The genesis of Aging Forward was born out of Commonwealth Senior Living’s acknowledgment that the senior living landscape is evolving not just in Virginia, but across the United States.
Over the past couple of years, we have experienced first-hand markets becoming over saturated, overall occupancy in health care settings decline in concert with the aging demographic dip and housing market waning, and once stable healthcare and senior living providers struggle to exist. While Commonwealth Senior Living has the most breadth and depth in the Virginia market, we wanted to create a strategy to support not just our business to navigate the changing tides, but our partner providers as well.
We deeply care about the seniors in our state and felt it our noble responsibility to be the change agent and resource to assure the greatest generation and future seniors have the healthcare options available to them when the time comes.
We began our analysis specifically in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and enlisted Stackpole and Associates to support us with an in-depth market study of the area. As a result of their partnership, we were able to obtain a comprehensive list of all senior providers and a deep analysis of current and future aging demographics in this area of the state. From this analysis, our Aging Forward Initiative was born in the summer of 2017. Our CSL workgroup included Irving Stackpole, many of our Senior Leadership Team to include Richard Brewer-CEO, Earl Parker-President & COO, Ed Corbeil-SVP of Operations, Kristy Ruppe Craddock-SVP Sales & Marketing, Giovanni Montague-Sneed-SVP Resident Care, as well as two team members of our Hampton Roads communities: Maria Irlinger, Executive Director CSL Georgian Manor and Susan Ayala-West, Senior Sales & Marketing Director CSL Kings Grant House.
Alongside our market analysis, this team came up with the following key cornerstones of our Aging Forward Initiative:
Seek to develop partnerships with Health Systems in Hampton Roads
- Initiate discussion with major hospital system CEOs.
- Develop a list of “known” stressors for discharge planners and streamline solutions.
- Host meeting with discharge planners to discuss what they need and how Commonwealth Senior Living can be part of the solution.
Position CSL as the Aging Expert in Hampton Roads by sharing our knowledge
- Identify opportunity(ies) to be a regular/consistent contributor to newspaper/radio/television aging programs/articles.
- Community Education Initiative- Utilize the Resource Guide provided by Stackpole Associates, and our Existing Community Leaders (Executive Directors, Sales & Marking Directors, Resident Care Directors) to develop and implement a formal community education initiative. Initial Target will be Top 25 or 30 groups and then expand. The goal is to create consistent messaging about our branding by bringing free educational opportunities on aging-related topics to the public.
Develop an overall “Branding” of this initiative that is designed to encompass Hospital Partnerships, Aging Resource Expert, Veterans Provider of Choice, Hire for Heart, etc.
- Aging Roundtable – CSL invites top area service providers. Format, unlike other local groups as it will be “exclusive” to one provider of each service type and focus on those that have depth and breadth across the entire market similar to our scope and position. Expected outcomes will be sharing market study, building synergy and value among the participants and discuss solutions for aging issues in the market.
- Commonwealth Senior Living Promise to Veterans – In response to the projected surge in Veterans aged 65+ in the market over the next 5-10 years, we created a signature “Promise to Veterans” to include special pricing for veterans and their spouses, a Wall of Valor to honor our resident heroes, regular pinning ceremonies and displaying of military branch flags at every Commonwealth community to honor their service to our country.