Highlights from LeadingAge CA's Annual Conference
by Peter Schubin
This past May, I had the opportunity to attend the LeadingAge CA 2019 Annual Conference in Monterey. This was a great opportunity to engage with leaders and experts in the senior care field. I was blown away to learn about the many forces affecting senior care today and how they may impact those approaching retirement age over the next ten to twenty years. The following are some of my highlights from the conference.
I particularly enjoyed the pre-conference session titled Innovation is Humanly Possible. The three main speakers came from widely different areas of expertise but together painted a picture of the many disruptive forces impacting the industry, along with possible opportunities. Robert Kramer, Founder & Strategic Advisor for the National Investment Center for Senior Housing discussed the four major drivers he believes are shaping the future of the Industry:
- The Longevity Revolution
- Big Data, Robotics, Technology and the Opportunity for Personalization
- Healthcare Payment & Delivery Disruption
- Innovative Hybrid Financing Structures.
Kari Olson, Chief Innovation Officer at Front Porch, the not-for-profit developer and operator of senior communities spoke on the many ways her organization encourages innovation through creating a corporate ecosystem of engagement that’s reinforced through executive goal setting, team learning projects, and implementation of pilot projects. Ted Fisher with Ageless Innovation, a corporate spinoff of Hasbro’s New Business Group, presented how their product, interactive companion cats and dogs bring much needed companionship, comfort and fun to seniors. An example of how technology can address one of the major issues that face seniors, social isolation and limited opportunities for engagement.
The many conference sessions focused both on large themes such as how technology is impacting all aspects of senior care, creating more flexibility and options for seniors beyond the centralized senior housing community, to more granular concerns such as facilities management, dementia care, public policy trends and financial funding streams.
Another session highlight for me was the presentation by the architecture firm Perkins Eastman of their Clean Slate project, where they challenged themselves to think beyond current ideas and practices in order to come up with innovative future living scenarios.
As we find ourselves here at PDA taking on increasingly more senior care projects, I’m looking forward to the ideas presented at this conference informing our future work.