Debra Cafaro, Ventas

What if a dozen of your cohorts and other experts could return from the future and describe the senior living landscape in 2026? That was the premise behind a dozen 12-minute NIC Talks, which previewed at the recent National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s annual conference.

Bill Thomas, M.D., author and founder of the Green House movement, described a landscape in which the current supply of senior living communities have all but vanished. In their place are new settings that emphasize human connections. His parting words: “The future is not real estate, but ‘feel estate.’”

Other speakers served up equally thought-provoking observations.

“I want to write my own story,” said Brenda Bacon, CEO of Brandywine Senior Living. Bacon kicked off the NIC Talks in the role of a baby boomer who wants to remain in control.

Debra Cafaro, CEO at Ventas, addressed how limited resources may fuel tension between Baby Boomers and their Millennial children. Among her possible remedies: raising Social Security contribution limits, expanded Medicare means testing and improving end-of-life caregiving choices.

Additional speakers urged attendees to consider new caregiving approaches and abandon old prejudices. The presentations were intended to kick-start a national dialogue on the future of aging, said NIC CEO Robert Kramer.

“What you see today will be boring uniformity compared to what we’ll see in the future,” he promised. Videos of each speaker can be seen here.