2021

Click to download as pdf

 

Dr. Jacquelyn Kung is CEO of Activated Insights, the senior care partner of workplace culture authority Great Place to Work. Robert G. Kramer is founder of think tank Nexus Insights and former CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), a resource for data and analytics for the senior housing and care industry. Ed Frauenheim is co-author of several books on workplace culture, including A Great Place to Work for All

Kelsey Mellard CEO of Sitka

Sitka raises $14M, expands partnerships, and grows team to help transform specialty care

Big news from Nexus Fellow & Sitka CEO Kelsey Mellard:

In 2018, we founded Sitka to help improve access to and delivery of specialty care across the nation. Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve raised $14 million in Series A financing led by Venrock, with participation from existing investors. This round of funding will enable us to accelerate product development and expand growth with new and existing partners.

When we started Sitka, our mission was to bring specialty care into a value-based care system that works better for primary care providers, specialists, and most importantly, for patients. This year, the pandemic accelerated our work and vConsults have become a crucial tool within the healthcare industry. We have onboarded hundreds of fellowship-trained specialty physicians to our network and partnered with large healthcare systems and national primary care providers, including ChenMed.

As part of our commitment to improving the specialty care experience for patients and providers, we’re also excited to welcome Darshak Sanghavi, MD, former Chief Medical Officer of UnitedhealthCare Medicare & Retirement, as an advisor.

It’s been an unusual year, but I’m so proud of the Sitka team and how much we have grown together. As an always and fully remote team, Sitka was uniquely prepared for the fast shift into a fully digital reality.

Now, as we enter the next Sitka chapter, I’m excited to grow our team, expand partnerships, and transform access to care. Together, we can drastically improve the experience for primary care providers and specialists. Most importantly, we can improve care for patients.

Kelsey Mellard, Sitka CEO

Reposted from trustsitka.com.

Read the full announcement.

Dallas Morning News Senior Living and COVID

Nexus Insights Fellows offer 5-point plan for fixing the post-COVID senior living industry

“COVID-19 gave the senior living industry a black eye.”

That is the opening statement of a provocative op-ed piece in The Dallas Morning News by Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Senior Care Group at Activated Insights and a Nexus Insights Fellow, with Nexus Insights Founder and Fellow Robert G. Kramer and author Ed Frauenheim.

“Few industries have been as wounded by COVID-19 as the senior housing and care sector,” the article claims. It goes on to say, “The statistics are eye-popping. ‘Residents of long-term care facilities constitute less than 1% of the U.S. population, yet 43% of all COVID-19 deaths through June occurred in those places,’ AARP Bulletin reported in December. ‘The number has changed little since.’”

But the op-ed, entitled, “How the senior living industry can heal itself and all of us” provides both hope and a game plan for helping the industry recover.

The authors, all veteran observers of the senior living industry, offer five practical solutions for “repairing and renewing the industry.”

Read the full article here.

Nexus Insights

Nexus Insights: Clearinghouse for Ideas

In April of 2020 I wrote in this blog’s first post, that, “now is the time to understand what is changing, and why – and to plan for the post-COVID world.” Explaining the purpose of Nexus Insights, I wrote, “We recognize that there will be major changes, not just in seniors housing and care, but in all aging services, and in how we, as a society, will view aging itself, as well as older adults. The disruption this will cause will involve a range of industries beyond just healthcare, including hospitality, multifamily, retail, transportation, technology, and more. It will become necessary to create experiences for these customers, customized to their preferences – and demands.”

The Nexus mission

None of that has changed. The question for Nexus was how best to enable leaders to meet the challenges underway and seize opportunities being created.

In working with Nexus’ incredibly talented Fellows, particularly with Kelsey Mellard, Sarah Thomas, Jacquelyn Kung, and Ryan Frederick, it became clear that we all must revisit how we think about aging more broadly. This involves collecting and disseminating new ideas. Nexus Insights’ approach has therefore pivoted – to focus on helping leaders across a range of business sectors to challenge and change assumptions about aging, age-related abilities, and aging services.

To achieve this broader goal, Nexus Insights will become a “clearinghouse” for ideas, spotlighting new thinking on the future of housing and aging services for older adults. More broadly, we seek to encourage debate and discussion on what it means, and what it could mean, to age in America.

Introducing the Nexus “Fellows”

I am very pleased to be able to announce that all twelve of our established, extraordinary, and distinguished advisors have agreed, with enthusiasm, to embrace a more content-oriented approach. Together, this group of Nexus “Fellows,” representing a broad array of perspectives, has committed to help guide Nexus Insights’ initiatives, and to provide insights and provoke discussion and debate via speaking engagements, webinars, podcasts, blog posts, articles, and other published works, all of which will be available here on the Nexus Insights website. I have little doubt that, with this incredibly talented and knowledgeable team of Fellows, Nexus will deliver on its promise not only to encourage new thinking – but to drive transformation in aging and aging services.

Looking ahead – what is next?

Looking ahead, expect to find the latest, most controversial, most thought-provoking, and most important new ideas here on Nexus Insights. As a group of Fellows, we will be regularly publishing original new content – but we will also act as a “clearinghouse” to collect and disseminate high quality content. We will actively pursue a broader audience, promoting these ideas to leaders across a variety of settings, including

  • Business
  • Public policy
  • Academic research across seniors housing and care
  • Medicare and Medicaid services
  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Technology.

As I wrote back in April 2020, “There is a great deal of opportunity, once we’re past the crisis – but there’s a lot of risk, too. If leaders don’t adapt during this period of immense disruption in attitudes, demographic shifts, technological capabilities, and customer expectations, then others will. Those offering old models from the old world will soon find themselves out-moded, the disrupted instead of the disruptor, in a new world order designed and built by their competitors.” Our mission today is to help ensure that as many leaders as possible have access to the newest and best ideas on aging and quality of life, catalyzing meaningful, market-driven reform at a time when it is needed the most.

Elevate Eldercare Podcast Bob Kramer

Opportunities and Disruptive Moments: an Elevate Eldercare Podcast

Bob Kramer believes that, as difficult as it is, the pandemic is a “huge opportunity” that shouldn’t be wasted. He was invited to share his thoughts on the pandemic and its impact on seniors housing with Susan Ryan of The Green House Project in this week’s Elevate Eldercare podcast.

Kramer is the President and Founder of Nexus Insights. He is also the founder of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) and now serves as its strategic advisor. Drawing on this background, as well as his experience as a state legislator, he explains why he thinks that boosting community-based services will be good for nursing homes, and why we shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of preventing social isolation and loneliness among elders during a crisis. He also tips his hat to those who work in the field, who should be proud of the great work they are doing.

Susan Ryan is the Senior Director of The Green House Project. Her weekly podcasts invite thought leaders with diverse perspectives for “uncomfortable conversations” about aging and the eldercare industry.

Listen to the podcast:
Apple Podcast
Spotify
Stitcher

doctor using keyboard for virtual visit

Telehealth and Senior Living

Telehealth is here to stay: A guidebook

By: Kelsey Mellard, CEO and Co-founder at Sitka, Robin Glass, President at Doctor On Demand, Caroline Ririe, Chief of Staff at Sitka

Telehealth, telemedicine, virtual care, eConsult, store-and-forward…what does this all mean? More importantly, how do you better serve your resident populations — in a global pandemic and onward? Telehealth is a broad term that seems to get caught in a tangled web of policy, compliance, and reimbursement. However, telehealth brings incredible promise to our highest risk populations in this pandemic, and has transformational implications for the way healthcare will be delivered even once the pandemic is behind us.

Imagine an 87-year-old woman living in a senior living community. She falls on her way to the bathroom, hurting her hip and hitting her head. She is able to call for help and the night staff comes to her room. The young man on duty helps her back in bed, but knows she needs medical attention. He types her name into the iPad on the wall and is immediately connected with an ER doctor. The physician introduces herself, asks a few basic questions, and directs the night staff employee through a physical examination. She then directs the night staff employee to take a photo of the resident’s eyes to include in a neurology consult. The physician reassures the woman that everything is fine for now, but that she will need to get an x-ray in the coming days. The physician also explains that she will deliver the news from the neurologist in the morning, but there is nothing to worry about now. The woman is able to fall asleep and wakes up to a message from her ER doctor and a neurologist providing her detailed instructions around her care plan and the next steps — reassuring her she will be alright. She shares the videos with her senior living facility staff, children, and grandchildren.

How was this possible? First, the senior living community had synchronous primary and urgent care telehealth services. The operator of the property had already gathered key health data, emergency contacts, and consent, all of which was integrated into their in-room tablet and HIPAA compliant telehealth portal. The telehealth ER doctor was able to immediately access the key information and pair it with the incident requiring medical attention. Second, the operator and telehealth provider had asynchronous telehealth services for specialty care and video communication. This enabled the ER doctor to access specialists and receive care plan guidance within hours while also communicating key information to the resident in a shareable, repeatable, and personalized video message. This solution is what enabled the woman to have a neurology consult without leaving her room and receive a summary of her experience and next steps to re-watch, show her staff nurses, and share with concerned family.

Effective use of telehealth can result in reductions in ER visits, readmissions, and unnecessary COVID-19 exposures, while empowering front-line staff and improving the resident and family experience altogether. Telehealth has the potential to drive immense value for residents and providers alike within seniors housing. It may feel like this vision is a long way off, but the solutions are ready and available — operators need only understand what their options are and thus what best fits with their priorities.

A brief history

The history of telehealth goes back several decades. Telehealth was first authorized in Medicare in 1997. Shortly thereafter, the internet boom democratized access to information, accelerating innovation across industries and instigating the rise of consumer choice (“consumerism”). The Affordable Care Act initiated a healthcare course correction toward value-based care, all while consumers were starting to expect the same kind of options, service, and convenience with their healthcare that they were experiencing when buying groceries, booking a plane ticket, or customizing a pair of shoes.

By the beginning of 2020, the majority of healthcare providers and hospital systems had started offering telehealth or at least had it on their strategic roadmap for the coming years, as it demonstrated the potential to not only please healthcare consumers, but also address rising healthcare costs and quality care access inequities. As such, telehealth has been on an upward trajectory for decades, albeit a slow one, until now.

When COVID-19 hit the US, cities, counties, and numerous states went under shelter in place policies. For millions of Americans, and thousands of healthcare providers, the need for telehealth options became urgent. CMS used emergency rulemaking to provide Medicare telehealth flexibilities for the duration of the pandemic. This expanded telehealth-eligible services, provided tech mode flexibilities, and expanded the types of practitioners eligible to provide telehealth services. Adoption skyrocketed, both by physicians and their patients, primarily older adults.

COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the proliferation of telehealth as a key element in care delivery. Now, telehealth is in the toolkit of nearly all providers and is an option for nearly all patients, including millions of seniors housing and care residents. According to a study done by McKinsey & Co, by May 2020, 76% of consumers said they are now interested in using telehealth going forward. User adoption coupled with telehealth’s impact potential on triage, coordination, productivity and convenience will ensure its continued presence in healthcare — and seniors housing — as we know it.

Telehealth today

Telehealth can simply be defined as care delivered via virtual communication between patients and healthcare providers or providers to other providers.

There are many vendors offering a variety of telehealth solutions in today’s market. it is important to understand the defining variables that sit behind the vast array of options.

1. Modality: Telehealth can be delivered through a variety of media — audio, video, or text. It is critical to consider the richness of the media. Video and other virtual media are the closest to in-person, while text may feel impersonal or automated.

2. Timing: Telehealth can be delivered both synchronously and asynchronously. Synchronous refers to live communication such as a phone call. Asynchronous refers to communication that is delivered and then stored until the recipient reviews it — think of a voicemail (this is also referred to as store and forward). The value of synchronous telehealth is that it most closely resembles an in-person appointment. Asynchronous telehealth can also provide significant value to both patients and providers, as it eliminates the need for scheduling and can be referred back to, shared, or re-consumed.

3. Participants: The most common use for telehealth is between patient and healthcare provider. Telehealth also empowers senior living care workers to take an active role in their residents’ care journeys, through three-way visits. The ability to include family or caregivers in the care process leads to better communication and decision-making for the resident. Telehealth also extends to virtual communication for care delivery purposes between two healthcare providers — think of a second opinion, or a consult. This mode of telehealth can collapse the care cycle by empowering frontline providers with specialist expertise — reducing wait times, coordinating care, and reducing medical costs.

4. Provider integration: Many telehealth companies offer hardware or software to facilitate care. Others offer integration with provider networks, and occasionally operate as their own health system. Doctor On Demand, for example, has a network of board-certified primary care physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, and physician-led care teams. Similarly, Sitka is supported by a vast network of specialty providers such as dermatologists, cardiologists, neurologists, etc.

There are a myriad of options, and there is a lot to consider, but this should help set structure around the landscape of offerings.

Telehealth and senior care

Senior housing and care providers are uniquely positioned to reap value from telehealth for residents, families, staff, and the senior living communities themselves. Seniors housing has a captive user base around the clock and immediate economies of scale upon adopting a new solution. These communities largely have the power to control access and devices, while the expertise needed for physical examinations is usually available on site, oftentimes eliminating the need for in-person visits to your community. By employing telehealth solutions, operators can significantly decrease the need for in-person trips to the doctor’s office, or the emergency department, which families and residents now prefer to avoid.

The seniors housing population itself has greater need and greater reward for telehealth. The senior population accounts for the highest proportion of medical costs in the US, driven by ER visits and inpatient stays. Many times, conditions are worsened by travel and unnecessary exposures — avoidable with telehealth. Also, the senior population is eligible for value-based care (e.g., capitated Medicare Advantage Plans), which eliminates the incentive for excessive doctor visits or procedures and instead encourages timely and preventive care.

Seniors housing and care communities are home to over 3 million older adults, most of whom have multiple chronic conditions. The pandemic has brought with it heightened fear by these seniors and their adult children of traditional healthcare delivery settings, such as the hospital, the emergency department, and even the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Seniors increasingly both want and need to have healthcare services brought to their residential communities.

A clear opportunity exists for every type of senior living property, but telehealth is not one size fits all. Each senior living type, brand, and property should be assessed to identify how telehealth can be implemented to solve its most pressing needs.

First, structural elements must be assessed: skilled nursing availability, staff coverage, resident health plan membership mix, technological infrastructure (e.g., wifi, device access). Each of these factors will be key considerations as you balance budgetary constraints and feasibility of the different telehealth offerings.

It’s also important to factor in the intangibles: brand, culture, family involvement, resident investment in community decisions, staff / management relationship. Think about the goals of your proposed telehealth solutions and how they fit into your organization’s identity. While telehealth poses significant value, does the solution you are considering align with your organizational strategy and mission? Consider making small adjustments to better fit with competing priorities.

As you set off on this journey, it will be important to remember the fundamental rule of change management: key stakeholders must be included in the conversation and bought-in at each step. Such stakeholders may change depending on the operator or property type, but consider leadership, staff, residents, and families. Inclusion may entail conducting a pilot with specific residents and staff that have high likelihood to champion the chance, or hosting a marketing event with families early on to communicate the goal for the new telehealth solution. Buy-in will be critical to early stage implementation and to long-term success of telehealth in your organization.

Telehealth is here to stay

Change management may be daunting, but telehealth is here to stay. The sooner your telehealth solution is up and running, the better your communities and your residents will be in the long run. Telehealth is a powerful way to offer your residents safe and timely care, and will only become more essential in the future.

In his recent “NIC Talk,” given at the 2020 NIC Fall Conference, Dr. Tim Ferris, CEO of the Mass General Physicians Organization, said that when it comes to the utilization of telehealth to bring services to seniors with chronic conditions, “We are not going back.” Indeed, telehealth offers senior housing providers opportunity for onsite triage and proactive management of residents’ chronic conditions, allowing this high-risk population to stay at home. Pandemic necessitated telehealth will hopefully diminish soon, but continued investment and change management will ensure improved healthcare services, outcomes, and comfort for seniors in years to come.

Sources: McKinsey report — Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?


About Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand, the nation’s leading virtual care provider, is reimagining what healthcare looks like for today’s world. Doctor On Demand’s nationwide healthcare platform puts the patient first by providing access to physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and a care coordination team via video visits, voice and messaging. Through its 5-star rated mobile application and website, patients can access quality care in all 50 states with an average wait time of 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Doctor On Demand delivers services through employers, health plans, Medicare Part B, and directly to consumers. While insurance isn’t required, tens of millions of Americans enjoy covered medical and behavioral health visits, including full mind and body services: preventive care, chronic care, urgent care, and behavioral health.

Doctor On Demand’s mission is to improve the world’s health through compassionate care and innovation. It is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. To access Doctor On Demand, download the app (App Store or Google Play) or visit www.doctorondemand.com.

About Sitka

Sitka is an asynchronous telehealth platform supercharged by a virtual specialty provider network serving primary care providers, chronic care management programs, and care-routing programs, to name a few.

Sitka offers asynchronous telehealth solutions, all of which are browser and device agnostic. Sitka’s video consults, vConsults, connect front-line providers with specialist expertise and care guidance within hours — no scheduling. vConsults can also be shared with patients. Sitka’s video messages, vMessages, allow providers to communicate with patients through a personalized, educational artifact the patient can share with their friends and family to improve patient experience and care plan adherence.

Sitka’s mission is to foster informed, effective, and trusted care delivery for all patients by every provider. Learn more at trustsitka.com.

 

This article was originally posted on Medium by Sitka, Inc.

Capital + Strategy Virtual Summit 2020

EVENT: Capital + Strategy Virtual Summit 2020, Dec 8

CALA Summer Symposium

Bob Kramer Provides Insights on Finding Opportunities Amidst Disruption at the CALA Summer Symposium

COVID-19 has brought new challenges to senior housing and the aging services industry. Those challenges can be framed as hurdles, or they can compel us to rethink how we do things, and can provide a catalyst for innovation.

How do you make that switch, to finding the opportunities in the midst of difficult times? Join Bob Kramer, president of Nexus Insights, at the CALA Summer Symposium, where he will discuss how disruption can lead to opportunities to challenge the status quo. “The scope of the disruption and the speed of the changes triggered by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming, even as they are unprecedented,” said Kramer.

“What does this mean for the future of senior living?” he asked. “How will we change how we communicate with residents, family members and staff, how we think about the delivery of healthcare to our residents, and how we describe and deliver an attractive value proposition to prospective residents and their families? Why is a strong culture so essential in a crisis and why must we better segment our market and differentiate our products in the future?” Kramer is excited to address the difficult questions.

The founder of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), Kramer is a mentor to the industry, and an aging services entrepreneur. He recently started his newest venture, Nexus Insights, an advisory firm that helps clients by leveraging a network of leading thinkers and thinking leaders to develop provocative ideas and new models for the future of aging services. The company aims to help the industry and society rethink aging from every angle.

This presentation is part of the CALA Summer Symposium, which is being held virtually this year on June 23 and 24th. The annual symposium provides participants a chance to gather the information and encouragement that will bolster you in your work and help you fulfill your priority of making sure residents and team members stay safe and healthy.

The mission of the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) is the betterment of Assisted Living, Memory Care and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. It represents over 660 providers, and more than 150 associated businesses, and provides tools and resources to support day-to-day operations and quality of care for residents. It also supports ongoing advocacy efforts to help shape policy and clarify regulations.

In Kramer’s session, “Opportunities Amidst Disruption,” you will gain insights into how providers will rise up to meet current and future challenges, through grit, resilience, patience, innovation, and collaboration. The session is on Wednesday, June 24 at 1:15pm PT.

CALA Summer Symposium
June 23-24, 2020
Registration

Bob Kramer on Opportunities Amidst Disruption
Wednesday, June 24
1:15pm – 2:15pm PT

Bob Kramer Challenges Traditional Aging Models - Eden Alternative Live

Nexus Insights’ Bob Kramer Will Challenge Traditional Aging Models in an Online Eden Alternative Live Presentation

Nexus Insights President Bob Kramer will be challenging traditional approaches to aging and aging services in a live, online event hosted by The Eden Alternative. The event, which is free to attend, will stream live on Facebook and YouTube on May 6th at 3:30PM Eastern Time.

Kramer will be joined by Jill Vitale-Aussem, President and CEO of The Eden Alternative, for a discussion on ‘Rethinking Aging and Aging Services.’ Kramer and Vitale-Aussem, who recently joined Nexus Insights in the role of Advisor, will share insights on how COVID has impacted the senior living industry, reflecting on both the permanent changes and the opportunities that might result both in and out of the field of aging and aging services.

Vitale-Aussem describes Kramer, the founder and former CEO of The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), as “one of senior living’s most influential thought leaders.” She says, “We’re thrilled to have Bob Kramer join us on our Eden Alternative Live show. Bob’s voice and vision are perfectly aligned with the Eden Alternative’s work to disrupt the traditional framework of aging services, and drive empowered cultures of purpose, growth, meaning and belonging.”

Less than a month ago, amidst the virus chaos and coverage, serial entrepreneur Kramer recognized a terrific failing for the underserved senior population, which spurred the creation of Nexus Insights. The company leverages industry thought leaders and experts to help organizations think about, plan for and engage staff for their role in the future of our older adults and the world in which they thrive.

“The latent and blatant ageism portrayed in response to COVID-19 was a clear signal that we need to think differently about aging and the role of older adults,” says Kramer. “Nexus will lead organizations through the development of actionable, person-centered models which will reflect equally how we engage with older adults and how they engage with us.”

The Eden Alternative is an international, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating quality of life for Elders and their care partners, wherever they may live. Their mission is to improve the lives of the Elder and their Care Partners by transforming the communities where they live and work.

The live event is free to attend and will be broadcast live to Facebook and YouTube. These platforms allow people to join and watch in real time, engage in real time dialogue and ask questions during the event. Those unable to join during the event can view a recording later, and will still have the opportunity to comment and ask questions. 

Bob Kramer Challenges Traditional Aging Models - Eden Alternative Live May 6

Rethinking Aging and Aging Services
Wednesday, May 6th, 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT
Event link: https://bit.ly/2L0J1f7

Nexus Insights

Why Launch Nexus Insights Now?

In an April 3rd Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order,” Henry Kissinger argued that the COVID-19 crisis will forever change our world. Comparing this crisis to World War 2, the former secretary of state counseled America to plan for a new future, right now, “The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.” In terms of aging and aging services, this could hardly be more true. There will come a time when we will see the pandemic in the rear view mirror, but there will not come a time when we return to the old normal.

The disruption in seniors housing and care, which is now occurring at break-neck speed, is why I’ve chosen to launch Nexus Insights now, in the middle of this global crisis, for now is the time to understand what is changing, and why – and to plan for the post-COVID world.

Across our nation, operators and front line care workers are doing incredible things to protect residents and staff, even as the numbers of Americans infected continues to grow. In seniors housing and skilled nursing communities, these workers often must improvise, as many operators, often lacking sufficient government support, still must find their own personal protective equipment (PPE), secure adequate testing, and provide exhausted workers with other supports, such as childcare, meals, and healthy foods to bring their families. But operators must also anticipate and plan for when the worst of this crisis is behind us.

Only a few weeks ago, speaking about disruptive innovation at the 2020 NIC Spring Conference, I predicted that telehealth would become a major component of healthcare delivery for elders. I thought adoption of this existing technology was in its infant stages, and would gradually take hold as operators and providers began to understand its obvious advantages. But change takes time. I expected it would take three to six years before becoming the “new normal.” Here we are, three to six weeks later, and telehealth is now the new norm in healthcare delivery, and for the first time there are broad-based payments associated with it.

Other changes are taking place, just as rapidly. For the first time, seniors and their family members are fearful of hospitals. They will now view the prospect of sitting in a doctor’s waiting room during flu season as highly unsafe. Many now view their homes as the safest place, and will seek care that comes to them. These changes in the way people think will have enormous implications for senior care and aging services.

Nexus Insights is here to help leaders begin to think about and plan for a post-COVID-19 reality. We recognize that there will be major changes, not just in seniors housing and care, but in all aging services, and in how we, as a society, will view aging itself, as well as older adults. The disruption this will cause will involve a range of industries beyond just healthcare, including hospitality, multifamily, retail, transportation, technology, and more. It will become necessary to create experiences for these customers, customized to their preferences – and demands.

There is a great deal of opportunity, once we’re past the crisis – but there’s a lot of risk, too. If leaders don’t adapt during this period of immense disruption in attitudes, demographic shifts, technological capabilities, and customer expectations, then others will. Those offering old models from the old world will soon find themselves out-moded, the disrupted instead of the disruptor, in a new world order designed and built by their competitors.