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This year’s LeadingAge Colorado Conference shared valuable insights into senior living industry trends. Though much of the conversation centered around attracting and retaining staff to combat the labor shortage, industry experts shared their thoughts and potential solutions on many issues, which we’ve condensed into five key takeaways.

  1. Employee Retention – When it comes to retaining existing staff, it is crucial to set your employees up for success. They should be well-equipped with training and resources to do their jobs and should be provided with meaningful, enjoyable work. To reinforce a sense of belonging and show staff that their input is valued, include them when making operational decisions.
  2. Recruiting Staff through Design and Innovation – In addition to the operational excellence needed to retain staff, designing a building that is appealing and showcases the culture of the community is likely to help attract new staff. Utilizing healthy design principles including Universal Design, ergonomics, and biophilic elements will create a space where people want to work.
  3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – It has never been more important to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Society is experiencing a shift and is beginning to demand that the workplace values people for who they are and what they can contribute. DEI can create a stronger workplace with a staff that forms more purposeful connections with residents.
  4. Disaster Preparedness – With an increasing number of fires and floods throughout Colorado in the last decade, it is essential to be prepared and have evacuation plans in place for your communities. You should also consider creating resilient infrastructure, including backup generators that protect the water supply, refrigerated food supply, and administrative computers. This will help enable your residents and employees to return to their communities more quickly after an evacuation or when buildings are minimally damaged.
  5. COVID-19 Mitigation – Surprisingly, this conference focused little on the management of COVID-19. High vaccination rates among seniors have allowed senior living communities to adapt to a new normal, where COVID-19 is managed like an outbreak of the flu.

KEPHART is grateful to have had a hand in the planning of this year’s conference and to have benefitted from the insights shared by local industry experts. We are always working to provide resources and industry knowledge to our clients. With questions or to learn more about our LeadingAge Colorado takeaways, give us a call at 303-832-4474.


This is the philosophy that drives KEPHART to create thoughtful homes and communities that positively change people’s lives.

KEPHART is a nationally recognized, award-winning architectural design and planning firm with 50 years of housing expertise. Our passion for designing well-designed places to live, work, and play has driven us to create more than 500,000 homes across the country, ranging from single and multifamily homes to workforce housing, senior living, LIHTC communities, and everything in between. We have a deep bench of talented staff to design and deliver innovative and practical solutions to meet the unique requirements of every project.