Residential Assisted Living is Becoming . . .
I am reading a great book right now that directly applicable to the assisted living world. “The Inevitable. Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that will Shape Our Future,” by Kevin Kelly.The very first chapter is entitled “Becoming.”Kelly’s point in this chapter is that everything is in the process of becoming something else. There may be forces working against the inevitable transformation, but transformation is inevitable.By way of example Kelly points out that digital music was immediately promoted by the music industry, but immediately followed by a mad scramble to resist digital copying, which immediately annoyed their customers. The industry had to find another way to handle the transformation that was underway.In another example Kelly describes the problem all of us share in the digital age – the constant need to update and learn new software. We either accept that fact that we are permanently newbies in the digital age; We are continuously learning, or are left behind. Kelley’s other point in this chapter was that what would be created was not quite predictable. He refers to his own experience as one of the original architects of the internet.The same is true in our industry. We know that 10,000 people are turning 65 each day in the US. And we know that they do not want the same things that are desired by the current residents of assisted living.We also know that technology has not yet found its footing in the industry – but the fact that technology will have increasingly important roles to play in helping residents become or stay healthy. Like the internet, we can’t quite get a clear picture of what the future assisted living residents will want and need, and what tools we will have to meet those needs.McKnight’s and Senior Housing Forum and others attempt to peek into the crystal ball on technology by sponsoring annual technology awards in the industry. Indeed we will likely do the same, but with our usual attention focused on the needs of the residential assisted living homes.Our members and the Residential Assisted Living National Association itself are permanently becoming something new. We are permanently newbies in the techniques and technologies of the industry and the preferences of our future members.We, as a national association, are focused on creating opportunities for information sharing among our members to help reveal the coming trends of the industry, and helping our members prepare for that future.This October 3 we will be co-hosting the Residential Assisted Living National Association in Phoenix, Arizona. Sign up NOW to participate in the conversations that will reveal the future of this industry.
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