Bob Kramer transitioned from CEO of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care in mid-2017, becoming senior adviser to the organization he had co-founded in 1991. 

At the time, starting a new company wasn’t in his plans.

In fact, he told McKnight’s Senior Living, it wasn’t even on his to-do list two months ago as NIC prepared for its annual Spring Conference, March 4-6. But then COVID-19 happened. 

Bob Kramer

Now Kramer has launched Nexus Insights to provide organizations with new models for the provision of aging services. Last week, he announced the formation of the new firm, with a stated goal of helping clients “rethink aging from every angle.”

“What triggered this was what’s happened with the coronavirus and its impact on our sector, on aging services, on elders on older adults,” he said. “It is what some would call a disruptive event.”

Such events, Kramer said, tend to spur innovation.

“We need to start to look at what life will be like post the coronavirus epidemic,” he said. “There will come a time when we’ll see the pandemic in the rear-view mirror. There will not come a time when we will return to the old normal.”

In addition to working with senior living, skilled nursing and other aging services providers, the new firm will aim to help companies in the technology, healthcare, consumer products and education industries, among others, meet the needs and aspirations of current and future older adults. The company will provide services for companies ranging from speakers, strategic planning and education.

Kramer will continue to assist NIC part-time as a strategic adviser role.

As for industry changes that COVID-19 will inspire, Kramer believes senior living may return to highlighting its original value proposition of social connectedness, given that some prospective residents and their families now may view the home as a safer place to be, especially since technology has expanded the number of settings where care can be provided.

“Care needs to be there, and it needs to be great, but if our value proposition is just care, there’s not a bright future for our sector,” he said.

Operators also may need to address a new, perhaps temporary, wariness of congregate settings and embrace telehealth for the long-term, Kramer told McKnight’s Senior Living.

For more details on Kramer’s vision of senior living in years to come, please see a longer version of this article that originally ran in McKnight’s Senior Living.

Lois A. Bowers is the editor of sister publication McKnight’s Senior Living.