Editor’s Picks: Burning Man and Grandma Shirley

This week, Senior Housing News readers heard about Juniper Communities’ trip to Burning Man, why two U.S. Senators are concerned about a recently finalized federal rule, and how Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) redesigned its website to be more consumer-friendly.

Here in the newsroom, we were touched by “Grandma Shirley,” a young filmmaker’s short film about his 88-year-old grandmother who moves into a skilled nursing facility.

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What Senior Living Can Learn From Burning Man—On the surface, seniors housing and the annual Burning Man festival appear to have little in common. After Juniper Communities ventured to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert with a group of seniors to participate in Burning Man, though, it seems there’s a lot senior living can learn from the event that brings more than 70,000 people together to create a pop-up metropolis for a week. “By taking an intergenerational group, we raised awareness not just that older people can handle Burning Man, but also that it’s a place where seniors thrive,” Juniper CEO Lynne Katzmann tells SHN. “People don’t really associate Burning Man and seniors housing, but we can now talk about seniors housing in a new way.”

Senators: Unclear Rule May Cause Assisted Living Move-Outs—Some assisted living residents may be forced to move under a recently finalized federal rule, causing two U.S. Senators to take action. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), co-chairs of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, penned a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), expressing their concern with a rule finalized in 2014 and set to be implemented in 2019. That rule defined “home and community-based settings,” and set parameters around how Medicaid dollars can be allocated to pay for care in these settings under waivers granted to states. The intent of the rule was to break down barriers that some seniors face in receiving home and community-based care.

Brookdale Borrows from Hotel Industry in Website Redesign—In an effort to better speak to potential customers, Brookdale Senior Living has invested in a $4 million redesign of its website, turning to the hotel, travel and real estate industries for inspiration. Brookdale’s new website borrows from other websites the provider, through data, knows its customers regularly visit. That way, customers wouldn’t be confused or overwhelmed by Brookdale’s website, Michael McCamish, Brookdale’s director of web development, tells SHN.

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Weekend Reads

Writing a ‘Last Letter’ When You’re Healthy— Dr. VJ Periyakoil, the director of the Stanford Palliative Care Education & Training Program, created a project that is encouraging people to pen a last letter to their loved ones. Ideally, the letter should be written when the letter writer is still healthy, before it’s too late, according to The New York Times.

PointClickCare Is Named to First-Ever Forbes 2016 World’s Best 100 Cloud Companies List—PointClickCare, a cloud-based software for the senior care continuum, has been named to the inaugural Forbes 2016 Cloud 100, a list of the top 100 private cloud companies worldwide.

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For Your Viewing Pleasure

About a year ago, filmmaker Travis LaBella started filming his 88-year-old grandmother, Shirley Hershkowitz, when he visited her back home in New York. LaBella’s heartwarming short film, “Grandma Shirley,” shows the realities of caring for an aging loved one, as well as Shirley’s move to a skilled nursing facility.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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