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Laura Hester
March 13, 2015 Article 2 min read

Senior living communities look very different today than they did just a few years ago, thanks to the influx of the Baby Boomer generation. “Baby Boomers want different things from their parents’ generation,” says Rick Ryan, president and CEO of Franciscan Living Communities. "Organizations that don’t step up their game are in peril.”

How does Franciscan Living Communities continue to step up its game? According to Rick, by listening to residents’ evolving needs and by providing modern services in state-of-the-art environments.

Tell us about Franciscan Living Communities.

Franciscan Living Communities began in 1998 with the goal of providing quality, comprehensive, and spiritually enriching senior services in beautifully designed environments. We offer a full continuum of care, including five independent living facilities, five assisted living facilities, four memory care facilities, six rehabilitation centers, six skilled nursing facilities, and an adult day care center. Today, we have more than 1,600 live-in units across seven facilities in Ohio and Kentucky.

Approximately 3 million Baby Boomers will retire each year for the next 20 years. How are you preparing for this growing need for quality senior housing?

Our strategic plan is to continue to grow our ministry, independent living, and assisted living facilities, especially with smaller rehabilitation and nursing facility units, anticipating that a lot of services will be delivered to residents in the most residential setting we can provide. There’s a lot more of a focus on wellness now, so ensuring each campus has a wellness center is important. Baby Boomers have a lot of needs — our plan is to grow with that retiring population and continue to meet them.

How have those needs evolved over the past few years?

First, seniors want health care delivered to their homes, so each of our facilities has an on-site nurse practitioner.

Second, they want more physical space. Each project we embark on dedicates more physical space to individual residents than the last — patios, balconies, extra bedrooms for family and friends to visit.

Third, they want fine dining. We have professionally trained chefs and have watched the quality of the food and our residents’ satisfaction improve. Religious services are also important to our residents, so all organizations have chapels and spiritual coordinators on site. Finally, technology is becoming more important, as many residents have their own devices. We have wireless in every building and provide computer classes and computers for those who may need them.

How can you be sure your services are meeting your residents’ needs?

The key metric we look at is whether or not residents would recommend our facilities to somebody else. Right now, that metric is at 98 percent.

Anything else you’d like people to know about Franciscan Living Communities?

We have a new sponsor — Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) out of Denver, Colo. Integrating with CHI allows us to build in the existing strength of its health system and better support the expanding needs of our communities. We look forward to continuing to open cutting-edge facilities and maintaining our provider-of-choice status in each community we operate in.