"We need to rethink the environments in which care is delivered" - John Goodey on the future of senior living

Ahead of the Senior Living Panel at MIPIM UK, Welltower‘s John Goodey caught up with the team to share his vision of the future of senior housing. Here’s what he had to say…

We live in a world of appearances and prejudice, what is your engagement to the people over 65?

John Goodey: The world’s population is aging. Globally, the number of people aged 60+ is expected to more than double to over two billion by 2050. With the rapid growth of people over the age of 65, our perspective on aging is shifting. How we, as a society, viewed older people 10, 15 and 20 years ago is drastically different than how we view them today. At Welltower, we perceive aging positively and help people live well as they age.

We work with best-in-class seniors housing operators who share our vision of wellness and provide excellent care and services to encourage mobility, nutrition and cognitive engagement. Our operators also look for opportunities to involve the community in our care homes. For example, they have school choirs sing to the residents at the holidays and local organisations provide activities and utilise meeting rooms. These opportunities give people a glimpse at the life inside the homes, as well as allowing the resident to remain members of the wider community.


How has senior housing redefined the concept of home living for the elderly?

John Goodey: As people age, they tend to develop chronic diseases, dementia and multiple health problems requiring integrated treatment and care. Memory care and assisted living are inevitably becoming part of the health care continuum, redefining the concept of home for a sizable population and connecting them to the health care system. Person-centric care is a key component of care homes. Designed to look like home, care homes provide assistance with activities of daily living and encourage wellness through mobility and social systems to promote cognitive engagement. Person-centric means weaving elements of a resident’s life and passions into their daily living.  This could be anything, from opera to Bruce Springsteen, or flower arranging to tai-chi,


Welltower has become known for its unparalleled relationship network. Why is that so important to your business?

John Goodey:  We take a long-term approach to funding our partners’ growth strategies based on a shared vision for evolving health care and the consumer experience. Partners seek us out because of our win-win philosophy. We add value by leveraging our access to capital and scale, and by sharing efficiencies and best practices.


What message did Tom DeRosa, CEO of Welltower Inc., want to convey at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos last January?

John Goodey: At the World Economic Forum, Tom wanted to address the evolution occurring in our health care systems, and the critical factors to be considered beyond the efficiencies and lower costs gained by transitioning from a hospital-centric model to an outpatient, post-acute model. The aging of our population will place unsustainable pressure on our health care systems unless we evolve.

Infrastructure is a significant issue to be addressed. The hospital is often not the appropriate care setting for the needs of the frail elderly, particularly those who are suffering from dementia. To prepare for a more physically and cognitively impaired patient population, we need to rethink the environments in which care is delivered – from the hospital itself to the role of care homes.

Care homes and good quality memory care need to be thought of as essential infrastructure for keeping people out of the hospital, increasing quality of life and lowering the cost of care. He emphasised the need to transition to innovative models of care delivery with greater connectivity to drive better outcomes.


How did Welltower become number one in its industry?

John Goodey: Our strategy, rooted in long-term operating partner relationships, is a continued source of differentiation that cannot be easily replicated. We focus on premium properties with best-in-class operators in high barrier-to-entry markets. Our portfolio is of approximately 1,400 properties concentrated in major, high growth markets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. and includes facilities in and around large metropolitan areas namely Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, London and Toronto.

We are very fortunate to work with excellent partners who share our vision to connect senior care with health care provider networks to coordinate care, and ultimately deliver better outcomes at a lower cost. We continue to invest the vast majority of our capital with these trusted partners, and we grow together. This shared commitment is more important now than ever with the rapid growth of the population of people age 65+.


John Goodey will be part of the Senior Living Panel at MIPIM UK 2017 – 19 October.

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Top photo © gpointstudio/GettyImages

About Author

John joined Welltower as a senior vice president in 2014 and leads its international business. John has grown the London office of Welltower into one with origination, asset management and development capabilities, with a portfolio approaching $3bn in value. In addition, John sits on the firm’s investment committee and supports its capital markets activities, especially in relation to Europe.

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