Opinion: THE BIGPICTURE —She's hardly the retiring type

Share this content:

Less than a decade ago, Lydia Lundberg and her husband, Bill Reed, were set to retire. Instead, they dumped their nest egg into an unproven business venture. The rest, as they say, is history.

The general idea behind their Elite Care concept was to create eldercare living environments reminiscent of yesteryear's extended farm families. It's remarkable how well they have been able to provide world-class care and services at the half-dozen communities they've built. Just as remarkable is the unique way they've gone about doing it.
Unlike perhaps any other operators in the eldercare field, they have truly embraced technology tools. If you're looking for a place where high tech meets high touch, you need go no farther than Milwaukie, OR, where they are based.
Unobtrusive biosensors are installed in each unit. These data collectors help residents live more safely while enjoying more autonomy, choice and independence than might otherwise be possible. As an added benefit, the devices also help reduce corporate liability.
One advantage of their approach is that a PC lets a user know where every employee and resident is at any given time. Innovative tools also make it possible to track subtle resident changes over time.
Lydia spoke at the recent McKnight's Online Expo, where she addressed ways to incorporate technology. The breakthrough two-day event was held in mid-March, and delivered the industry's first-ever online trade show.
Lydia's webcast, along with four others, will remain available until mid-May at www.mcknightsonline.com.
Leading labor-law attorney Stephen J. Cabot delivered a memorable presentation on growing unionization efforts. Not only have unions been winning most elections lately, but a bill going through Congress will make organizing employees easier in the future, he noted.
Any provider at the crossroads will benefit from the "serving the eldercare spectrum" session. John Taylor, the president and CEO of StoneGate Senior Care, offers a virtual tutorial in how to serve customers with differing needs.
One of the more thought-provoking sessions was delivered by Mike Hargrave, the marketing director for the Market Area Profiles service. This information-tracking tool was developed by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industry. In the "new data tools for market analysis" session, Hargrave shares recent market research, and what the new numbers might mean for your community.
I encourage you to check them out – you can still register and view them. Each can help you do your job better.

John O'Connor, is vice president, McKnight's Long-Term Care News. Contact him at john.oconnor@mltcn.com