An Interview with James Rosenman.
By Melissa Roy
Q: What’s not happening in the senior living community that you think should be happening?
A: More multi-generational housing and initiatives.
Q: What’s next at Fairview?
A: Finding the best way to leverage our land, not just for buildings, but for beautification and wellness — our land is just as valuable an asset as our buildings and services.
Q: Given the pressure from increasing healthcare costs, what are the opportunities to collaborate with healthcare providers to increase the quality of care and lower costs?
A: It all comes down to leveraging scale. There are a lot of areas to leverage scale without the formal structures of mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations. We need to look at what all organizations do best and challenge ourselves to look at ways to share services and resources that are synergistic instead of fragmented, to holistically serve the community.
Q: What goes into designing an innovative master plan for a senior living facility? Where do you start, what are the most important factors to incorporate, and what are the current trends?
A: Start with a big, broad vision and keep refining.
Think beyond bricks and mortar.
Who does it serve? What do you want it to look like and feel like? How does it fulfill your organizational needs now and 20 to 30 years from now, without getting into the weeds? It’s like the analogy of building a beautiful golf course — you aren’t going to start with where to locate the clubhouse.
Balance current and future needs of both residents and the community. Push beyond the comfort zone of what we know, while not being so novel that it flies over the heads of consumers.
Develop something that people didn’t know that they needed.
Q: What changes or shifts in thinking have you seen?
A: No longer thinking of senior living organizations as isolated campuses, but as part of a broader network and ecosystem to serve the needs of the people, who want to be more interconnected with the greater community.
Q; How can senior living communities be incorporated into the community at large, knowing the benefits of multigenerational interaction? What role can transit-oriented design have in helping counter the concept of aging in place?
A: Being connected physically and through community engagement.
Working with municipal and state leaders to make our towns and cities more accessible, as accessible as possible, and interconnected. Zoning flexibility is one vehicle for achieving this.
Collaborating and planning with thought leaders from different industries.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Looming demographic shifts. We are unprepared, but maybe not in the way some people think. There’s enough traditional senior housing; the crisis looming is that people have healthcare and housing needs, which can’t be separated. We need to challenge ourselves to find new models and ways to serve consumer preferences and to make this economically viable for the lower- and middle-income population. Think beyond brick-and-mortar solutions.
Pressure with the reimbursement system – the safety net is strained.
Q: How can our industry help yours?
A: Create solutions that are efficient and cost-effective while desirable. Challenge all of us to think beyond conventional ways about how we do it. Create a dialogue where we are both heard and listened to.
James Rosenman is the CEO of Fairview, Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut, Inc. Rosenman also currently serves as Chair of LeadingAge of Connecticut and Treasurer of Always Home, Inc.
Melissa Roy is the director of business development at Tecton Architects in Hartford, Conn. Tecton Architects is a long-standing member of the Construction Institute.