On this episode of Boomer Living, I'll be speaking to Paul E. Griffin III. He is the founder, CEO, and President of Griffin Living, an award-winning development firm with a specialty in innovative senior living communities. With over 40 years in the industry, Paul has a wealth of experience and has received numerous awards and honors along the way, including the hammer of hope habitat for humanities builder of the year award.
We discuss his experience in homebuilding and how that informs his approach to senior living at Griffin Living, COVID protocols and safety measures, and outlook for investors in the senior living space.
[00:00] Pre-intro discussion
[02:29] What does it feel like to be a Griffin?
[03:23] Paul's thoughts on real estate development.
[04:51] Tell us a story about how you found capital for your projects and how did it happen and what were the challenges along the way?
[06:20] What are the demographics of your residents and were you able to successfully address the needs and wants of your residents?
[10:53] Tell us about your family's real estate development legacy and what sets Griffin living apart?
[14:16] How has COVID forced these issues about resident care, both mentally and physically to the forefront of the mind, to the developers?
[17:49] You have RNs and MDs, do you also provide telemedicine?
[19:39] How would you suggest people figure out the level of care that they need and balance that with what they can afford?
[20:43] How can assisted living communities shake the stigma that those are places that people don't want to be in, and how do you make assisted living communities, a place where people look forward to and spending their later years? How do you design your communities and services to give the residents a thriving environment to spend with their families in their later years?
[24:46] In independent living, as long as your real estate in the rooms is very versatile. You can transform those rooms into whatever setting that will allow your resident to be imaginative that they're in a different country and just celebrate the living, the vibrance, the wellness of the community.
[27:00] What kind of benefits struggle balance, do you look for in people who make decisions, where you develop?
[29:47] How does competition in places that under-served seniors, help those who choose to live there?
[31:15] The oldest baby boomer turned 75 this year, and as they gradually move into assisted living, what kind of strain is that going to put on the industry over the next 10 to 20 years? Are the baby boomers going to require any specific kind of care different from the previous cohorts?
[39:03] We're all, at some point going to be a caregiver or a recipient of one.
[41:07] How do you manage the balance between running a profitable business and ensuring that your residents are getting the best care possible?
Listen to part 2 of our interview here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/765170/8312327-paul-e-griffin-iii-to-meet-the-needs-of-an-older-adult-is-one-that-takes-into-account-their-emotional-needs-part-2-of-2
Paul E. Griffin III is the founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Griffin Living. A fifth-generation builder with forty years of expertise in real estate development, Paul was inducted into the Forbes Real Estate Council in 2020. Before founding Griffin Living, Paul has overseen the development of projects, including residential homes, apartment complexes, retail centers, and commercial office space. In his career, Paul has created over $4 billion in value and received numerous awards and honors, including Habitat for Humanity's Builder of the Year (Hammer of Hope)
And we're, all of our parents are in that kind of in that age cohort they're getting into their late eighties and nineties and, we're all understanding the needs, directly more. What COVID has done is forced us as an industry to get much more serious about it. Industry-wide and, I frankly think the industry is reacted very well to it. I deal with other developers that are listening, are we're all dealing with. Capitol being reticent to come in and what's going to happen. Will there be a senior living business in the future assisted living? What is, what is the upshot of COVID going to be? And it started in my mind, our experience is starting to be clearer. Certainly there are some horrific examples that happened in New York and there was one up in Washington and here and there were, there were some serious outbreaks, but it hasn't really been an industry wide issue. The industry, I think clamped down in my mind, the bigger thing that hit us in COVID is the isolation and the loneliness for our, residents they're there.Hanh:
Today we have a very special guest on the program. Paul Griffin, Paul is the founder, CEO and President of Griffin Living, an award-winning development firm with a specialty in innovative senior living communities. With over 40 years in the industry, Paul has a wealth of experience and has received numerous awards and honors along the way, including the hammer of hope habitat for humanities builder of the year award. Paul, thank you so much for taking the time to be with me today on Boomer Living.Paul:
Thank you for having me. So always enjoyed. I've talked to two other people in the industry and find out what other people's ideas are and experiences and share my own and my ideas evolve every day as I have these conversations. So appreciate you having me.Hanh:
Great. So you are a fifth generation, big home builder, a leader in the real estate development industry with a long history of building masterplan communities, multifamily and retail properties. Your family has had a social and economic impact in communities across the States. And what a pleasure it must be to carry on that tradition. And that has been with your family for many years, and now you get to preserve that tradition and share it with your children. So that's wonderful and congratulation. So what does it feel like to be a Griffin?Paul:
Child abuse is what I always thought probably asked my daughter and my nieces and nephews, how they feel about it? No, actually, it's been such an amazing opportunity to grow up. With a family business that's been active and responded to the economic cycles and demand changes and opportunities that there are.Hanh:
The most rewarding aspect about the real estate industry is that it's so multifaceted. Every day, we find ourselves learning about new and exciting developments in our field, from how to identify prime locations for potential development sites, all the way down to understanding the government approval processes and, uh, on a local level. So, can you share your thoughts on that?Paul:
Real estate development is a, such a multifaceted kind of an industry. So we're, we really need to understand the basic real estate itself where it's located and how we can gain the the governmental approvals, which in California. I chose an example when I was working on not very many years ago, it was five or six years ago. I had 30 mill, 30 to $33 million of our money into it, just in the entitlement and the legal costs. They didn't pay for any ground. And we didn't have our approvals yet. So it was, the kind of thing that happens in California now is the approvals happened and we knew that would well. We thought they would, or wouldn't have invested that kind of money as they happen. I turned around and sold it to essentially the teachers' union for $210 million. So it's kind of money they make in real estate in California, but the risk that you have to take to get there. And that was a very large master plan housing and schools, and was a two schools in a retail center and some churches and things. It was large large site for a lot of profit for a lot of riskHanh:
Can you tell me a story about how you found capital for your projects and how did it happen and what were the challenges along the way?Paul:
In 2000 and 2010, there really wasn't any capital run. And the thing about the projects that we like to do is they're always, between 50 and a hundred million dollars in capital that I need to do about the size project. So we work on and they're just, you can remember back in 2010, there just was no capital around to beg, borrow, or steal for developments. And so I ended up in China and partnerships and loans with Chinese entities and they really they had lots of capital they were willing to come to America and, you take advantage of their capital source the capital resources, but they really wanted us to focus on seniors as part, as a important part of our development. And that is really what got me thinking about them more than our our families that we had, master-planned communities that we're really focused on all that time. And I always heard that it was a really important age cohort to develop to our first project that we did, it started in 2010 or 11. I can't remember exactly, but was a 204 unit 55 plus apartment complex. And It was interesting that developments just development, the construction, is just construction. There's nothing really special about it. But what was specialists to start to understand who our consumer was in that project?Hanh:
So, what are the demographics of your residents and were you able to successfully address the needs and wants of your residents?Paul:
So they were it's 55 plus, but really they were people who were in their seventies. I would say about a third of them still had, we're still working. Two-thirds of them in one way or another empty nest or single, single families, what have you. But they were very active and we spent a lot of the resource on that project, in the activity center, in the we developed the the swimming pool in the larger area to be resort style. So went to our architects and landscape architects our Newport beach types. So they're used to doing projects in Hawaii and California where agate. So that was really easy for them to develop a big resort, a pool. The activity, the main activity area was was interesting because we had to design a small kitchen that we really didn't offer. A, a restaurant, but we offer coffees and minor food services during the day, and then evening events that we would bring in catering for, or shitting chefs to do evening events, as people wanted, but it wasn't an everyday thing like we would do with assisted living or independent living. So I got to know the our residents though, they were active a lot more active than I thought they were interesting people, as I'm starting to age into the cohort, I'm finding, I have actually a lot more curiosity and intelligence than I thought I would at this age. And they did too. And that really attracted me. We did one night, a speed dating for seniors, which is our marketing manager, put it together and my God, there were so many people that were trying to get in. It backed up traffic down to the major Boulevard in the area, and the police had to come and close the place down. And we ended up on evening news and it was just lot of fun and getting to know them. And, that really got my interest in seniors because I got, I started to become familiar with our residents and from there started shopping up and down in California and in Florida and up in Connecticut where we are Atlanta where we always had an office for our master plans and our family developments started shopping around to see who was actually developing this product and what it looked like. And, I would've thought more 55 plus apartments, which I still think is an excellent Part of the demand that's needed, which is, more affordable housing for seniors, which is going to be the, the rental markets for 55 plus. So D do deliver the lifestyle without the expense that might come with independent living. As I looked at independent living and assisted living was interesting aside the gamut, which we all see in the industry. I went to One center that a group out here in California that I really respect built is a CCRC and went in and it was large 650 units and a big campus. So that felt right to the Griffins. That's the scale that we like to develop to and build to the architect on that project is done, 60, $70 million worth of architecture work for us. So the connections were there and it was easy, but I went in to investigate it and stayed for cocktails and dinner with some of the residents in the independent living and. They were just great guys. Men had coats and ties and ascots and women had their jewelry on and were having cocktails and talking. These guys have been captains in industry and doctors and every, military men, everything you can imagine. And I finished dinner and the guys from my family came with me sick, just send my gear down. I'm not leaving like this place I fit. This is perfect for me. So that was a, a real upscale, beautiful product that was down in in Northern San Diego went into others that were certainly gave the the three hots and a cot, there was the needs were being met in more in assisted living, I would visit with them and standing in the entry and just talk with people. And you wouldn't want to leave because, these people, if I feel like I'm abandoning these people, but as we looked at that in my mind, I started to, just think of some market segmentation and in assisted living. So from the independent living, which is, by definition, a little bit more of a luxury decision. So there are usually nicer and a little more monetized, a a little better feel to them because you don't move to independent living unless it's something that you want to do. The assisted living segment, as we understand it it, as we've been studying and getting into in our own projects is a decision that people make because it's a, needs-based, we're defensive if you will, for families.Hanh:
So, can you tell me about your family's real estate development legacy and what sets Griffin living apart?Paul:
So my mother and father, so the fourth generation of the business was, it was a great businessman, all his life, hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in a business every year that my dad did. And now he's, they live at their house up in Montecito, overlooking the ocean. It's absolutely gorgeous. I, a beautiful house in location, his memory starting to go and He needs his Walker. And he can't quite remember when he sees a happy man, which I'm glad for my dad. He just needs to be sued a little bit and remind him, what, it's time for dinner now. And this is what we're going to do today. And you have to remind them about three dozen times. But we've, we're now to the point where we've got round the clock caregivers for them. Just to help. My mom is slowing down more than she thinks she is, which is probably pretty typical. She really thinks of herself as about my age she looks at me as about 12, some moms are, but anyway she we want them to feel good about where they are and we have the caregivers there and try and make them as non-invasive as possible. I now have another activities person that I've put up just to help oversee run errands and drive them around. And what have you? My mom is convinced they need none of it, brothers and sisters, and I no need all of it. However w we're really about all of this, it's extremely expensive and, I know families can afford it, but LA is something many families afford, but in many families really can't. If you go to assisted living as a solution it's actually much cheaper. And the care can be better in my mind, if we actually have layers, I've got caregivers that actually have RNs to oversee them. I've got activity directors and activity people, caregivers that also have at our corporate level people to oversee and be sure that we actually are delivering. Activity and value in our restaurants. Our executive chefs are good. And then we have at our corporate level executive chef that actually was been running a restaurant out here. Very good at it. Essentially made a deal with him and said, let's take over the business side of what you're doing. Let us manage that you be as creative as you ever wanted to be. In fact, you can't be creative enough, so don't worry about it, but bring, this makes Sunday brunches special, make Thursday nights something special or taco Tuesdays. Make things happen in the sites because the animation in the food services is a big deal. When you think about all of those kinds of care and activities that we can offer our residents, I think can get more. For less. And then this is not just for the Griffins. This is for all of our industry. We're all the industry as a whole is really going this direction that we can take advantage of the economies of scale and in our assisted living and do better for our customers and for our residents. And that you really start in my life experience, just like getting into senior housing because that's where the capital was available with the Chinese way back when and now as I'm seeing the real needs basis with my parents, I understand it with my other, my other senior managers here have all been with me for the 30 years that I've been running the place. And we're, all of our parents are in that kind of in that age cohort they're getting into their late eighties and nineties and, we're all understanding the needs, directly more.Hanh:
Now there have been illnesses that have heavily affected seniors in the past, but COVID was a true tragedy, especially for senior living. So how has COVID forced these issues about resident care, both mentally and physically to the forefront of the mind, to the developers?Paul:
What COVID has done is forced us as an industry to get much more serious about it. Industry-wide and, I frankly think the industry is reacted very well to it. I deal with other developers that are listening, are we're all dealing with. Capitol being reticent to come in and what's going to happen. Will there be a senior living business in the future assisted living? What is, what is the upshot of COVID going to be? And it started in my mind, our experience is starting to be clearer. Certainly there are some horrific examples that happened in New York and there was one up in Washington and here and there were, there were some serious outbreaks, but it hasn't really been an industry wide issue. The industry, I think clamped down in my mind, the bigger thing that hit us in COVID is the isolation and the loneliness for our, residents they're there. And, we really, now that now we've been about 70% back is as an industry about 70% vaccinated. We've been very fortunate on our projects to have vaccinations available to everybody so far. Our residents are vaccinated in our care. Our onsite staff are vaccinated, corporate office. Here is fortunate. We're all vaccinated now, too. So it's, it is better. I think we're able to have less isolation as we go forward, which I think is one of the bigger enemies about all of this, but industry-wide, I think those vaccinations matter. And then our our COVID protocols are to have a, there, there is a fogging material we can put through the rooms and the main activity rooms, a hallway, and it's non-toxic, but it can disinfect I notice the airlines started doing it. In fact, it was just back and forth from Florida this week, or last week. And this week and they were spraying and it was clean and good. They had everybody mask. I don't think we necessarily need that as much in our senior centers at this point with vaccinations and fogging, we'll still do so for a while, but people's comfort, but I think that's more in my mind anyway, and I'm not a doctor, but I'm feeling like that's more emotional support at this point when you're vaccinated and clean are taking temperatures and we have the ability to record. I like that anyway to see who you are when you come in the door, whether you're staff delivery, service, family, who are you. You're not just, people coming in that, we don't understand and you're not invited. And we also record you and your temperature every time you come in and out. So I think that's a good idea. Anyway, I like to see that go forward and seems to me that we're, the protocols of those protocols, I think we're, I think we're pretty good shape. I liked that. I liked the telemedicine now. I know that's a brand name. I like the concept of our doctors and our caregivers. Being able to get quickly to our residents with any questions or anything that starts so that we can get help faster. I also like it because I haven't gone through with my wife's mother and father and having been with them and spent them nights and hospitals with them. I liked the idea of not calling ambulances when they're actually not necessary, but calling when they are necessary. I think our better chance for that is, get vital signs and. The zoom photographs directly to our doctor and let her doctor make the decision about you Camarena. I need to see you or no, it's more upsetting and let's just have you stay where you are and we're going to monitor you. So in our RNs are good, but I like our doctors even better.Hanh:
You have them at your community the RNs and MDs, and you also do telemedicine?Paul:
Yeah. Our MDs are not at the communities are our ends. Are the communities use telemedicine against branding. We're not using that brand, we can provide a doctor for the patient, but that is, the doctor works for the patient. Not for us. We just want to make that connection. If the patient doesn't come with one which they do. We want to create the connection more firmly and directly with the actual doctor one at the end of the RN there, if it's something that they're really concerned about it, rather than our, just our caregiver, most of the time, this, his caregiver. And you think about the thing about the way this goes into the, in everybody in the industry, also understands the way that usually goes is somebody gets sick at night, big caregiver, was their caregiver calls the 50 something, daughter, whoever is the family representative and says I, w we have your mother, your father here, and this is where just spiking a little temperature, whatever it is. And our recommendation is to have them get to the ER. So we're called, we'd like to call an ambulance, with your permission and that's what they do. And it's the only thing a caregiver probably can do. But I having been through it, I think it's upsetting for the residency it's money that isn't necessary. It's more people in ERs that need to be, there's more chance of picking something up. In fact, him, actually, one of the sickest times I've been, was big with my father-in-law night with a pneumonia and you picking something up in their ER, while we were going through it. And it's just not, don't want to have to do it if you don't have to know that. Of course there are times, but trying to on the care side, trying to really reach in at that level and be practical and safe and give better care. I think for our communities that developer, it's easy because we're coming in with new and modern and nice is an advantage. That is a segment that we're fitting.Hanh:
So, how would you suggest people figure out the level of care that they need and balance that with what they can afford?Paul:
Our senior citizens need each segment fit. Those that are just reaching in and can barely fit. They need the cheapest answer they can find, or the most reasonably priced answer for assisted living they want to have the care and they want to have food, the the three hots and a cot, and they want it reliably there. And when they aren't they want to be sure that they really do have care. And I think they, they can get that, it pretty much every segment, I think the industry delivers that at each segment, pretty darn well, actually the idea of the nursing homes that we're hearing about that are, leaving the business, but they were leaving the business already I remember from my grandmother's years, you talk about, we don't put your loved ones in a home. What she meant is in a nursing home and. What's developed over the last 20, 25 years in assisted living. And it continues to develop is far more than my home than my grandmother would talk about.Hanh:
How can assisted living communities shake the stigma that those are places that people don't want to be in, and how do you make assisted living communities, a place where people look forward to and spending their later years? How do you design your communities and services to give the residents a thriving environment to spend with their family in their later years?Paul:
We can bring the amenities, I think the industry does for, good food and get our residents. Don't just lay around in bed, get them up and get them involved in something during the day and, have something to look forward to. And I think at every segment, the industry has been doing that and more and more so now, as we're all reaching into it. So I'm actually proud of the industry that we've been allowed to join into the Griffins have been allowed into, and we want to be a real part of this and our that we're might touch the ball and push it along here a little bit is that we can develop the buildings with more light and space. More lively feeling as you walk into the business, into a building. So if you think about walking in the front door, you're looking at two and a half stories of glass out the back of the building. You can right through the main activity rooms, it's just light and distance. So your eye goes up and out. Out the back windows. Think of the, in is pretty much our standard. Think of big fountains out here in California, big lemon trees, lemons all over big Bogan V as the red Bogan V is coming through and, inside we deal with sound a very expensive sound system. So the wherever you are it's nice background noises that take you out of where you are. So not just focusing your mind inwards, but helping him pull out. We reached the same company that does the scent. Four four seasons in Neiman Marcus and spent a lot of money putting the census comes in. So when I walk in the door, depending on what season it is or where I am in the building, I get a different scent. And it's unintrusive, you don't actually know that you, if you're having that, it, in your senses other than no, we're paying for it. So we're thinking, Oh, that's right, we're doing this. So the sound, the light the smells, all of that come together to create an ambience and a feel that should lift you up and out of where you are. So it's not in a new buildings, we can do that, the industry and do that. Another, we've got another theater group that does a big concert halls and museums. And what have you run the around the world? And this will be interesting to see if this actually comes together. So there. They're working with us to turn parts of the building into Sam, we're in the entry and you want to coy pond say, look, we can make it a koi pond. You could put your finger, touch it. And who concentric circles of, of water will spill outwards. We, we can have wa you know, waterfall pouring off of your of your bar onto, onto the floor when people are sitting there and people would swear there's water coming down. I don't know if we want quite that much Rama for assisted living to just see how the buildings are and how this really works. So this is no, one's what we're thinking about. Coming right out of me but I think we're, I'm excited about the idea is if we could really go into the pre dining areas Really take you out of pre dining in that building and say, it's a Polynesian night. We could turn the pre dining, the walls and the floors into Waikiki beach where they can do it. And they're showing me examples of where they're doing it. But if you could, be there and say, gosh, I'm looking out over the ocean. And I'm looking at sand on the ground and hotels over there. And we could with our smell and our, our scent machines and our sounds, we really transport you out for the evening and, we could make that happen or, put you in port of artists. Was always a little artist town with cobblestone streets. It's a nice part of old Mexico. And put you there when we're having a. Latin kind of nights or maybe in, in Spain and we can, we could go to Barcelona, we're happy. I think just to create life, and that's what we see that we might be able to add to it and use our building and our technologies for it.Hanh:
Sure. Sure. In the independent living, as long as your real estate in the rooms are very versatile. You can transform those rooms into whatever setting that will allow your resident to be imaginative that they're in a different country and just celebrate the living, the vibrance, the wellness of the community.Paul:
I think it's a hundred percent on. I think that's what we're all reaching for. I met a nice couple up in Boca Raton and they they were pharmacists and they moved down as a couple to, to go into assisted living. And it's just a different market segment. They love their residents at, went in and met them all. They put two people per room. They keep the cost down, they kept their activities up in there and the restaurant they're there themselves every day, work in it. And the cost is really an excellent value. For the residents. So they met it because they care and they're seeing two, two means, and they're doing a great job. There are other companies that I think reach to more, less need-based independent residents who could come in and they're still active. I Guys about my age, active and move in and they're happy and gosh, for me, and for me, it just sounds great. You mean, I. And, no more laundry, no more thinking about dinner, I can close my door and go out and go to work. If I travel a lot, I can be busy. I think it sounds like Delek, but thinking about, residents that like independent living these providers today are doing a great job with it. And then as we age into more needs, they bring the needs to the buyer. So the building itself changes in its character over the years, which I think is a brilliant approach to it. I know, you several providers that are doing a great job with that. And then there's others that are really doing, just focusing on the needs based assisted living and memory care. And I think, I see them being more focused, more, th the service that they offer, envelops the they're a resident more from the first day, and they're really focusing more on those needs and less on the lifestyle and the building. It's still lifestyle, but it's, it's much more needs-based and I think that's an excellent segment also.Hanh:
You know, that not all developers are right for the project, and you want to highlight the ones that you think will bring the most value. So, what kind of benefits struggle balance, um, do you look for in people who make decisions, where you develop?Paul:
Going back for 50, 60 years where the Griffins have lived is large projects always and always a number of them. I was trying to do one in Monterrey, California, it was a couple thousand units and I think I had 13 or $14 million into it. And the answer was no, take your stuff, get lost, Griffin. Wasn't able to get it done. And we Griffins weren't able to get it done. So we were used to that risk. It was having to have multiple projects going on. We're just used to dealing with them. And so we were, w as we're in Boca Raton or up in Connecticut. So is Danbury's ups is a burden community to New York. It's lovely. Getting the approvals, there has been a few years they think it's really hard and this is a great job. We're thinking right. To compile it for Nita is this is nothing we're happy. They think it's hard. So it keeps other people out. Atlanta, their entitlements are too easy, so I'm not sure what we've done, three of them down in the Atlanta market. And I'm not sure that we'll do much more in Atlanta like people like the area, but it's too easy to build. We really want to continue into markets where when I. When we come into the city council meetings, I want to smell the tar in the back and see the bag of feathers ready for me and take you hate developers. I know, but not me. You can tell you're going to let me do this right. That is something that we add. That's unique to us assisted living or in memory B these projects are smaller by definition. They're only, 120 to 180 for us units. It's small. I liked the big master plan that it was done, the CCRC, but it wasn't really not leaning that way. It was at about 650 units that in, down in Northern San Diego, that would be better for us. We're not really pushing that. I don't know that I feel we have the expertise to do a project of that size and commit to it just in seniors, if I could do it and have family and seniors and, a mix I could do 2000 of them would be comfortable sized, but I can't just focusing on seniors. I want to be a little more careful. And so we're a little bit smaller in scale, and, but it's still big enough in scale to go into suburban and urban markets and still have to fight our way in and find that we have the entitlements and that is going to dictate what the demand is. So we just opened our Westlake project, which is a good upscale suburb here in Westlake is for people that difference. It's about halfway between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, it's equidistant and it's,Hanh:
She's at, by Pepperdine?Paul:
Yeah, it's exactly five miles over the mountain from Pepperdine at Malibu.Hanh:
How does competition in places that under served seniors, help those who choose to live there?Paul:
Our project in Westlake. So it's way underserved. The city turned down two or three other excellent developers and operators for senior housing. They shouldn't have done it in my mind because it's needed. And we were able to get our approvals is more our development skills than our assisted living, but the building is a hundred percent filled as we're opening the door. And that isn't because we're so much better it's because we got the development approved in a place that no one else could. And I, and frankly, I don't, I, it great for my business, but I actually would like to see more of more assisted living approved and in markets like this, where they're really needed, because it's better for the families. They get better pricing, they get competition between all of us creates better service. We're just better at our game and all of us. And so I think over time, I'd like to look in the Chicago markets. I don't know much about it, my brother-in-law lives there. And, I, but I think that those urban centers also trying to push into Dallas, I really would like it urban centers where developers have a hard time going in and say, okay, we have something that we uniquely add to this. And from there still bring now where's the industry in terms of the best kinds of service and care that they can give and be a party to that part of the conversation also.Hanh:
The oldest baby boomer turned 75 this year, and as they gradually move into assisted living, what kind of strain is that going to put on the industry over the next 10 to 20 years? Are the baby boomers going to require any specific kind of care different from the previous cohorts?Paul:
We haven't touched into memory care, but really starting to read more about, what can be done for memory care. It's absolutely gonna hit us like a tidal wave as boomers, move in and become such a big part of the population that'll live in senior housing right now. We have the silent generation moving into senior housing. They're not as a cohort in the larger population. It's not that great. And in terms of its percentage, so we're not overwhelmed, we're keeping up with demand, but just keeping up with demand in my mind. Now, if we go into areas where overbuilding, it feels we've got too much supply, but across markets in urban centers, we're not overbuilt, we're under belt, under supply. And you can tell by how fast our centers are releasing, even during COVID that. No clear empirical evidence is we get to boomers needing to move and into this market, we're living longer. Our health our hearts and, cancer, we're managing cancers and our hearts better. But we're not managing memory care yet. AndHanh:
Decline into dementia and could come softly like it is for my dad. It's, it's just softly coming to himHanh:
Around 85, right?Paul:
My dad is actually a 90 this year he's got other issues is just letting go altogether. And he's mentally there enough to enjoy us and in and out. So this is mine just goes back. I'm going to see my buddies. And he talk about his friends that, it just it's fine, God just takes us in this time and ready often, but we need to as an industry pay attention to this yeah. Issue that's coming at us and the medical community, I think yeah. Is you're just like worked so hard on cancers and there was no one answer to cancers and, we're finding out more all the time, but there's a number of protocols that we're having to try and avoid cancer and deal with cancers that a couple of friends and other, my age that have been diagnosed with some very serious cancers that have managed to get around it with some of the new therapies that have been developed. My gosh, just in the last six, eight years or less it's, we're really, our medical breakthroughs are happening so amazing. And I think for memory care, we hope to see the same, I would bet that it's going to come about and, a number of different protocols, maybe the foods that we eat, the exercise that we get, the sleep, the medications that maybe we don't take that might. Have more of an effect on her memory later with all that stuff.Hanh:
That starts yesterday, that starts years ago, as far as ensuring your longevity.Paul:
I was reading a I can't think of his name. Top researcher at it, very well-respected. And he's saying that he's having good luck in convincing other doctors that are getting into, more dementia to change these protocols and change, change how they're approaching life every day. And they're starting to get clarity of mind back. And there are guys that are a bit older and he's telling people, look don't just stop or give up saying it's on past me. Start to deal with this stuff now, and we can help you. We most likely can help you. I don't think anybody really knows for certain, I don't think he's claiming to, but he's, what I'm reading is to be optimistic, but definitely deal. And if that's true, We should be reaching into our independent living. We should be reaching into our assisted living and say, look, here's what we do know, and have our caregivers, or put information to our families of our residents about what we could do to change lifestyle issues, or find medical kinds of advice for our residents that might still be able to help them keep a little more clarity for longer.Hanh:
I think if you're in the senior housing business, you're in the caring business and you're also in the dementia business, caring for folks. That's huge senior housing, a typical age is what, 85 moving into independent living. And then it progressed to memory care. So during that window, there's transitional, and there's optionalities along the way. But ultimately wherever the loved one is that community need to really have full command and understanding how to care for dementia folks.Paul:
I think the independent living that's moving in the, in their early eighties are moving in expecting to need some more help. I think there are more active, independent living communities than people are in their late seventies, mid to late seventies. And those are more luxury based kind of communities, but yes, I think as people start to move into, the kind of independent living that the Griffins are doing right now you're moving in likely thinking I don't need anything. And you're, 50 year old daughter, 57 year old daughter is thinking you need a lot more than you think you do. Our objective is to say, we care about all of it. Our job is to have a heart for all of it. And the, with the daughter we have the care here, let's show you and let's be sure. And with the resident that's coming in their early eighties aid, wherever they are mid eighties let's be sure that you feel that you're moving into as an independent relationship as well. As you possibly can manage. So we don't shove care at you. We let you come in and see what you need and what you might like, and you might be of a mindset that I don't need this, it's nice. I'll let you do it fine with us having to deal with this with my wife's parents and my parents. I'm not really arguing about how to get you the care. I just want to make sure you get it. We, I've lived in the same problems families have at this time.Hanh:
Yeah, same here. I'm the daughter I'm in my mid fifties, I am the daughter that had to look for a community for, my mom and, I come from a family of 10, so I'm the youngest 10. Someone that's in their mid fifties have different expectation needs and wants than somebody that's in 65. And then of course, 75 and so forth. But my journey in looking for a community, for my mom, it wasn't positive. Many years ago it's because the value proposition then was not very clear, people don't talk about caring in the later part of life until it's necessary and oftenPaul:
We all think we are not going to need that's for someone else, but Hanh you are exactly, it, at least 50% of the solution is the decision is from you and 50% from your mom or ma maybe it's, I, it depends on the age, whether it flips from 60, 40 to 40, 60, but it's important. And I know my sister is the daughter that is elected to see to my mom and dad asked to go up to Montecito every week, which is so that's just so hard. She's happy to do it. And she just says one thing, she says, look, Paul, if you retire and move out of the state, I'm not staying here because my with just mom, she's going to live to be 105. I couldn't be the Dick, the designated caregiver forever. It's about privacy. If I ever move, I will take, I will be sure that you and mom can come with me. And right now with my dad, no, one's going anywhere. For any reason. I want him to be where he is until the end and be happy and the family to be a peace and with him, but you are, your family, you're a little younger than me be the youngest daughter. So I don't, your mom might be at my mom's age cohort, butHanh:
Oh my gosh. And she's feeling like maybe she can just deal with, live at your house and that's plenty caregiving I hear that kind of story all the time, but I'll just live at your, in your back bedroom. That will be fine.Hanh:
She did this as many years ago. She did live with my sister, it got to be unsafe. Meaning she tried to open the door, she tries to unlock the door. She means you try to get out.Paul:
In my opinion we're all, at some point are going to be a caregiver or a recipient of one and going through that journey, and then also finding the best living arrangements when you realize that maybe living at home, whether it's your sister or myself, isn't safe anymore. Growing up, it was instilled in you that you take care of your parents. There's a culture issue also of letting that go. And then finding a good fit, which we felt, eight years ago, we didn't find one that was a good fit. I have learned a lot more and I think the industry has shifted and it's doing a better job. And certainly there's a lot more growth, to come, especially with COVID that has hit us so hard. But on a personal level, It's tough, I think the sooner that you talk about these issues that come with aging, living arrangements, caring for your loved ones, perhaps it might have dementia. I tell you it's all encompassing under older age, right? Senior housing, senior living care caregiving dementia.Paul:
I, and I think you're right. It's it does matter a lot that you talk about it early and in your mom's generation and my mom and dad's generation, they hardly considered the idea of, conjugant living of some sort or another. It was always, we, they won't live that long or family we'll figure out how to take care of us one way or another. And I think it's important that I do think it's very important. They have that value, and to me, I think in our society, only lives on our. Our heart and soul to do well by each other, at our family and our people around us. And, an hour words are churches and, schools and where we go to work, we can meet supply and demand. We can have a business, and, solution for you. McKinsey company comes in here and tells us, you don't run your business like this and that. And they've got smart guys in there, turn us inside out and, always learn. And it, straight pro form a business, but it isn't humanity.Hanh:
So, how do you manage the balance between running a profitable business and ensuring that your residents are getting the best care possible?Paul:
And at the end of the day, about being in business is about a desire to do something for somebody. And, for me, it was families that we've developed master plan communities for. I thought about them all the time and now it's our seniors and with our seniors as their daughters, you and my sister and. Around my brothers and sisters and I our conversation was love our mom and dad. And when one of us needs memory care, check us in, do not put up with any guff. Martin, my wife's aunt was so single, and she was so good with all of her nieces and nephews, my kids and everybody. And we, she, was a doctor academic doctor and, smart woman. And she's gone more and more into dementia, but there was no body that she ever allowed to really direct real lifestyle. So she owns her little house it's safe, but it's not safe with her dementia by herself. And her other niece, is is an RN and hurting her husband is a physi your practical physician are perfectly capable of looking to, to Marcia's amp at marshes. And we'll hardly allow them in because she's a paranoia that comes in that they're going to send me somewhere. So she won't tell them what's going on. And they find her in the same clothes, four days later and stuff like that. And that's it was a tragedy that, that also gets faced. So in that case, if there was a daughter directly there, it still be a wrestling match, just like it is for you or just like it is for my sister. The, there would be still a wrestling match, but in the case of marshes and there no answer, we're just there and, praying that we don't get a call that some, Something horrific has happened. And now she's going to we could put her in a senior center because she has no choice. And the only way that's going to happen is because the, in that case, the state is going to say, you must have it that, and the state doesn't say that until it's like burning the house down. So we have this as a, all of us at our age or you're the younger side of it, but all of us are facing it. And it, we have to care and love our family first and other people that, that need help, but don't have family to see them and think about them and what can we do and how can their life be better. I w you know, one thing about this as approaches I've really got into this and listen to the industry and thinking look, about our senior citizens. Why shouldn't this be a, Nemechek three story about how this came about this too, but why shouldn't this be. Absolutely as vital and as good a time of life as a meaningful time of life as a baby, can't take care of itself, but we all look at a baby and say, Oh, that's so great. And your baby's making noises and everybody smiles and gets happy, and why aren't we thinking of seniors the same way they can't take care of themselves. There's lovable. It may be cantankerous, but babies can be cantankerous too at times. So why can't we think about it? I think it changed. We have to change as a society, how we see it. As caregivers is, as people in the assisted living business, can we, have a heart to sing, let's make this life for our residents vital.