NameStorm: Replacing the term “continuing care retirement community”

by | Feb 11, 2015


By Rob Love, President, CEO

In the senior living field, the term “continuing care retirement community” is ubiquitous.

Continuing. Care. Retirement. Community.

When broken down into separate words, the negative connotations we as senior living professionals have spent years trying to overcome come right back into the spotlight. The term “continuing care retirement community” doesn’t make you think of healthy seniors who have made the choice to take control of their future. Nor does it reflect that they’re living a dynamic life among like-minded individuals. Unfortunately, it does the opposite.

The first step toward repositioning the public’s perception of senior living communities is changing how they are described, which is why LeadingAge and Mather Lifeways formed a taskforce to find a replacement term for “CCRC.”

NameStorm is the resulting initiative dedicated to rebranding CCRCs under a new term that better conveys the benefits and advantages senior living communities offer their residents. Many of you have probably already heard about it. In addition to LeadingAge and Mather Lifeways, the taskforce is comprised of SB&A/Brooks Adams Research, GlynnDevins, Varsity and us—Love & Company.

To date we’ve collaborated to narrow down a list of several hundred possible terms to ten we are now market testing. So far, nearly 2,000 CCRC residents, senior living prospects, age- and income-qualified seniors, and senior living professionals have all shared their opinions and reactions to the proposed names. The next step, which just began in Chicago last week, is hosting focus groups across the country to gain deeper insights from residents, prospects, and seniors in general.

If the research process results in a clear “winner,” the new term could be announced at the PEAK Leadership Summit this March in Washington, D.C. If additional fine-tuning is needed, it will be be ready for a full launch at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting in November in Boston. In any case, the taskforce will be presenting an update on the whole NameStorm process at the PEAK conference on Monday afternoon at 3:00.

It’s all been a gratifying endeavor to-date and we’re looking forward to seeing how the rebranding options are received. It will be interesting to see which resonates most with seniors, and—perhaps more importantly—why.

Until then, if you have not taken the NameStorm survey and would like to, you can still take it before February 15th at

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