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There's been a splash of name changes in long-term care lately. Vi, formerly known as Classic Residence by Hyatt, may be the most radical of them.

Vi (pronounced “Vee”) is derived from the Latin word for life, “vida.” It is intended to connote fullness of life as we age, according to the company.

"Our new identity reflects what our communities are all about—health, happiness and vitality," Vi President Randal J. Richardson said in a news release.

The company, which operates 10 continuing care retirement communities and 10 rental communities nationwide, disclosed the name change in July. The name, while at first (or even second) reciting might seem bizarre, is playing off an unusual phenomenon. More than 70 million baby boomers are starting to turn 65 this year. And, as we know, unlike previous generations they're not heading into older age quietly. A study by Vi found that nearly all Americans over 65 (98% specifically) say retirement "can and should be a fun experience." 

Vi joins a couple of other recent prominent name changes for the aging services field. In August, members of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging approved the new name LeadingAge. Just weeks before that, NCCHNR, a nursing resident advocacy group, became Consumer Voice.

We live in a time of intense corporate branding. Names are rigorously vetted to stand out from the pack. Vi, some may argue, takes it a step too far. The name certainly will take some time to get used to. (Educating people about what it means alone may take some investment.)

But we also live in unchartered times as far as aging is concerned. Perhaps an offbeat name like Vi is only fitting.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.