What began as a third party operator and manager of senior living salons is finding there’s potential for a much larger niche in services that cater to communities—outside of their operating companies.
PS Lifestyle, formerly known as Salon PS, is undergoing a name change and rebranding to reflect its presence not just in senior living salons, but now in three additional business lines: magazines, entertainment and shopping/products.
The company initially saw a need for specialized management of salons and spas for an aging population that often suffers from mobility challenges or cognitive impairment. It launched in 2008 and by last year was operating in 400 communities in 23 states. Now, PS Lifestyle has grown that presence to 31 states and more than 450 communities, and expects to add at least 100 to its client roster by year-end.
“We have really strong attention right now especially in the non-profit world,” says co-founder John Polatz. “We are one of the few operators that actually interact or sell to the family member. It’s a lot easier to sell something [multiplied across] 100 communities and salons give us that concentration.”
Its success in the salon and spa market (the company advises clients on operations as well as build outs, with considerations for wheelchair-bound residents, those with other physical limitations and general accommodations for age) has led the company to enter several other markets, which it says are also taking off.
As of last year, it began producing a consumer-facing magazine for the aging population with cover stories including interviews with Jeanne Phillips of “Dear Abby” fame and Dr. Jane Goodall. It also manages an online store with products and services that can be purchased and given as gifts to residents. As of this month, PS Lifestyle is getting into the entertainment business by contracting with professional musicians, speakers and others to enhance community programming.
“If we are in your salon, you have point of contact for entertainment value as well,” Polatz says. “Many communities do not allocate sufficient resources into resident lifestyle and activities planning, so this is a new conversation and opportunity that we are bringing to the market.”
The foray into third-party services and growth opportunities envisioned by PS Lifestyle points to one way senior living providers, especially those that operate a single community or small portfolio, can expand their offerings without bringing new staff and operations in-house. But the salon and spa market, as well as the other business channels into which PS Lifestyle is expanding, bring a separate opportunity from health care providers and dining services, which have more “walls” to observe and rules to follow.
“We are a retail partner, not a health care partner, so we do’t have the same walls that a rehab does, for example,” Polatz says. “We can do more than rehab and dining. We are a fun and easygoing vendor invited into the community with a nice excuse to bring more [services].”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker