Robert G. Kramer

Four trends will define the future of the seniors housing and care industry, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care CEO Robert G. Kramer told those attending the opening session of the group’s annual conference in National Harbor, MD:

  1. New and demanding consumers—the baby boomers.

  2. The increasing role of technology—for residents, their families and staff members—in delivering better healthcare outcomes more efficiently.

  3. Healthcare delivery and payment system reform, which will affect nonprofit and private-pay providers.

  4. Demand for transparency from the consumer, from payers—government, investors—and from partners in delivering care, housing and services, especially healthcare, via an integrated continuum.

Kramer said this year’s meeting, the 25th, drew a record of more than 2,400 capital providers and seekers. New this year were a pre-conference boot camp; NIC Talks, wherein 12 people share their thoughts about the future of seniors housing and care; and the NIC Technology Innovation Challenge, which saw four start-ups pitching their senior living products to four judges. The judges picked CareLinx, a platform designed to enable senior living providers to offer home care services, as the winner. Winner of the Audience Favorite award was music therapy software company SingFit.

The conference opened Thursday with Rep. John K. Delaney (D-MD) and Rep. James B. Renacci (R-OH) discussing the minimum wage, immigration reform and future regulatory oversight. They also called on providers to position themselves as a health and housing option that helps seniors age successfully, enabling them to continue contributing to society.

The lunch speaker, political analyst David Gergen, shared insights into the candidates for president, made predictions about the election—history says that the pendulum will swing toward a Republican winner, although the demographics favor a Democrat—and encouraged attendees to enlist millennial veterans, “who are the great hope for the country” because of their “commitment and seriousness” about service, for their boards and other needs.

“For over 20 years, societies have judged themselves…by how elders are treated,” he told attendees, adding that the nation must find a way to deal with the reality that 40% of those aged 55 to 64 years have less than $25,000 in savings for retirement. “I can’t think of anything more important,” Gergen said, adding that the issue should not be a “political football.”

Some talks, including Gergen’s, are being illustrated as they occur (above, left) and then displayed.

The meeting continues Friday.