New ASHA Campaign Asks ‘Got Senior Living?’

People who have questions about any aspect of senior living—the different housing options, the financial components, what living in a community feels like—have a new, industry-backed source of information.

It’s a sort of virtual “Got Milk?” campaign for senior living, American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) President David Schless told Senior Housing News. The famous milk ads were created in the 1990s, also for a professional association, the California Milk Processor Board.

On Thursday, ASHA launched “Where You Live Matters,” a new website intended to provide seniors, adult children and others with information on senior housing that is “unbiased, research-based [and] thought-provoking.”

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The website is part of a five-year, multimillion dollar strategic initiative launched by the Washington, D.C.-based senior housing industry association. ASHA plans to rely heavily on social media during the initiative, monitoring consumer feedback and making updates to the website accordingly.

A great deal of the aging content currently online is written by marketers, and available academic information can sometimes be confusing, ASHA said in a press release. 

“There are resources available, but we’re committed to painting a clearer picture,” Schless explained in the release.

In an attempt to paint that clearer picture, “Where You Live Matters” plays host to several written editorials about topics like wellness, the pros and cons of moving in with family, and choosing the right type of senior living. The website also offers downloadable “checklists” of things to keep in mind when visiting different types of senior living communities, such as independent living versus memory care.

And for seniors who decide to age at home after considering all of their options, there’s a checklist about home safety.

The website also features videos about a variety of topics, ranging from making senior living decisions as a family to fitting in at a senior living community.

For those who are brand new to the senior living space, the website has a glossary of definitions for many financial, medical, legal and business terms commonly associated with senior living.

“The industry is aware of the fact that there’s a lot of misinformation and misperceptions about what senior living is, and what the experience is, if you haven’t visited it or seen it first-hand,” Schless told SHN.

When the idea for the website was conceived in 2014, ASHA “very consciously” wanted it to be a public service, Schless added. The videos, he pointed out, are meant to have a real authenticity to them and so are not scripted.

When developing the website and associated social media, ASHA formed a committee of representatives from major senior living organizations and experts across the country, including Letitia Jackson, vice president of corporate engagement at Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Senior Star.

Senior Star plans to promote the new website by distributing press releases in its markets; sharing it as a resource to seniors, their families and professionals who serve seniors; including links to the website on Senior Star’s website and in social media; and encouraging Senior Star associates to share the link as an educational resource, Jackson told SHN.

“The upside for everyone in the industry is enormous,” Schless concluded.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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