LLoyd Jones | Aging With Confidence-A Comprehensive Wellness Program: Episode 6

Home / News / Aging With Confidence-A Comprehensive Wellness Program: Episode 6
Aging With Confidence-A Comprehensive Wellness Program: Episode 6

Aging With Confidence-A Comprehensive Wellness Program: Episode 6

Description: Lloyd Jones’ Aging with Confidence program is a comprehensive wellness program designed to achieve successful aging and optimal health by holistic and natural means. Based on Harvard Health Publishing research, our signature program is easy to understand and supports overall resident and employee education. In this podcast episode, we chatted with Senior Living News editor Olivia Beaton to introduce this program and the first of its tenets: sensory design.

Tod Petty:
Welcome to the February 2021 podcast of Senior Housing Unfiltered‪. I’m your host, Tod Petty. Each month, I have the privilege of teaming up at Lloyd Jones Senior Living to change an industry stuck in ancient cultures. We are passionate about the Senior Housing space and are committed to not leaving the industry the way we found it. I’m excited today about introducing to you, our quest, to understand how to deliver successful aging in our Senior Housing communities. Over the next few podcasts, I’m going to identify eight essential elements built into each one of our Senior Housing communities. These elements allow the opportunity for our residents to successfully age by the deployment of very specific strategies to fight inflammation, improve cognitive health, improve diet and fitness for pain relief, blood pressure, cholesterol management, and so much more. Let’s introduce the eight elements and then we’ll go directly to our presentation for today.‬‬‬‬

The eight essential elements in our wellness program consists of the following: positive psychology, sensory design, progressive engineered environments, brain health nutrition, movement, medication delivery, sleep, and last, but not least, hydration. I’ll be introducing two components today as we speak with Olivia Beaton, editor of Senior Living News. The first component we’ll be discussing is digital signage and the second component will be aromatherapy. Digital signage influences the ocular system and aromatherapy influences the outcome of the olfactory system in human physiology. Both components are very important in our state management for our clients at our communities. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy the next 20 minutes as we take you on a journey to deliver and discover successful aging and elements of our sensory design category. We’ll be right back after the show.

Olivia Beaton:
Hi everyone. Welcome back. This is Olivia Beaton, editor at Senior Community Forum, and I am so excited today to be joined by Jimmy Carrion, VP of business development and Tod Petty executive vice president from Lloyd Jones Senior Living. And we’re going to be discussing various things, but specifically successful aging. Thank you so much for both joining me today.

Jimmy Carrion:
Thanks for having us.

Tod Petty:
Hey, Olivia it’s nice to be with you and nice to be with the audience today.

Olivia Beaton:
Thank you so much. Just to start off. Would you both mind telling me a little bit about your background and how you ended up in senior living?

Jimmy Carrion:
Yeah, I can go first. So Jimmy here, I actually started in the construction startup world and then moved into hospitality. So I was a part of the OYO Group and helped them franchise and grow in the U.S and last summer I joined Lloyd Jones Senior Living and found a real passion for working in the senior housing world and really trying to change and implement more of this successful aging into every community.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely. Well, I’m glad you ended up here in senior living. How about you, Tod?

Tod Petty:
Yeah. So first part of my career, I was in home health and started several companies with entrepreneurs and then started my home health company, which I sold to Lincare out of Clearwater and then stayed with Lincare Holdings for about five years. And then I entered the senior housing space. So I’ve been here about 20 years now, and I guess where I’m most well-known as, I helped co-found Thrive Senior Living in 2008, brought a lot of technology into the industry. And then in 2016, I left Thrive and co-founded Mainstay Senior Living where we created products for the middle market. So it’s been a nice ride. And we think that now with Lloyd Jones, we see a pivot and a change in the demographics and we’re ready to launch a different component of it.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely. And so what does successful aging mean to you and what does that look like exactly?

Tod Petty:
Yeah, so we see a big change coming with COVID-19. We believe COVID-19 exacerbated the changes that were coming anyway, and the changes that were coming as people were aging in place longer, and regulations were allowing them to stay longer. So it was requiring health care. I know everybody was on a bandwagon to build resort type hotel-like amenities, and nothing wrong with that, but you can’t leave the healthcare out. And so when COVID-19 came, the good operators that had good healthcare components did well and the ones that didn’t have it in place struggle. And in the past we’ve looked at healthcare strategies and folks have had… trying to approach it as a ministry approach to the whole man– spirit, soul, and body. Some people talk about the physical intellectual, emotional dining part of it, but we see this moving and evolving something greater. So I’m going to show you a little poster. I hope this shows on our screen here.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely, I love that.

Tod Petty:
So, this is… A lot of people are familiar with this from college. This is Maslow’s hierarchy of need, and those first two components of this pyramid are physiological and safety. And that really is what the regulations require us to do in senior housing, and that’s what we’ve concentrated on, 24-hour watchful oversight, safety and security, three meals a day, two snacks, activities, just really when you think about it, the very basic components of providing for our residents. But if you’re going to get the residents to move up this pyramid so that there’s love and belonging, there is meeting the esteem needs of our clients, or actually self-actualization. How do you get someone to self-actualization in our building? It’s not something people have focused in on.

So we launched successful aging that has eight very specific components that will address how we get someone beyond the very, just the physical needs to a new level that, quite frankly, we’re not seeing anybody talk about in the industry. So, Jimmy you want to add to that?

Jimmy Carrion:
Yeah, I think the biggest part of the successful aging, we’re not recreating the wheel. It’s something that’s been part of senior housing for a long time, but what we really want is to make it a priority. The health care needs to be the priority. The program it needs to be the priority, and we don’t want it to just be a selling piece in our brochure. We want to make sure that it’s something that’s going to be that all of our staff, all of our members, even here. The beauty about successful aging, and it’s not just senior housing, even here in corporate. These are eight different things that we can all focus on, like hydration, movement, sensory design. Things that it doesn’t matter what age you are, everyone can take a part of it. And we want to make sure that the culture starts from our corporate offices and then goes into every single building as well.

Tod Petty:
Yeah. And I would say Olivia, real quick, a lot of these things, so we can tie these components that we’ve identified back to the Harvard Medical School’s publishing. I’ll just give you an example here, here’s one of their reports and you can get these for about 40 bucks a piece. So they’re expensive white papers, this is on positive psychology. And then here’s one on improving sleep. And here’s one on just simple stretching. So what these do is these take a holistic approach to life and obviously with the groundbreaking book, I’m not sure what the audience is familiar with Live Long, Die Short, but that… the book capsulizes the truth that… we used to think 20 years ago that, “Well, it’s all genetics. You can’t really control that.”

Very small part aging you can control, and now we find out, well, the majority of aging you can control, based on your lifestyle. And so the goal is not to get diagnosed with the disease and then live 10 years dying long. The goal is to live long and then get ran over by a car and then you die, and die short. And the only way to do that though, is to make sure that they sound simple, but I will share with you, there’s no programming that I’m aware of in most communities right now that enforce or create an atmosphere that puts pressure to make sure certain things happen. So we’re talking about, like Jimmy shared, hydration of the resident. Number one reason for a hospital visit to an emergency room, which causes a urinary tract infection, which causes exacerbated dementia.

All of it, right. There’s malnourishment. The one of the reasons people come to Assisted Living, just movement alone. A person via these studies, a person walking two or three times a week, 30 minutes just walking and having movement helps with dexterity. It helps with circulation and it even helps with release of serotonin into a person’s brain so that you may not need to take an antidepressant. So if we can have these programs of movement or even positive psychology, if you interview a lot of people, they can talk about their amenities, they have digital signage and that’s something we launched back in ‘08, 2010, to be like the hotels to be cool and sexy, which is great having those buildings, but really digital signage is a way to help reinforce in the resident’s mind and our guest’s mind, so we get credit for what we’re doing in the communities.

So when people that have short term memory, don’t remember Barry Manilow visiting four days ago and singing to them and they’re dancing and all the beautiful meals that are served. And they’re talking to their loved one and saying, “Ah, I don’t remember anything. They serve the same food.” It allows the person coming to visit us to see all that mom’s doing, get credit for all the programming we have. And even the senior themselves, the client can say, “Oh, there I am with Barry Manilow, five days ago. I didn’t even remember that.” So it reinforces positive psychology, announcements about Cinco de Mayo coming and the mariachi band, that sets goals for our residents. These are all real specific strategies that create at a successful aging environment and gives us a chance to combat the things that we have to deal with as we age.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely. And so hearing all of this and with the focus being on a holistic approach and focusing on what the residents need to truly thrive. I’m curious if this came to you, I know Tod that you spent some time living in senior housing and was this inspired by what you saw was lacking in a sense?

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. The one year that I went from a 4,400 square foot home to a 400 square foot apartment, and I stayed there for 12 months and I went through, I think the gamut. I was 40 years old, I went through the whole gamut of maybe what an older adult might feel, initially I thought I was going to this small apartment, but once I moved in, I realized, “Hey, I don’t need all the stuff I had; my laundry is being done? They’re serving me meals and checking on me.” But absolutely, I was there 24 hours a day. So the technology that really we put in around 2015, where a variety of senior publications said we had the most advanced technology at the time in the industry, came as a result of things I saw in the community that we could talk about.

But this successful aging platform was really birthed by spending the time with the residents and seeing a lack of the regulations, meeting the bare minimum for someone to sustain physiological life, but not really enhanced their lives. And so as we begin to look at these different components and put them in place, this is where it was birthed out of. So I wanted to share a story, Olivia, if you don’t mind, if you’re loving this.

Olivia Beaton:
Of course, I’d love to hear.

Tod Petty:
So, we use… and there’s variety of these products, but this is the one I use. So I know a lot of our audience is familiar with IN2L. So, we talk about pop psychology, creating an environment that helps a resident have a good mental state of mind. Well, how do you do that? And some people might think at a low level, “Well, let’s put some music, play music that’s good. Let’s connect them to their lives, how they lived it.”

But I’m going to share a really cool way of showing how this practically works out. So we were touring with investors in a Texas property, and we had IN2L tied to a TV. And as you know, IN2L it’s a computer software program. And we were searching Google Earth, and we had all the residents give us where they used to live. So we’re putting their address and they all saw their… Google Earth, you know how it goes around and around and it comes down and there’s their home. And they were really thrilled to see the technology at the time, and they were excited to see their home. So we had a lady there, she’s very depressed. She was very upset with her family. She felt they had abandoned her.

She was from New Jersey, I think Trenton, New Jersey. And she talked about wanting to go home. She just wants to go home. This is not right for her family to leave her there. So she was not engaging, very depressed. And she’s in this room and we’re now going to look at where her home’s at. And so we put the address in and I’m showing the investors they’re really going to like this, we’re changing residents lives and so it goes to her home, the camera comes down and there’s her house, but it’s a Taco Bell.

Olivia Beaton:
Oh my gosh.

Tod Petty:
Her home was razed. It was down, and the Taco Bell was built there. And I thought this is horrible. This is… I can’t connect her to where she used to live, and this is a disaster. And so she looked at it and she said, “Wow.” we’re waiting, and, Oh, I remember the activity director, Jimmy, she said, “Look, your home’s not even there. It’s a Taco Bell, yay!” You know how activity directors are. And we call them director of excitement. But so everybody clapped and was trying to make up for the fact that this was a bad deal.
But anyway, she looked around and she said, “Wow.” She said, “The whole time I’ve been depressed, wanting to go back to my home, and my home doesn’t even exist anymore. This is my home. This is my family.” So from that day forward, so what that did, the simple technology casting imagination down in her home. That was causing her mental anguish every day of trying to go back to a place that doesn’t exist anymore and realizing that place doesn’t exist. And now embracing this very quality product that she has to live in a very resort-type environment with friends her own age. So positive psychology, successful aging. That’s just one aspect of what we’re talking about today, Olivia.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely. And I can imagine, obviously the first moment of maybe sadness, but then the relief and the ability to let go and truly embrace her new home and new environment. Something as simple as what you just explained. So I’m curious, that story gives me a little bit of insight, but what do you really notice in the difference between a traditional engagement between what you use as a successful aging technique? What do you notice in residents? How do they interact? How do they engage and how does it improve their overall quality of life?

Tod Petty:
Well, yeah, so I think we have… I don’t know if you can see my board back here.

Olivia Beaton:
I can, yeah.

Tod Petty:
Oh, great. I’ll get out of the way and lean and see Jimmy too. But so we have one of the components, the successful aging is Sensory Design, and this is something that really… I created actually living in the community. I was added later on, very specifically programmed it into our resort building. So Sensory Design would include everything that affects the five physical senses when you walk in a building. So that’s sight, that’s sound, that’s smell. And I we’ve had people drive up underneath our porte-cochere, get out of the car and simply hear music playing. And it set the stage for their home experience because they came into this beautiful music. It was the genre, whether it was the sponsor, the adult child, or whether it was the older adult, it resonated with them. And it tied them to good memories.

It created a programming within them that was resonating positively. So it already helped them prepare for their visit. They walk in the door and then they’re met with aromatherapy and that aromatherapy ties back again to memories. It’s just not, “Hey, the place has to smell good.” The whole goal is to create an atmosphere where your five physical senses are coming alive. The digital signage is creating images, positive images in your mind. So rather than going into a community that has no music, no aromatherapy, no digital signage, no one at the front door, can’t find any staff around you. You have this just deafening silence. That’s very sterile. And it’s very clinical, which allows their own minds to create their version of whatever’s happening. And it may not be right. So this transmutes the experience of the person moving in to a different world. So I have another story I’d like to share along these same lines. And this is relevant to everybody and it’s about how this aromatherapy works, so.

Olivia Beaton:
I am a personal big fan of aromatherapy. So I’m happy to say that.

Tod Petty:
As I was putting this aromatherapy, and this is not someone plugging a Glade or a store-bought $5 scent maker into an outlet. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re really talking about machines that create different aromas and affect the scent. So I remember our CFO saying, this is like a $100 to do this a month. It might be $200, if you have two stories. I remember him sharing with me, “This is just too expensive. We need to cut this.” And I’m always about, let’s invest and grow.

Let’s put in systems and charge more money, because if we deliver, you can charge and people will pay, but most people are wired, “No, let’s just cut expenses and make more money.” So I said, “You don’t really need this, it doesn’t matter.” So we were at a national Senior Housing industry seminar, and we stayed at the Westin hotel. So we walked into the hotel and I remember him sharing with me. He was like, “Oh, this is just, Westin is awesome because you know that they clean well, they’ve got good housekeeping. You walk into every one of them they all smell the same and it’s just clean. They’re really on top of their staff. And that’s why I will always go here to a Westin,” and as he said that I looked up there was aromatherapy, if that aromatherapy was dispensing a very specific Westin scent called white tea into the atmosphere. And that’s why every Westin you go into smells like white tea. So I think from that day forward he was convinced that, wow, this-

Olivia Beaton:
It worked.

Tod Petty:
It created a perception that wasn’t real. And I know coffee shops. I know even the Yankee Candle shop has being delivered into the area to smell like-

Olivia Beaton:
Disney World does it too.

Tod Petty:
Disney World does it too.

Jimmy Carrion:
And that’s the big thing around successful aging and the programming. It’s not just having their aroma therapy there or having five star meals and pictures of it. It takes really the full team to execute because you need your staff members, you need your cook, your chef, your director of excitement, your executive director, everyone to really be behind this successful aging for it to work, because we could have your healthy diet, but if the chef doesn’t believe in it, that he’s going to cook whatever he wants. So it’s really about implementing it throughout the entire building, throughout the entire staff and the physical plan as well. We want to make sure that the suites are capable of handling our program, our common spaces, our technology, our Wi-Fi. So it really takes them a full vision behind it. And it’s something that the more people that can operate this way, the better that senior housing is going to become.

Olivia Beaton:
For sure. And I know Tod, you mentioned earlier that COVID has thrown our industry into the present, forced us to either adapt with the times or to fall behind. And so as you have this plan of successful aging, what does it look like moving forward? And as we move into hopefully being vaccinated in the near future and hopefully out of this pandemic, how can we continue to grow successful aging within the industry?

Tod Petty:
Yeah, well, I think Olivia, at all the senior housing industry events, whether it’s the National Investment Center or the American Senior Housing association, Healthtac, maybe Leading Age as well. Every one of them have been saying over the last two years, that for the owners of buildings, you need to prepare to run a healthcare building. The people are aging in place longer, regulations allow them to stay in the building. No one… The legislators don’t want their family members going to a nursing home. We need to get staffing up and we need to be prepared to do that. I think a lot of people came into the space, they were thinking, I don’t really care about that, maybe they even thought of it as a commodity or marginalized healthcare, some, instead what’s really going to matter is the big building and the beautiful grand hall and the amenity space.

And I’m not trying to marginalize that, but I’m saying, I believe that people will have to move in a different direction with healthcare. I think it’s great opportunity for a new building, because I think if someone builds a new building and we call it back here, progressive engineered environments. So I think if someone’s building new buildings, they should be a little more costly. But if they can come out of the ground, even near in an area that’s saturated, if they can create a building that when I walk in has infrared temperature checking devices. It has motion faucets in the common areas. It has motion lights to come on and off without any touching. If our residents are wearing wearables that we can do contact tracing with, if we have the air filter in the building more frequently, if it’s going through and HEPA filter and UV lighting to kill the pathogen, if our washers and dryers are in the residents room now, and the laundry’s not being commingled and the caregiver can spend more time in the resident’s room and be with that resident.

And if we had an even a small kitchenette, even in Assisted Living, because the reality is, we’ve always quarantined. It might’ve been C death. It might’ve been flu. It might’ve been a pneumonia. It might’ve been scabies, you name it. This is just raised the level of awareness. So a building that gets built like that, even if the common air and space is smaller, the person putting mom and dad in there are going to choose that community.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely because at the end of the day, caring for the most vulnerable population that are susceptible to not only COVID, but the myriad of things that you just listed. At the end of the day, the loved ones, the resident, the caretakers, the community are just looking for their loved ones to be safe and healthy at the end of the day. And I feel like you probably see on your end that it’s worth the investment, especially now when we’ve seen what can happen when something like this takes over the industry.

Exactly. And we know the average weighted age of a person going in to Assisted Living is rising 80 basis points a year. So I think it’s 87 now, it will be 88 in another year or so, it will be 89. And these residents go in there over 85, one in two has dementia. One in three has Alzheimer’s. So the need is going to be healthcare. So still beautiful buildings, but you’re not as important as maybe the bistro, maybe the bar. The residents… that really sold to sons and daughters that wanted their mom and dads from the pension generation to be in a nice place. But I think in the future, it’s all going to be about safety, security, health care, and knowing mom’s getting hydrated, she’s nourished, she has activity. There’s positive psychology that the buildings are equipped to handle a pandemic. And all these things are going to be very important as we move forward. But there’ll be great opportunity for those that can adopt the innovation. I think it’s a very exciting time for us to be living in.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely I do as well. And I would just love to hear from both of you, what you’re looking forward to most as you continue to implement this successful aging at Lloyd Jones.

Tod Petty:
Yeah. So I’ll start off. So we’re excited, we have a developer we’re working with that is going to be creating. Hopefully we breaking ground in March, creating this post pandemic building that will be healthcare driven, beautiful place. We’re going to be charging more rent for it. So, but we think we’ve got a unique value proposition. So we get to work with a new model coming out of the ground. We also are working on active adult, 55 plus and independent living, which incorporates everything we’ve done with Assisted Living over the last 10 years. So in those properties, we have a bistro and we do have a bar from four to eight, point-of-sale bar. We have a variety of multi-dining venues because we believe that people that are under 85 that are moving to communities that are fully cognitive, this the Woodstock generation, they still want to have a drink and they can, they still want to meet somebody. And actually, this is very interesting. The highest demographic group that is divorcing now is I think 75 and older, it might be 65, but she got a high divorce rate going on. And you have deaths of a loved one and these folks are… like I said, they’re the Harley Davidson, Woodstock, ‘60s. And they’re like, “Hey, I’m going to be relevant one more time. I’ve got one shot at the apple,” and they’re going to be moving to these new properties. They’re not going to go to Assisted Living. And we’re excited to create a product that will have these highly amenitized areas, but we’ll have a lot of technology, simply great Wi-Fi to bring in health care technology, so they can age in place.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely. I love that. And I’m excited to see what you guys continue to do. How about you, Jimmy? What are you looking forward to?

Jimmy Carrion:
Yeah, I think that really just the implementation of the operations and just seeing the shift in healthcare coming up front. I haven’t been involved in senior housing this long, but I can see that there was a bubble of beautiful buildings and only focused on how beautiful and how big we can make them. Whereas, this shift of COVID has made it in how safe are the buildings. What’s the healthcare, what’s the programming. And the great thing in here in Lloyd Jones, we don’t want to keep it a secret. We want to pioneer the message and the more people that can operate in this healthcare way, the better the industry is going to be. The industry is not going to get any smaller, it’s only going to larger. We haven’t even hit the silver tsunami that people are talking about because that’s the worst of tsunami we’re going to hit, when they start turning 80. And so we still have a couple of years, so I think the more operators that can implement successful aging or just health care in place, I think senior housing overall is going to become better.

Olivia Beaton:
Absolutely. And thank you so much for sharing and pioneering this concept and this idea, and hopefully, moving forward, we will continue to see more people invest in this technique of successful aging to care for the most vulnerable population.

Tod Petty:
Thank you, Olivia. It was great speaking with you today. We highly respect your organization, I’ve always had a good time, we’ve come to your events and I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from it. So we’ll look forward to getting back with everybody when we open back up.

Olivia Beaton:
So do we all, we all thank you both so much.

Tod Petty:
Well, I hope you enjoyed the show today. I want to thank you for your continued support for Senior Housing Unfiltered. As we continue to plunge the depths of successful aging, luxury healthcare, and a new healthcare normal in senior housing for 2021. For more information on this subject, we spoke about today or any of our future healthcare podcasts, you can visit the Harvard Health publishing website, which is sponsored by Harvard Medical School or, of course, you can visit the Lloyd Jones Senior Living website.

Don’t miss our next podcast. We will have a special guest who happens to be one of the architects of the new luxury healthcare model coming on the scene in senior housing, post pandemic, 2021, we will also be introducing a beautiful development coming out of the ground this spring in North Georgia. My team will be previewing new services, a new pricing matrix, a newly designed highly appointed suite accommodations designed, especially for the baby boomers to successfully age. Until next time, we wish the very best for you, your loved ones and all members of your extended family. This is Tod Petty with Senior Housing Unfiltered. Until next time, Godspeed.