Editor’s Picks: CEOs Blast Referral Companies, Kickstarter Sensation Features Seniors

Kids plus seniors. It’s been a successful equation for some innovative senior living providers, and now there’s a film in the works that might help intergenerational programming gain even more momentum. It’s created buzz on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. We at SHN are fans of the trailer and look forward to seeing the whole movie.

Also this week, we were interested in what Paula Span had to say about the drawbacks of seniors aging in their own homes in her New Old Age column. And SHN readers were paying attention to what senior living CEOs had to say about referral companies (hint: it wasn’t good), as well as what goes wrong on senior living tours.

Most Read on SHN


Senior Living Execs Slam Referral Companies—Organizations that refer residents to senior living communities for a fee are bad for the industry, and the sector would be better off if large operators stopped working with—and paying—them, said CEOs at a recent symposium in Canada. But A Place for Mom, the largest referral company in the U.S., says it is meeting a consumer need.

Behind the Biggest Mistakes in Senior Living Tours—Providers do a great job of making people feel welcome when they are on a community tour, but they drop the ball too often in following up afterward. This is just one way that senior living operators are failing to make the most of the all-important tour.

Why Call Centers Still Net the Most Move-Ins to Senior Living—It was a call center versus an in-house sales team in a recent head-to-head conducted by Senior Living SMART. Find out why, even though the call center had no experience in senior living, it performed best.


Weekend Reading

Do frail seniors living at home maintain real freedom, or is it an illusion? Medicaid and other government programs are encouraging more home care, but living at home can leave seniors isolated and with deteriorating health, writes Paula Span in The New York Times. She raises a point that senior living providers often make: Aging at home might sound appealing, but being in an assisted living facility could promote “access to a broader world.” Increasing home care funding is a “laudable” but ultimately “inadequate” way to improve U.S. senior care, Span writes.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

“Moments before the kids came in, sometimes the people seemed half alive, sometimes asleep. It was a depressing scene. As soon as the kids walked in for art or music or making sandwiches for the homeless or whatever the project that day was, the residents came alive.”

Those are the words of filmmaker Evan Briggs, whose documentary “Present Perfect” captures the scene at a Seattle senior center that also is a preschool. The goal of the film is to spark conversation about aging in America, particularly the ways in which the U.S. is a society segregated by age, Briggs says. She’s approaching her “stretch goal” of $100,000 raised on Kickstarter to finish the film.

Check out the trailer below:

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