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Independent Senior Housing -- JCHE-Style

Posted: December 21, 2012

Last Saturday night my wife, Andrea, and I attended a holiday party with a group of people who were unusually interested in our work and what it could mean for them.  Andrea is the CEO of a large private pay home care company that serves over 300 people a day.  Her clients live at home, in rehab units, and in long-term care facilities.  I described myself as overseeing over 1,200 apartments in senior independent living properties.  They had heard about all the housing options now available —from living at home with or without some support; the “village” movement where people live in their homes, but pay a management fee to participate in a “community” for social engagement and access to all kinds of services; independent living JCHE-style; assisted living; and even nursing homes.  But they were most interested in what I had to say about independent living JCHE-style.

As I talked about JCHE, I stressed four themes: 

  • We strive to create communities that enhance self-respect, dignity for all, and choice, recognizing that people are individuals and at different places in the aging process.
  • Our residents have differing perceptions of what “quality of life” means to them.
  • The ability to live independently is challenging for some people because of their physical or cognitive status.  Some may join the community at one health status and then experience a decline.  When that happens, they may not have family support and must rely on our staff to point them in the right direction for support services.  Aging is a dynamic process and the person who is healthy and totally independent today may need services quite unexpectedly in the future.  We have found that health outcomes are improved when residents stay within their JCHE community for as long as is reasonable during these challenges.
  • JCHE recognizes that our residents and our communities must adjust to meet changing independent living needs. It is often difficult for residents to make this adjustment for either themselves or for their fellow residents.  Our ability to work through these situations together-staff and residents-has proven to be one of JCHE’s greatest assets.

I welcome your feedback at

Carl Zack

Chief of Operations, JCHE

December 20, 2012


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