Presidential Ponderings June 2022
I recently attended a well-regarded conference in Roanoke, Virginia. The conference is sponsored by SFCS Architects, and is totally devoted to topics concerning the senior living industry. As you might expect, there were a few sessions dealing with design and construction issues, but in truth they were in the minority. The largest portion of the conference was dedicated to the issues of “purpose and meaning” !
Why would architects and senior living administrators care about purpose and meaning? They care about those things because that is what the next generation of senior living “customers” are looking for in their retirement years. The Baby Boomers are very different than the folks that have historically sought residency in retirement communities. While the Boomers still want nice accommodations with lots of options, they are also seeking something more than beautiful designs and creature comforts. They are looking for a sense of true community…one where they hope to develop new friendships with folks who have shared life experiences. They are looking for a lifestyle that will continue to afford them a sense of purpose and meaning even as they get older. They are looking for a community that is a responsible steward of the earth’s resources. They are looking for a setting that allows them to continue to be in touch with nature throughout their lifespan. They are looking for communities that embrace different cultures and viewpoints. And lastly, they are looking for a community where they can make a meaningful difference in the lives of other people.
After leaving the conference, I felt pretty good about Londonderry Village because we are already doing most of those things. We promote a myriad of activities designed to encourage socialization, we have tons of volunteers helping other people on the campus, we are becoming more environmentally responsible through our new solar panel arrays, and we have gardens and walking paths and Playparks for folks in all levels to enjoy. Lastly, through Good Samaritan donations and even events like the Annual Estate and Yard Sale, our residents are continually making a meaningful difference in the lives of their fellow residents. While there is certainly plenty of room for improvement and growth, we have been and will be a community of choice for those elders seeking meaning and purpose in their retirement years.
Thanks for listening,
Jeff Shireman, CEO