Well gang, it happened again this week.

This time it was Five Star Senior Living switching its name to AlerisLife.

Not too long ago, the Assisted Living Federation of America renamed itself Argentum.

As it happens, argentum is a Latin word for silver, whereas aleris translates roughly to nourish. See a pattern?

These equivalencies are good to know, especially at a time when so many senior living organizations are reconsidering their missions, values and titles.

Regarding that last item, here’s a neat little trick that’s sure to add that certain something to your organization’s current identifier. Best of all, it only requires three simple steps, four if you want to run with the cool kids.

Step One: Identify an English a word that ties in well with aging services. The warmer and fuzzier, the better. Something like “service,” “value,” “comfort” or “duty.”

Step Two: Find the Latin translation. Here the equivalents happen to be “servitum,” “valorem,” “consolation” and “officium,” respectively.

Step Three: Embrace the Latin word as the new name for your organization.

Step Four (optional): add a comforting English word after the Latin term, such as “Life,” or “Living Services,” that sort of thing.

So if you want your new name to suggest, say, your commitment to service, you might opt to go with “Servitum Living.” Or just “Servitum.” Voila, you now have a cool-sounding new name that gives your organization an unprecedented level of sophistication and panache. Who would have guessed a dead language could be so cutting edge?

As simple and basic as this approach is, it is not completely risk-free. Make sure that endearing new term you select is translated to Latin. Not Pig Latin.

John O’Connor is editorial director of McKnight’s Senior Living and its sister media brands, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, which focuses on skilled nursing, and McKnight’s Home Care.

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