Seniors Housing Business

ASHA 2016

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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AS H A 24 2016 ASHA 50 2016 Grust: Senior living companies can play a role in the healthcare continuum. We can help improve patient and res- ident outcomes sought by insur- ance and account- able care organi- zations. We can help lower the costs of healthcare by keeping residents out of the hospital. For example, in some SRG com- munities we are adding post-acute rehabilitation services. Our goal is to serve our existing population when the need arises. It also creates a wonderful opportunity to show the outside marketplace what we have to offer for stays in short-term, post-acute care. It's a great marketing tool since the patient experiences our culture firsthand and then may later decide to choose us for assisted living. We also gather data to demonstrate our results to hospital discharge plan- ners. That's important in the effort to help lower healthcare costs. Q: What's the outlook for seniors housing and care? Grust: We can see the baby boomers from here. We're on the precipice of it now. It will be excit- ing to have a meaningful surge of age- and income-qualified folks. As a company, SRG is very focused on listening to the market and antici- pating where it is headed. There is no greater time than now for our industry to design buildings and services for the future. One of our taglines is, "If you listen care- fully, you can hear the future." That's what drives us. We are not going to tell people what they want. They are going to tell us what they want. Q: What are seniors looking for today? Grust: Seniors and their influ- encers are telling us that they need environments that are the catalyst for quality of life. These are contin- uums of care that marry the attri- butes of home, dynamic wellness programming, hospitality and the ability to remain connected and engaged within the community and the surrounding neighborhood. The real estate portion of the equation has to be recognized. No one size fits all. When seniors are faced with an urgent decision to move, there's a need for striking a balance that provides them their personal space and respect. It's important to note that the business is not getting less complex. We just refined the best practices for our dementia program. We've learned after 28 years that you cannot assume that you have it all figured out. You have to be open to listening to customers so we can offer a compelling product that they will select. Q: What's the secret ingredient for success? Grust: This is a referral business in a lot of ways. Though consumers today have more ways to gather information about senior living communities, at the end of the day the decision often comes down to how a community feels. When consum- ers walk across the threshold, what is their first impression? Are residents engaged? Is the staff engaged? You can have an extraordinary physical plant, but if you don't have engaged residents and employees you cannot attract new people. That takes a lot of work behind the scenes. The key to success in our indus- try is recruiting and inspiring peo- ple to come along on the journey. It takes a special employee. But you have to inspire those people, not just train them, to approach their job with the same passion and rever- ence for the customer that the opera- tor seeks to provide. Q: What's the biggest lesson you've learned over the course of your career? Grust: We are entrusted with a population that is very vulnerable, and with that comes a great respon- sibility. You can only be in this business if you are compassionate and committed. I originally came from the home building business where you sell a model home to someone and never hear from that person again. The senior living industry is so reward- ing because you can have such a powerful impact on the lives we serve. There's no other business I can think of where that's true. We live with our customer 24 hours a day. n Maravilla Scottsdale is a retirement resort by the Senior Resource Group, headed by Michael Grust. Maravilla offers a continuum of care and a "whole person" approach to wellness. Q&A with Michael Grust

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