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Debra Maynard Participates in ICAA Forum

5 Trends for senior living in 2021 emerge during ICAA Forum

Debra Maynard, Prime Independent Living’s Director of Operations, joined industry thought leaders to develop a future-proofed model for a new, sustainable senior living community.

The extraordinary efforts made by the staff and leadership in senior living communities were successful in keeping many older adult residents safe and healthy. While the fundamental services offered in independent living, assisted living and memory care continued to be provided, by the end of 2020, leaders in senior living were imagining the optimal community that offers the lifestyle and services current residents desire, and the quality-of-life future residents will seek.

Debra was one of the 85 thought leaders at the International Council on Active Aging Forum in November 2020 who gathered to construct a philosophy and infrastructure that would enable senior living organizations to withstand future stresses that could impact operations. The mutual goal was constructing a resilient community.

Debra joined this forum to ensure that Prime Independent Living remains at the forefront of innovation and responsible business.

Five future-proof trends recap the major themes that will direct the next normal of senior living.

  1. Redefine the meaning of “community.” Repositioning the senior living community as an accessible neighborhood within the larger community provides sustainability by making it easier to expand services to older adults residing off the property, and to open on-property services and amenities to nonresidents. Providing affordable housing for staff and their families is an option that helps solve staffing challenges for the community and economic challenges for staff.
  2. Expand the built and unbuilt environment. The outdoor features of sidewalks, gardens, paths and nearby parks and recreation become equal in importance to the indoor spaces, redesigned to allow for quick resets depending on purpose. Large and small spaces with moveable walls and “tiny house” features like flip-up table tops build in flexibility. Purpose-built virtual health care locations are designed for technology and privacy. Patios and balconies are accessible places for active and passive pursuits.
  3. Integrate technology through all operations. Future demand means internet connections, software and hardware are available in all areas of a building, as well as outdoors. Tech-enabled spaces will be used by upskilled staff and residents who have easy access to training and troubleshooting. Personal technologies, such as activity trackers and heart rate monitors, will be widely used, and rooms equipped with smart utilities, remote monitoring, voice-activated systems and in-house channels will be embedded in living and service areas.
  4. Strengthen workforce quality, growth and retention. Along with updated recognition of the importance of frontline staff to the existence of senior living comes compensation-building benefits that might include access to on-site health care, dining and other amenities. Well-defined career paths from frontline to other roles, and serious professional development opportunities beyond those required by regulations, build the quality workforce. Flexible work schedules and options for affordable housing near or on the property relieve staff turnover while providing safety for residents by reducing travel time and need for second jobs.
  5. Emphasize wellness culture and lifestyle. Wellness is the philosophy that guides the actions of everyone in all areas of a community. Woven into all areas of the residents’ lives, wellness in all the dimensions is the sales pitch that invites new residents and the lifestyle that retains them (remember that health care is a component of the physical dimension of wellness). A hybrid model combining virtual with in-person opportunities uses the technologies pervasive throughout the community.

Full details of these trends are found in the ICAA Forum report, “Future-proof your senior living community.

Baseline strategies and tactics are captured in “Creating a path towards the ‘next normal’ in senior living,” the results of the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force held in May 2020.

The ICAA Forum brings together thought leaders from many organizations—both private and public—to form a think tank that develops strategies to turn the challenges facing senior living providers into opportunities. Launched in 2005, the meetings forge connections among industry leaders while promoting understanding and cohesive action around the ultimate goal: health and quality of life as people age.

Organizer: Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging,

About International Council on Active Aging

ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for adults over 50. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging—an approach that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness—and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies.

Knoxville’s Newest Senior Living Community Opens for Tours as Construction Takes Shape

The walls are up and the leasing office is open at West Knoxville’s newest independent senior living community. Fun-loving seniors are touring Prime West Knoxville and falling in love with the possibilities of all-inclusive (and affordable) retirement living. 

Many have started placing deposits to secure their ideal apartments in our retirement community. With a focus on friendships and fun, residents will find all they need at their doorstep and beyond.

Breathtaking Interior Design for Senior Living

As the main building takes shape, Prime has been busy scheduling tours for seniors who want to pick the apartment that they’ll call home. While each apartment comes equipped with amenities like a full-sized gourmet kitchen, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances, there are some options that are only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We have beautiful views available of the Smoky Mountains and the river,” says Teresa Ingram, Executive Director of Prime West Knoxville. “Everybody has unique wants and needs. Some people want the views from the third floor and some want a short walk to the dining room. I just enjoy watching them go through and pick.”

Never a Dull Moment at Prime

Outside of their apartments, seniors are encouraged to stroll the courtyard, hit the 24-hour fitness studio, or get a new look at the hair and nail salon. Pickleball and an 18-hole putting green are perfect for some friendly competition, while the Bark Park is the ideal place to connect with other seniors and their fur babies. 

Even with so much to do right on campus, our residents still have lots of options for exploration beyond our grounds. Take a day trip to the mountains or go on a local shopping excursion. The opportunities for fun and recreation are truly endless.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Become a Charter Member

For a limited time, early-bird future residents who put down a deposit will receive Charter Memberships with exclusive perks such as a reserved parking space and their first pick of apartment locations and views.

“We already have people putting their deposits down and picking out views,” adds Ingram. “I just find it wonderful when I see that smile on their faces as they say, ‘This is exactly what I want right here and I’m putting my money on it right now.’”

Pick Your Perfect Senior Living Apartment at Prime West Knoxville

We are booking tours and accepting deposits prior to our mid-2020 launch. Contact us today to learn about our modern apartments for older adults and our community amenities and activities.

Have you heard the buzz about Prime?

As the mid-2020 launch of Prime West Knoxville draws ever nearer, our vibrant new senior community is already the talk of the town.

Prime Time in West Knoxville

Ever since construction began on Prime West Knoxville’s new senior living apartments, the excitement has been building – so has the media buzz!

Our President Of Operations, Debra Maynard, has been busy sharing her vision for a bold new era in senior living in West Knoxville, Tennessee. Her goal? An affordable, vibrant community focused on fun, wellness, and top-notch amenities.

Lifestyle perks at a fraction of the cost

 “People have a mindset they have to downsize but are unaware there is a social model that can reduce isolation and provide services for an affordable cost and improve their lifestyles,” Debra told Senior Living News. “When we can get people engaged and meet others who made that choice, the residents are our greatest sales tool.”

Debra, who brings more than 25 years of independent living, assisted living, and memory care expertise to Prime, also outlined her dream of building an abundant, inclusive community in a podcast interview with the publication.

Something engaging and different

“We’re looking to create something different,” she told the Senior Housing News podcast Transform. “We offer meals and high-functioning activities. We have a putting green and are adding pickleball. We want to build communities where active people find engagement and something to do.”

When technology company Wellzesta took a deep dive into Prime, they found that our altruistic approach to marketing led to great recipient engagement.

Rather than concentrate on the hard sell, an email campaign provides potential residents with useful content relevant to their lives, complemented by interesting insights to the community. This helps generate the kind of positive buzz Prime needs without having to pass the increased costs on to the residents.

Want to learn more about Prime?

Stop by Prime West Knoxville any Tuesday for FREE coffee and snacks with our team! You’ll find us at 1932 Falling Waters Rd, Knoxville, TN 37922.

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