Remember “New Coke?” In 1985, at the peak of the “Cola Wars” between Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Coca-Cola launched the sweeter formula to boost sales. Ads for New Coke urged people to “Change for the Best!” Soda-lovers weren’t impressed. New Coke was a dud. Three months later, “Coca-Cola Classic” was released with a return to the formula people knew and loved that hasn’t been changed since.
Whether it’s soft drinks or senior living communities, there are always new and supposedly “better” options vying for your attention. In recent years, glamorous senior living buildings have popped up in cities nationwide promising to freshen up the senior living formula with flashy new features. When it comes to choosing the right senior living community for you or your loved one, though, “new” isn’t necessarily “better.” That’s why Five Star Senior Living communities’ recipe for success for years has been putting people over perks, from the team members who tell you “Good Morning” with a smile to the residents who welcome you in like family. There may be more options for senior living communities than ever before, but here are four reasons why, like New Coke, it’s best not to mess with a classic recipe.
A Recipe with a Reputation
Any company can tout the quality of their service, but it’s the reviews of people who live in senior living communities that separate unproven claims from the real deal. Reviews from residents of senior living communities are particularly important as they can help you find out what the residents love—and aren’t thrilled about — before you make the big step of moving in. Newer residences might not offer this opportunity because they don’t yet have a long-term reputation. Unlike established communities, you’ll have to take their associates and management at their word instead of residents who live there.
A Community Flavor
Established senior living communities know that one of the keys to their success is how they build and nurture a warm and welcoming group of residents. That familial feeling takes time, often years, to develop. That goes for cultivating relationships with the surrounding community, too. New senior living complexes likely haven’t been around long enough to create strong connections amongst residents or partnerships with local organizations that are a beloved hallmark of established senior living communities.
A Tested Formula
Just like any new soda needs to pass safety tests, senior living communities must jump through all sorts of inspections and regulatory hoops to ensure the highest quality and safety standards. In an industry where time tested policies and procedures have enormous impacts on the health and happiness of residents, established communities with strong track records of compliance over many years are the gold standard, something that new providers haven’t been around long enough to earn.
A Classic Experience
Despite the number of new, shiny senior living options now available, seniors already living in established communities haven’t been persuaded to pack their bags. The big reason? They know a proven experience is better than a promised one. Over many years, the communities that have proudly served older adults and those who love them have accumulated wisdom that helps them deliver a lifestyle that combines the classic with the contemporary. They’ve also mastered how to provide the best experience for residents from the quality of care to knowing what dishes they love best. That doesn’t happen overnight.
Only time will tell if sleek, modernized senior living buildings will go the way of New Coke. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, proven senior living communities like Five Star’s will keep offering the beloved formula that has attracted residents for years: a community where it’s not about the perks you get, but the people you meet. When the recipe is right, don’t mess with it, and nothing beats a classic. Take it from this adult child whose dad moved to a newer community, but returned to an established Five Star one soon after.
“My father was a resident at Heritage Place of Fredericksburg for several years. At one point he wanted to move to the newer, better place in town. We were against it but we moved him. Three months later he was ready to return to Heritage because he missed the staff (family as he called them), the close knit community and the home feeling of the place. This time we were happy to move him.” (Kaden)
If you’re weighing the options for you or a loved one and want the reassurance of an established community, consider all that Five Star Senior Living has to offer.