Editor’s Picks: Southwest Airlines and Iris Apfel

This week, Senior Housing News readers learned how the current population of people 40 and older feel about senior living, why a major senior living operator idolizes Southwest Airlines and how to use social media to advance as a senior living provider.

Also, SHN will be observing Memorial Day on Monday, May 30. We’ll resume our regular posting schedule on Tuesday, May 31. To all of our readers: have a great first weekend of summer!

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Home Care Wallops Senior Living Communities in Consumer Appeal—Some senior housing leaders think the industry has to help lead a dramatic shift in the way Americans think about aging, to dispel the idea that staying at home for as long as possible is the best way to grow older. That notion indeed seems to be firmly entrenched, at least in the current generation of people 40 and older, according to new research findings.

What Senior Living Can Learn from Southwest Airlines—Life Care Services LLC—the third-largest senior living operator by resident capacity in 2015—is drawing lessons from Southwest Airlines’ approach to employee engagement. LCS considers employee engagement to be of “utmost importance,” LCS Vice President/Senior Director of Human Resources Yvonne Rickert said at the company’s Senior Living Summit in Minneapolis. The Southwest model is one touchpoint that can help explain why LCS is dedicating more resources to employee engagement, and what the company hopes to achieve, she said.

Provider Proves Social Media Pays Off for Senior Living—Senior living providers that have historically been wary to invest in social media may want to think twice, if the success rate of Northbridge Companies, a privately owned senior housing developer, owner and management business, is any indication of how powerful these tools can be to drive occupancy. Northbridge has been heavily investing in its social media department for 10 years, and it’s paying off. Approximately 70% of the company’s new leads come from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and outside referral companies, according to co-founder Wendy Nowokunski.


Weekend Reads

Vintage Train Carriage Helps Residents Reminisce About Days Gone By—A memory care community in the UK has transformed one of its rooms into a vintage train car. The “railway room” has luggage racks, a table and opposite-facing seats and is designed to appear as though it is an old-fashioned steam locomotive. There’s also a 60-inch television screen where the window would be, and it’s playing footage from a real railroad journey across the English countryside, Daily Mail reports.

Style Icon Iris Apfel is Designing Fashionable Safety-Alert Bracelets for Seniors—Iris Apfel, a 94-year-old fashion icon, is now the face of WiseWear wearables for seniors. Apfel will design multiple bangles for WiseWear’s collection of luxury call-for-help bracelets, which track calories, steps and more fitness metrics. Tapping the WiseWear bangles also sends an alert to emergency contacts about the whereabouts of the wearer, according to Quartz.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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