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The Robyn Bridge Solution

Robyn Bridge has established solutions to the three key problems outlined below. Our solutions benefit both stakeholders and shareholders.

Real Estate

The Real Estate Problem

Geographic Placement

The standard economic packaging of Assisted Living communities is paired with Independent Living multi-family.


The problem is that the needs of residents in Independent Living are dramatically different from those in Assisted Living (which includes personal care and memory care).


Residents in Independent Living need to be close to town centers. They want to be able to easily drive to their grocery store, doctor’s office, church, and other points of interest.  Thus, multi-family 55+ rental and condo communities strategically position themselves in these locations in order to attract residents.


Residents in Assisted Living are not leaving the house. These residents gain no value from the strategic placement of Independent Living facilities being in the center of town. In fact, an argument can be made that it hurts them due to the smaller dwelling quarters and limited outdoor space that is required to make the overall project economics work.


Moving into an Assisted Living dwelling is a dramatic change from every Independent Living scenario, whether it be from their original home or from a senior living apartment. The average Assisted Living apartment is a single studio or small one-bedroom with no kitchen or other familiar in-home design elements.


Some communities offer larger, more independent-style units, but our research reveals that those offers typically coincide with major design issues which impact the ability of the staff to render care.


The Lie They Tell

The reason communities declare that Independent Living and Assisted Living are grouped together is that residents can move into Independent Living and spend the rest of their lives in that community.  


“You’ll never have to move again, all of your care needs will be met as you age.”


As mentioned above, this is simply not true. These units are licensed differently, and depending on the state, residents will be required to move from their Independent Living quarters into new, dramatically smaller apartments within the Assisted Living “wing” of the community should they require even a basic level of care. If a need for memory care arises, this is again another move, to usually an even smaller apartment.


This is a drastic change for residents. There aren’t small steps in aged care, only giant leaps. As residents age and their care needs increase, they’re pushed to the end of the sales funnel, making room for those who are entering the system.

Why Build This Way?

Why not build Independent Living and Assisted Living separately? It would seem that Assisted Living residents would benefit greatly from an operational separation from Independent Living.


We have two hypotheses as to why the industry operates this way: 


  • They cannot make Assisted Living economically viable on its own.

  • They rely on Independent Living to funnel residents into their Assisted Living businesses.


The Operations Problem

Technology and Automation

We believe one of the primary reasons Assisted Living is not economically viable when separated from Independent Living is that our research reveals that these facilities operate with a disregard for automation and technology.


We have observed practically no operational technology implemented in the facilities we’ve visited. This includes the following processes:


  • Sales

  • Resident onboarding

  • Caregiving administration and management

  • Medication administration and management

  • Facility and housekeeping

  • Dining

  • Programming 

  • Billing

  • Advocate communication


Culture and Accountability

It is also clear through our research and experiences that there is a sizable accountability problem within the industry-at large. We believe this is driven by a top-down culture which maximizes executive authority and minimizes the voices of the care workers.


This is evidenced by an 85% annual attrition rate


Advocate Communication and Transparency

It is rare for a resident to enter Assisted Living without an outside advocate. This could be a spouse, sibling, or other friend or relative, but in most cases, it is their adult child.


There are varying degrees to which advocates want to be involved and informed on the resident’s care. Our experience as advocates is that the preference of these facilities is to remain as opaque as possible.


One thing all advocates want assurance on is the safety and attention to health of their residents. This appears to be the place where the opacity is strongest. A few facilities we’ve looked into include communication to advocates in the form of photos / updates on participating in activities and programming, but none on important aspects of daily care in the community such as medication administration, diet, hygiene, and cognitive condition.


The Marketing Problem

The Limited Audience

As discussed in the section on the real estate problem, it would appear that one of the main reasons Independent Living and Assisted Living are built together is to funnel residents into Assisted Living from Independent Living. 


This means that their marketing audience is comprised of 55+ residents. This audience is both restrictive and expensive to reach.


When the time comes for an Independent Living resident to transition into Assisted Living, that is the time when advocates become involved. And why would an advocate alter what they believe to be the wishes of their loved one? Their loved one chose this community, so it only makes sense to move them into the Assisted Living offering within that same community. The community has them – hook, line, and sinker.


But what about residents entering Assisted Living from other places? Who is making the decision on where they’ll be placed? The advocates.


And who are the advocates in most cases? The adult children of the resident.


This audience has not yet been tapped (at least not effectively) by the industry. In fact, they’re completely in the dark. When they’re tasked with finding care solutions for a sick or aging parent, they have no idea where to start. During one of the darkest and most stressful times in their lives, the industry does not reach out a hand to help them navigate the labyrinth of answers they’re seeking.

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