BOSTON — LeadingAge, a association of nonprofit seniors housing providers, and Mather LifeWays, an operator of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), recently announced their plans to rebrand the CCRC model as “Life Plan Communities.”
The decision came out of “Project NameStorm,” an initiative to change the CCRC name spearheaded by seniors housing marketing firms Brooks Adams Research, GlynnDevins, Love & Company, SB&A Integrated Marketing and Varsity. The results were announced this week during the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston.
“It became clear that the name CCRC no longer did an adequate job of creating the best perception among tomorrow’s older adults,” says Larry Minnix, LeadingAge president and CEO. “At the core of the decision to move to a community is having the right plan for what the next stage of life has to offer. We feel the Life Plan Community name encompasses that very well.”
The renaming process included feedback from corporate and industry leaders. It also involved polling community residents and prospects, as well as the general population. Focus groups were conducted in seven distinct markets with the intention to better understand how the CCRC name is perceived.
The results indicated that the phrase “continuing care” suggests a setting that involves older adults being cared for, rather than a setting that also fosters growth and new experiences.
“We are pleased that the new name resonates with the current and next generation of older adults in a meaningful way, by fitting their lifestyles and attitudes,” says Mary Leary, president and CEO of Mather LifeWays. “We are looking forward to adopting the term in our communities.”
The next phase of the initiative will be to encourage widespread use of the new name with current CCRC operators. Soon to follow will be an initiative regarding current usage of the name in state regulations, financial markets, rating agencies and by institutional investors.
More information on the name change can be found at LifePlanCommunity.org, including research reports.