Editor’s Picks: Welltower CEO’s Fighting Words

It’s been a busy week in the senior living industry. Our coverage included a recently released report that noted how emotional labor takes its toll on senior living’s frontline staff, and how a merger between NorthStar and Colony is set to create a $17 billion real estate investment trust (REIT). Readers were eager to learn about Juniper Communities’ Lynne Katzmann and her perspective on leadership, and fighting words from one of the “Big Three” health care REITs garnered attention, as well.

Here in the newsroom, we loved a story from Michigan about an old schoolhouse converted to senior apartments, Chicago coverage of a community’s prom and a clothing line designed for ‘timeless’ women.

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How ‘Emotional Labor’ Burns Out Senior Living Staff—Senior living frontline staff learn to master many skills on the job—including, as it turns out, a type of behavior they feel is expected of them and can lead to burnout. Specifically, these staff regularly engage in surface acting, which means acting one way on the surface and feeling another way on the inside, all while not empathizing with other person they’re interacting with. The overwhelming majority—92%—of senior living frontline staff know they are expected to manage any negative feelings they may experience on the job in order to maintain positive interactions with residents, according to a new report from the research arm of Evanston, Illinois-based senior living provider Mather LifeWays, the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging.

Welltower CEO Takes Shot at HCP, Ventas Spin-Offs—The CEO of Welltower Inc. (NYSE: HCN) had some fighting words this week about the spinoff plans of industry peers, adamantly saying he will never spin off Welltower’s skilled nursing portfolio as long as he is at the helm of the company. “We will not hand you a leaking, steaming bag of real estate and say, ‘Here you go, do what you want with it, but I’m washing my hands of it,’” CEO Tom DeRosa said at REITWeek hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Development Trusts (NAREIT).

NorthStar, Colony Merger to Create $17 Billion REIT—NorthStar Realty Finance (NYSE: NRF), a REIT that is a major owner of senior housing real estate, will be merging with its current external manager, NorthStar Asset Management, and private equity firm Colony Capital Inc. (NYSE: CLNY). The all-stock merger is expected to create a diversified global equity REIT with a pro-forma equity market capitalization of $7 billion and total capitalization of $17 billion. It was have $58 billion of assets under management, place it in the top quartile of the REIT sector overall.


Lynne Katzmann, Founder and President of Juniper Communities—Meet Lynne Katzmann, founder and president of Juniper Communities, which operates 18 communities across New Jersey, where the company is based, and in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Florida. An entrepreneur at heart, Katzmann comes from a long line of business women and credits her upbringing in part for making her the successful business woman she is today. Katzmann was featured this month in an installment of The Leadership Series, produced in collaboration between SHN and PointClickCare.

Weekend Reads

Seniors Live Where They Once Learned—Talk about dèjà vu. The former high school building in Fremont, Michigan dates back to 1926, and now as been repurposed as a 38-apartment building for seniors called The Gateway. Now, several occupants are sleeping where they once suffered pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks.

This Functional Clothing Line Is Designed For ‘Timeless’ Women—Infinity, a clothing line for older women, appeals to a demographic that tends to have few options when it comes to shopping. Founder Claudia Fua designed the clothing with comfort and efficiency in mind, as items come fitted with magnetic buttons, elastic waists and thumb holes.

Couples Enjoy Prom Night at Senior Living Center—Residents of Clarendale of Mokena, located in Mokena, Illinois, celebrated the community’s annual prom night.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt

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