Boomer Living Senior Living Broadcast

Calvin Schnure - What is the 2021 Outlook for the Macroeconomy and Senior Housing?

February 14, 2021 Hanh Brown / Calvin Schnure Season 2 Episode 92
Boomer Living Senior Living Broadcast
Calvin Schnure - What is the 2021 Outlook for the Macroeconomy and Senior Housing?
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Boomer Living Senior Living Broadcast
Calvin Schnure - What is the 2021 Outlook for the Macroeconomy and Senior Housing?
Feb 14, 2021 Season 2 Episode 92
Hanh Brown / Calvin Schnure

Calvin Schnure, Senior Vice President, Research & Economic Analysis for Nareit shares with us his thoughts on the 2021 senior housing market.

  • Impact of the pandemic on senior living communities
    • What has been the impact on occupancy rates?
    • What has been the financial impact of this on the communities?
    • What is driving this lower demand? Is it preference or fear of COVID, or are there bigger macroeconomic factors at play here like unemployment?
  • What makes the recession caused by this pandemic different from other historical recessions?
    • What will the impact of this difference be on senior living real estate specifically?
  • What have been the most effective ways senior living communities curbed the spread of the pandemic?
    • What role does educating the residents play in keeping viral spread to a minimum?
    • What has been the most effective way to communicate the danger to seniors living in these communities?
    • Has this varied based on the health level of the seniors? For example, I imagine it’d be much more difficult to explain the seriousness of the pandemic to a senior with cognitive impairment or a memory disorder.
  • Prior to the pandemic, what did you think the future of the senior housing sector would be?
    • Did the pandemic change this course, or simply accelerate it?
    • Do you think the pandemic will accelerate industry consolidation among operators of senior living facilities? Why?
  • Once we move past the pandemic, what issues will we still be facing in senior housing?
    • Modern facilities attract a younger crowd, but what problems will communities targeted at the age 80+ face?


Calvin Schnure
Senior Vice President, Research & Economic Analysis


Calvin Schnure is Senior Vice President, Research & Economic Analysis, and joined Nareit in March 2011. He analyzes developments in the macro economy and their impact on REITs and commercial property markets, and on financial returns to REITs. He monitors performance of mortgage REITs and conditions in the U.S. mortgage market. He also conducts original research on REITs' stock market returns and economic fundamentals.

Calvin began his professional career in the 1990s as Economist at the Federal Reserve Board. While at the Fed he analyzed the non-bank financial sectors for the Flow of Funds Accounts, corporate profits and commercial paper markets in the Capital Markets group, and also analyzed business fixed investment, including capital spending on nonresidential structures, for the Fed's economic forecast. Subsequently he was Vice President for US Economics at JPMorganChase, where he analyzed and forecast economic and financial market conditions, and advised senior management and clients. He was Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2002 through 2006, and Director of Economic Analysis at Freddie Mac from 2006 through 2011.

Calvin earned a B.A. in Economics from Williams College, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

He can be contacted at [email protected]

You can also watch our interview on Youtube: https://youtu.be/owrPEUe4nQQ

Show Notes Transcript

Calvin Schnure, Senior Vice President, Research & Economic Analysis for Nareit shares with us his thoughts on the 2021 senior housing market.

  • Impact of the pandemic on senior living communities
    • What has been the impact on occupancy rates?
    • What has been the financial impact of this on the communities?
    • What is driving this lower demand? Is it preference or fear of COVID, or are there bigger macroeconomic factors at play here like unemployment?
  • What makes the recession caused by this pandemic different from other historical recessions?
    • What will the impact of this difference be on senior living real estate specifically?
  • What have been the most effective ways senior living communities curbed the spread of the pandemic?
    • What role does educating the residents play in keeping viral spread to a minimum?
    • What has been the most effective way to communicate the danger to seniors living in these communities?
    • Has this varied based on the health level of the seniors? For example, I imagine it’d be much more difficult to explain the seriousness of the pandemic to a senior with cognitive impairment or a memory disorder.
  • Prior to the pandemic, what did you think the future of the senior housing sector would be?
    • Did the pandemic change this course, or simply accelerate it?
    • Do you think the pandemic will accelerate industry consolidation among operators of senior living facilities? Why?
  • Once we move past the pandemic, what issues will we still be facing in senior housing?
    • Modern facilities attract a younger crowd, but what problems will communities targeted at the age 80+ face?


Calvin Schnure
Senior Vice President, Research & Economic Analysis


Calvin Schnure is Senior Vice President, Research & Economic Analysis, and joined Nareit in March 2011. He analyzes developments in the macro economy and their impact on REITs and commercial property markets, and on financial returns to REITs. He monitors performance of mortgage REITs and conditions in the U.S. mortgage market. He also conducts original research on REITs' stock market returns and economic fundamentals.

Calvin began his professional career in the 1990s as Economist at the Federal Reserve Board. While at the Fed he analyzed the non-bank financial sectors for the Flow of Funds Accounts, corporate profits and commercial paper markets in the Capital Markets group, and also analyzed business fixed investment, including capital spending on nonresidential structures, for the Fed's economic forecast. Subsequently he was Vice President for US Economics at JPMorganChase, where he analyzed and forecast economic and financial market conditions, and advised senior management and clients. He was Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2002 through 2006, and Director of Economic Analysis at Freddie Mac from 2006 through 2011.

Calvin earned a B.A. in Economics from Williams College, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

He can be contacted at [email protected]

You can also watch our interview on Youtube: https://youtu.be/owrPEUe4nQQ

Hanh:

Today on Boomer Living, I'll be speaking with Calvin Schnure. He's a Senior Vice President of Research and Economic Analysis for Nareit. Given his very background in economics and research, I'm eager to learn how he can apply his past learnings to the current state of the pandemic and tell us the impact it will have on our seniors. So, Calvin, thank you so much for joining me today.

Calvin:

Thank you for having me.

Hanh:

Yeah. So can you share with me Nareit, what does that stand for and what does it do? And just give me a history of that.

Calvin:

We rebranded it a few years ago. So it, but it used to be an acronym for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs. A lot of investors have heard of REITs, so like a lot of trade associations, we represent the industry in anything that matters for them. And that includes discussions with with the public policy. There are a lot of public policy measures that are important and they pertain to REITs and commercial real estate, generally. REITs own properties, across many different. types of property. We've been talking about senior housing. There are also other residential properties in terms of apartments and single family, home rentals, but REITs also own office buildings they are REITs that own shopping malls. They are REITs that own industrial facilities, they're shipping goods you buy on the internet. There are actually even REITs that own data centers. So when we have, Internet website is being hosted on a server many times that's in a data center and all of these messages are going through data centers. So what Nareit does is represent the interests of the industry to policy makers, to the public and to investors. Many REITs are public companies. I spend a fair amount of my time talking to investors, institutional investors, like pension funds, who may hold REITs as a way of investing in real estate to get the return. They have price gains and they pay income, but many individual investors also find REITs are beneficial in their portfolio in diversifying away from the risks you may have from just holding stocks and bonds and also providing income and capital gains in a portfolio. So Nareit represents the industry in all of these ways.

Hanh:

Thank you for that overview. Can we start with a brief recap of the impact of the pandemic on senior living communities? First and foremost I'm sure people want to know what has been the impact on occupancy rates and what has been the financial impact of this on the communities?

Calvin:

Unfortunately, senior housing has been hit pretty hard by the pandemic. It's a residential community and we've seen a lot of the the headlines about skilled nursing. Nursing homes are different from senior housing, but you have a lot of common features in terms of large number of people, of vulnerable ages who are living in a, you know, somewhat close community. So senior housing, actually, many of the operators have been very aggressive in combating the the pandemic in terms of providing PPE, in terms of reconfiguring spaces so that you're not having dining in the dining halls they're having in the rooms. But overall, the impact has been pretty bad because many people have not wanted to move into the senior facilities. So vacancy rates have been rising. It's hurt the business. It's also been very difficult for the people who live in these communities. Now, we're hopeful that with many of the residents being on the front wave of receiving the vaccine, we should be seeing some turnaround before much of the rest of the country. But so far it has had a major impact, a major negative impact on these communities, both as communities and also as the businesses that own and operate their communities.

Hanh:

I echo that. So what do you think is driving this lower demand? Is it preference or fear of COVID or are there bigger macroeconomic factors that plays a role such as unemployment?

Calvin:

Well there's a whole host, I would say all of the above. The most, the most obvious and the most immediate is that people, people who were at an agent may have wanted to move into a retirement community, senior community wouldn't go for a visit and wouldn't consider moving during a pandemic. It's just not safe thing to do. So that has cut off a lot of the inflow which has really damped the inflow of new people coming in. But also, you mentioned unemployment in the macro economy. One of the biggest drivers of the demand for senior housing for senior living is not the seniors themselves, but the status of their children in particular, if you look at the nearest adult child and what is their household status? The employment status of the adult child spouse. Because a lot of times a senior might look at their children and say my children are struggling I would be able to help financially and say, I'm not going to spend the money on moving into a senior facility. And a lot of these communities cost a fair amount of money to enter in terms of what you pay up front or what you may pay month to month. On the other side, peoples whose children are doing well many times will, will choose to go to senior housing because it frees up some of the family and they can provide the living facilities that they need. But to the extent that the rise in unemployment has impacted millions of American families, that's probably prevented some people going for financial reasons as well.

Hanh:

Many components that will play a role in your loved ones desire, readiness to take, the next milestone of their lives, and it's a big step even before COVID because many of the loved ones are, I guess it all depends on their perspective. It could be leaving a lot behind and not knowing their surroundings, the the new home that they're in and maybe some of them might not, might think that they don't know how to make friends. I've had some personal journeys of getting my mom into a community and everything that we talk about there's a lot of, combination of fear even before COVID not fully understand the value proposition of senior housing, senior living and compounded by the pandemic, certainly exasperated the problem. So now, what makes the recession caused by this pandemic different from other historical recessions?

Calvin:

In terms of just the macro- economy is that was an external shock. We all know that it was the pandemic that caused this and the economy previous, prior to a year ago was pretty healthy. Every other recession that we've had and as an economist, I've studied all the recessions we've had going back 70 years as part of my work, all the previous recessions occurred when you had internal weaknesses that caused a collapse. These weaknesses could have been if inflation was high and the federal reserve wanted to cool the economy off to prevent damage from inflation. So they would deliberately slow the economy, but we did not have an inflation problem. We've also seen periods where you had over-investment the economy got ahead of itself in terms of building, whether it's new homes or business and so on. Um, in many ways, the, the ".com bust" occurred because there was over-investment in the tech industry, and then there was a pull back there in business investment. Another thing we had happens is many times you have over-indebtedness, uh, it's still fairly fresh in our memory what happened during the great financial crisis, 2008, 2009, there was just a huge amount of indebtedness. Those are the types of internal weaknesses that can cause the economy to collapse from within. They really weren't present a year ago. They really weren't present. Now, this is a very severe recession, obviously. We're all seeing people struggling. Many of us are struggling ourselves. But fortunately the fact that many of the real fundamentals in terms of the financial strength of many parts of the economy, many parts, many individuals are really struggling. The unemployed people, the bankrupt businesses clearly are hard hit, but if you look over all the banking system, a lot of corporations in many households, are not as weak as they would have been at this point in a previous recession. That's a firmer base for recovery later this year.

Hanh:

What will the impact of this difference be on senior living real estate, specifically?

Calvin:

We're likely to see your rebound, people moving into facilities once the coast is clear. And again, I mentioned earlier that since residents, people who are over age 65 or the elderly are first in line for vaccines In many cases. You're probably going to see these communities being safe, places to live before, even before the rest of the economy. So the fact that many of the other economic fundamentals, I don't want to say they're strong. I would say they're intact because those are intact we'll see people, who, are willing and able to move back into senior housing. I think in the second half of this year, you're going to see some signs of life. You're going to see a recovery, a more full recovery coming to the year after that.

Hanh:

I guess what have been the most effective way senior living communities, curb the spread of the pandemic? What is your thought?

Calvin:

A lot of the operators of senior housing were, they were quite alarmed in, March of last year, April of last year, looking at what had happened, other places. So one thing that they did was they made sure that they had the equipment you needed for cleaning, for protecting people I mentioned previously, the closing of common spaces. My mother is also in a senior housing community outside of Pittsburgh. I grew up in Pittsburgh and she's living in a community there, and I talk with her. She really misses having dinner in the dining room. She knows that it's important that they don't get together in the dining room to avoid spread. They've had the meals delivered in the room. Now there's an offset to that because isolation and loneliness is a problem for any human being, we're social creatures, and, especially if you're older, not able to see people. So there's a bit of trade trade-off of trying to keep people safe and trying to keep people happy. But by and large, the community that I've seen and I've heard about have really tried to go the extra mile to provide measure, direct measures to, to help the people in the community. And also, I work for Nareit, it's the trade association for REITs for Real Estate Investment Trusts and includes a number of large owners of senior housing. They and many similar operators have also been trying to provide information to the people at the facility. So, if a REIT owns many different facilities, they make sure that the people there have information about what is available in terms of resources, in terms of safety measures in terms of medical guidance, trying to provide the best care for the people who are living in those facilities.

Hanh:

So what role does educating the residents play in keeping the virus spread to a minimum?

Calvin:

Education is really important. Unfortunately, we've seen a lot of misinformation. This was a new virus. People did not really understand. I'm not an epidemiologist, but I've certainly read an awful lot about what epidemiologists say. But educating people that, social distancing and masks, they may be uncomfortable, but they're what keep us, they're what keep us safe and that type of education about how people can avoid coming down with this disease. But also coupled with the information about what is going on in the community, in the country as a whole. It's important to understand what's going on in the country as a whole so that you know that first of all, we're in a, we're recording this in early February, 2021. And at this point, the pace of the pandemic has slowed after the holidays, there was a surge in the holidays and you saw the number of new cases go up. A tremendous amount is because families got together, people traveled and that just showed that there are still the risks, but now it's coming down. And knowing this type of information is important so that people are aware not just of the risks right now, but if we're careful within some reasonable timeframe, we will be able to get together and see people. We, again, we're human beings. We're impatient. If we know that we're never going to be able to see someone we "Say I just can't do that. I have to see them." If we hear the message, "If you're really careful right now, we can all stay safe through the spring and summer, and then we can get back to seeing our friends and family." I think that makes it easier for people to stay safe during a difficult time like this.

Hanh:

You give them hope. At least you give them a timeline, a window "Here is what we still need to do within this parameters." And there's hope after that. There are adverse effects with the older adults who have been enclosed within their four walls. I think, it's humanity, all of us school age, you and I, older adults, we need to be social. And I'm really thankful for technology. Here's one reason you and I have this opportunity to learn, share, and inspire. But I'm very much looking forward to seeing my mom who is in a community and she has a later stage of dementia. So there is big worries as she stays alone, too long and her awareness, what that would be like when we finally get to see her. So it's tough.

Calvin:

Sorry to hear that. That's a difficult issue. I went through the same thing with my father a decade ago.

Hanh:

Yeah, I tell you every single one of us has been impacted by this at varying levels, right? Whether it's economics, health, relationship, everything that affects your wellbeing. So, what has been the most effective way to communicate the danger to seniors that are living in these communities? What did you find to be effective?

Calvin:

Something that I've worked with on a day-to-day basis, I'm aware that a lot of communities have stepped up their outreach, not just to the people who are the residents, but also to the families. We get a weekly email from the community where my mother lives and it gives updates of saying you know, "One of our staff tested positive." or "A contractor tested positive." We're changing these facilities and just information helps, what you should worry about and what you shouldn't worry about. Um, and you can, and a lot of this information comes through email these days. Um, I don't know what people are doing to reach people who may not have a lot of access to email and that's an issue that people should be concerned about. But by and large, I think we've all seen that getting information out, even if it's bad information is better than a vacuum of information, because in a situation like this, if you've heard nothing, your first reaction might be to worry "What's going on?" I know when my, when my kids were teenagers, if they were out, if they called and said "Oh, sorry, I'm going to be home late. I'm not going to make the curfew., but here's something that happened..." thent we'd know, okay we know what to worry about or not. But if I heard nothing from a teenager and hour after they're supposed to be home, I would be worried. It's a similar thing with information during the pandemic. If people know what the risks are, what the current developments are and what people are going to do about it, then we can all handle the situation better.

Hanh:

Communication lends itself for the trust, right? The openness. It was hard for us to explain to my mom who has the later stage of dementia, what COVID is. And she has to wear a mask too. And to be honest, I'm not sure if she fully grasp what it is but she is taking extra precaution. So, it's, it's a tough journey, you know, across all gamma of life. Um, so, all right. So, prior to the pandemic, what did you think the future of senior housing sector to be and did the pandemic change this course or simply accelerate it?

Calvin:

You know, we are in the middle of a dramatic change in how American seniors live of the type of living choices that seniors have. I've done a fair amount of economic research on this and with this research, I've also tied it together with my own family's experience and it maps pretty closely with what's going on. If you looked a generation or two ago most seniors had little choice, but to live at home or live with family members. Sometimes if people got very ill, they would be institutionalized in a nursing home. Many times, these were not very pleasant places. So, "Aging in Place" was in many ways a preferred alternative, but beginning and say the 1980s or 1990s, you had the rise of really residential communities where people went there because it was a comfortable place to live and they could have social activities and they could make friends there. And I, when I did my research on this, it was interesting because my grandfather moved into senior nursing facility in 1982. He was, he was over 90 years old. And the name of it, the name of it was "The Presbyterian Old Folks Home." And when I was doing my research on this a few years ago, I was reading, senior communities that were advertising trips to the symphony, and "We have golf available." These are for active people who are not just there to prove, get the medical care, but to have a place where they have a community when maybe their children are living, on the other coast or maybe their children are not able to be providing the care for them. I had another direct observation with my own family of how the type of living has changed. When my mother moved in with my father, it was 20 years ago at this point when my father's health was starting to fail, they had been there for awhile. And about when I was doing my research, I went to pick my mother up to bring her to our house for Thanksgiving, and they had construction through the whole facility, and you couldn't use the common area. You couldn't use half the dining room and my mother apologized and she said, "I'm sorry that this is blocked off. You know, we talked to our director and we tell her We're very happy with the way it is. Why do you have to build, block this?" And the director said, "You don't understand that the next generation who's coming in is looking for a lot more out of this facility." And I heard that and I said, "Mom, I want to have an interview with the director to find out exactly what she's doing" and what they found in that community is very similar to what I saw in my own research that the choice for senior housing has gone from something that really, you went almost reluctantly because you want it to be in your own home and this place wasn't necessarily all that nice. That's something we're in now, people do form contacts, they have activities. they have meals together and there's more to it than just that. Many times they can get medical care that is preventative medical care they wouldn't have at, they were at home in their own apartment. Discussing your mother and dementia, my father had a similar issue 10 years ago. Many of these facilities offer you a continuum of care from so many kind of independent living to assisted living. My mother has had physical therapy to help maintain her balance so that she doesn't fall. She's 97 years old. She broke her pelvis a year ago and she's had physical therapy. So she's back on her feet. And then memory care deal with people who aren't able to deal with the daily functions in terms of remembering what they're doing. These are the things that make it much more attractive for someone to move in, uh, and live a good life. It's not just a place to hold them. This is a place for people to have a fulfilling life at the final, who knows how many years of their lifetime.

Hanh:

I agree. I agree. You know my personal journey in finding senior housing for my mom years ago it was not positive perhaps it's because the few that I looked at it wasn't clear what that value proposition is. And now my goodness I think it's a lot clearer, but it sure there's still a lot of work to be done. But I think once the media understand what that value proposition is, and to me, senior living is about living, it's as simple as that, it's a continuation of life where you can continue to be social, make new friends, and maybe even look back on the things that you used to do, but life got busy. Kids were younger and you put that aside. So it's learning new skills, making new friends. And maybe, like I said, going back to reminisce what, what the talent that you had before life got so busy. And then not to mention the wellness activities my goodness and the technology that is available right now. So it's, I think it's a wonderful place to be, and I would not hesitate to share anyone family members, relatives of what that value proposition is. It's going through a tough spot obviously, but just like anything we all have to get over the hump and I'm a firm believer it is a great place to continue to live. And so I echo your message. Okay.

Calvin:

Yeah, there's another, another aspect of the community that, that I found very interesting. When you look at, when my kids were younger, when I was growing up a lot of times you saw in the neighborhood, there were the little kids and then the older kids and the older kids many times were a little bit more responsible and they would make sure that the little kids didn't go, cross the street unattended, or they would babysit for them sometimes they would keep an eye up for them and there was a natural progression. As you get older, you take on more responsibility and in some ways I've seen the reverse in senior communities. Sometimes people will move in and they're you now, mid seventies and they are active and they're able to do a lot of things. And there are order residents who, you know, maybe in a wheelchair may need some help going down to the store or the place where the, there's a post office in the building. And and I've seen the younger helping the olders just the way it was reversed in the neighborhood where the older kids are keeping an eye out for the younger ones. It's not that way in every facility, but I've seen this again and again, where there are many of these communities where they're looking after each other in generations, within that generation.

Hanh:

Right, right. It's almost inter-generational living. There's camaraderie, there's care that they look after each other. So I see that too and I think it's great. Yes, it is a business and yes, we want to stay on the positive because nobody goes into business and lose money. We want occupancy to be as high as possible. The good operators will recognize that for every occupancy rate there's an older adult that worked hard for their retirement to prepare for this. And for every occupancy rate, there's a family that care for their loved ones and looking forward to the next continuation of life. So, I think if we're all mindful of the operational side, that there's a life that there's a heritage that there's loved ones that look that want to look after moms, dads and grandparents, I think we all will be very successful because it is a business and we're in a caring business.

Calvin:

I couldn't agree more. And a way to put it that's not really in terms of dollars and cents is just to say, "You want people to live in a well managed facility. You want people to live in a place that is spending the money on things they need to spend money on and not having neglected areas as well." Um, and that's one thing that, that's one thing that the REITs that are active in this space focus on a lot, making sure that they provide the services they need to maintain the facility and to maintain the community where people live. And you have a good return on those types of expenditures and not have wasteful expenditure aside. There's no contradiction between a well-managed facility and a place where you do want to live. You would want to live in a well-managed facility and those are the ones that are good for the businesses that own them as well.

Hanh:

Now, do you think, depending on they will accelerate industry consolidation among operators of the senior living facilities and why?

Calvin:

Yes, I think you could see that because continuing what I was just talking about, many times an an operator, many times a company that is operating many facilities and operating them well can lower the cost and can provide the care. They find out what works and there's certain economies of scale for operating more than just one community. And we're likely to see the continued rapid growth in the residents in senior housing over the next decade or two. And you're going to need a lot more people who are providing the, managing these facilities and managing these businesses and that provides scope for consolidation as well, and the ownership of these. So you have communities across cities and across the country and there's a lot of scope for consolidation.

Hanh:

Passed the pandemic, what issues will we still be facing in the senior housing?

Calvin:

The biggest issue is the aging of the baby boom generation means that there is a great need for senior housing. And it's funny because we've been talking about how it's attractive for an older adult to live in a place that provides community, can provide the care and so on. And I read this awhile ago, someone who had done some surveys saying most baby boomers don't want to live with their children if they can be in their own place like this. They also did a survey that said, most millennials say, "No, we don't want our parents coming, living with us either." These are not unattractive options. These are actually a very nice way to provide provide a safe place where people can get the medical care. So the biggest, the biggest issue over the next decade is going to be this generation that is moving into the area where you may not be able to maintain your own single family home or maintain a full apartment. Now some of the other challenges that come with this, many of these communities are expensive to live in. IT costs money to buy your place it costs money for rent and for maintenance agreements. There are a lot of baby boomers who did well during life and have the wealth that they can afford these. There are a lot of people who were lower down the income scale, lower down the wealth scale that may not be able to afford some of these communities. And there's are going to be a real need for more affordable senior living in the decade or two ahead. I think, I'd say those are, the, probably the third issue is just the challenges with medical technology. We know that healthcare and medical insurance, health insurance has become very expensive and is very important but that's partly because the scientists have come up with new lifesaving techniques that sometimes are very expensive. Many of these facilities are going to be on the frontline of helping to deliver the medical care, not like a hospital, but they're going to be making it available, and they're going to have to deal with the challenges of making as much of, the, this medical care that's provided by other service providers. But it's gonna be important for those residents to be able to have access to the medical care on a cost-effective basis.

Hanh:

I echo that. With regard to leadership, as we press forward to get past a pandemic, do you have any tips, suggestions on what leadership skills that we need to instill in the organization?

Calvin:

I hadn't anticipated this question, but there are a couple of obvious answers. The first one is, a leader needs to recognize that you can't separate the financial needs of the business from the personal needs of the people who are living there. We were just talking about this and if leadership of an organization says the only way that I can make the shareholders happy is by making the residents safe and happy, then they're probably going to be successful. Going with that is communication, they're going to need to communicate to the residents, why they're doing things, but just as important and I didn't discuss this earlier is they're going to have to find out from the residents, what are the things that they're doing well? What are the things that they're doing poorly? Now? I know that we're humans, you asked someone you know, "What could you do better?" And sometimes you get it a whole long list of things, but if they ask these questions and they find consistently, people are saying, "Here's an issue with the facility, or we, we live", whether it's food whether it's lighting, whether it's something about the facility then they can address those issues and that type of communication is important.

Hanh:

I think that openness, ingenuity, a sincere interest in the resident's well-being and that once something is uncovered to be in, you own it and you work towards a solution and just letting everybody know that we're in it as one, and we're going to press forward as a community because ultimately we're touching each other's lives. Before COVID, what I'm saying is we're touching the lives of the the older adults in every way. So if they have that trust and that openness with the team staff, I think we're all gonna come out this much stronger than we were before. Now, having gone through the last 11 months of the pandemic, has it changed you in any way?

Calvin:

I grew a beard. I'm fortunate that I can do my job from home without having to go out. I've been very careful to follow those recommendations and our office put this nice little sign so that is nice and professional in my little studio on our, on the back part of our house here. I have tried to stay very active. I'm an athlete. I'm a cyclist. I used to be a track runner when I was in high school and college. And it's, that's something that you're able to do fairly well, even during the pandemic, because the types of activities that I do many times I'm out on my own. It's been difficult to maintain contact with communities, but I think we've all gotten much more adept at hooking up and chatting online with people, whether it's for work, whether it's for family members, whether it's for other groups, and that's something that I've done a lot more of. And I think really what's happened is I've stopped taking many of those things for granted, a year ago I took for granted the way I went to work, I took for granted what the living was like around the house and I took for granted the people that I would bump into during my activities. Now, each of those takes a little bit more deliberate effort and I'm trying to make the effort.

Hanh:

I agree. It's changed me in many ways, I appreciate you sharing that. I think it's going to make every single one of us better people.

Calvin:

I hope it does, but I'm also worried about the people who are isolated.

Hanh:

Yeah.

Calvin:

And, one of the big concerns is a mental health and issues with alcohol and addiction. And people who are in senior living facilities are not immune to any of those issues. That is a real concern, and I hope that, uh, any person who's working, operating a senior housing facility or any residential facility recognizes the needs of residents who may be isolated and who may turn to other substances as a way of easing that isolation, because that is terrible for someone's health.

Hanh:

Yeah, I do. I do. Now, would you like to share anything else?

Calvin:

This has been a very very good discussion. I've enjoyed talking with you. I just, you know, repeat that senior housing has really changed so much over the past probably two decades and it's probably going to continue to change. And I've mentioned earlier that the REITs, the Real Estate Investment Trusts that are invested in senior housing, have played an active role in creating these communities. But beyond that I think I can join with the rest of the people who are really hoping that the vaccine and safe adherence to public health measures, until the vaccine takes full effect, let's us all get back to a bit more normal lives next year later this year or next year.

Hanh:

Yeah, I echo that. I get sentimental even though I'm optimistic I get sentimental because I have a lot of, on a personal level, health-related family members that one of which didn't come out of COVID. He actually pass away after being on a ventilator over three months. So, I'm like most people very encouraged and optimistic, but there's a lot that we still have to overcome. And on a professional level, I think I'm more encouraged with the vaccine and the openness of our communities. So I think in that regard, it's very good.

Calvin:

I would also say "Get the vaccine. Get the vaccine." There's a lot of discussion about some people are resistant, but every healthcare provider is saying, "Get the vaccine", they're safe, they're effective. And it's not just for you. It's not just for us. It's for everyone to prevent others from getting, "Get the vaccine."

Hanh:

I agree, prior to our conversation, I had Rhonda from Rivera she's their medical officer, and she was explaining that one of the two dose From Moderna or Pfizer, the first one is about 50, 55% effective, but by the second dosage, it's 95% effective. So to me that's huge. Those are good numbers. So I highly recommend it if, you're lucky enough to have it. And I think there's going to be a rollout, at least in our Michigan area, that we'll be seeing more available for folks, a little younger sometime by spring. So that's what I hear. I really enjoy our conversation. I thank you so much and I'm so glad that we connected on social media. And then we'll stay in touch.

Calvin:

Okay. Great. Thank you.

Hanh:

Alright. Take care.

Calvin:

Nice talking to you.