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A Brentwood, TN, assisted living and memory care community is the launch point for a new partnership that aims to create an innovation center for technology and data solutions for the senior living industry as well as a new model of care within the setting.

The Senior Living Transformation Company has partnered with Hunt Valley, MD-based real estate investment trust Omega Healthcare Investors to acquire The Rivers at Maryland Farms, a 113-unit senior living community formerly operated by Sunrise Senior Living. It will be a pilot project for the Senior Living Transformation Center. Kalven Senior Living, a new operating company based in Murfreesboro, TN, will manage the community.

With a focus on software solutions, the Senior Living Transformation Company recently was formed by senior living and technology investor and founder Arnold Whitman, executive chairman of Formation Capital and managing partner of Generator Ventures; owner and operator Chip Gabriel, Generations executive chairman; Chief Operating Officer and partner Cory Bennett, most recently Formation Capital’s managing director, who will lead the investment efforts; and healthcare and product executive Joelle Poe, Centered Care CEO and president, who will lead the strategy and operationalization of the company’s vision. 

Their objective, according to a news release, is to “transform senior living through the convergence of real estate, care and technology.”

“The senior living industry has been challenged during the last few years by a global pandemic, severe workforce shortages, supply chain interruption, inflation, capital market issues and shifting demographics in the customers we serve,” Whitman said in a statement. “With many operators focused on fundamentals in operations, we will provide care and economic value through innovation to address the challenges we face as an industry today so we may continue to serve seniors well into the future.”

Bennett told McKnight’s Senior Living that COVID-19 accelerated the flow of capital into innovation in the senior living sector. He called the pandemic a “forcing event” that highlighted weaknesses and opportunities in the existing senior living operating and care models. 

The Senior Living Transformation Company, he said, intends to vet and pilot products and services that it sees as beneficial to senior living communities. The idea is to accelerate the adoption of technology and demonstrate how programming and care for older adults also creates value in the real estate investment. 

Initially, Bennett said, the company will pilot ALIS, an electronic health record / electronic medication administration record / customer relationship management software solution by Medtelligent, and Sage, an e-call system, to access the data those systems collect. The end goal is to define and establish new standards for measuring performance and quality in senior living based on data and insights generated from pilot programs.

“We can use that data to intelligently care for our residents in a way that hasn’t been done — or at least done well — historically,” Bennett said. “We intend to pilot technologies that benefit the social determinants of health — sense of community, loneliness, communication, anxiety — lower fall risk, optimize staffing and scheduling, improve nutrition, get our residents more active, and prescriptively care for them to reduce hospitalizations or emergent events.”

Operators have a suite of technologies they typically use for electronic health records, repairs and maintenance and human resources, Bennett said. No one has “pushed the limits” on what can be done with available and emerging technologies in the broader market inside a senior living community, however, he added.

“We like to say that we aren’t aiming to deliver healthcare — that’s too narrow a scope,” Bennett said. “We intend to holistically care for our residents’ needs — physical, social, emotional, spiritual — the entire human. It’s human care. That is a novel approach that has never been tried before in our industry.”

The bottom line, Bennett said, is that the company is looking for partners with products and services that can help senior living community staff members provide a better experience for residents and make operations more efficient from both a business process and economic perspective.

The Senior Living Transformation Company is actively looking for more communities to acquire, Bennett said, with a goal of implementing baseline technologies and then applying what it learns to those additional communities over time. 

He added that the company is looking across the senior living continuum — independent living, assisted living and memory care — with the potential to expand into geriatric residential behavioral health communities in the future. Skilled nursing care is not part of the company’s focus at this time, Bennett said, adding that active adult housing is not a good fit for the model either.