Tag Archives: Vi at Grayhawk

Healthcare & Senior Housing

Senior living is young at heart

Remember when grandparents used to consider nursing homes some kind of punishment akin to abandonment? There’s a good chance that reference has seen the last of its days. The senior living industry is seeing a huge transformation from “hospital mentality” to “hospitality.” Or, as one expert put it, developers are putting the “living” in “senior living.”

With the addition of more than 40 million seniors 65+ over the next 35 years, America will need to doubling its number of caregivers. Since that population isn’t growing as quickly, there will be more need for assisted living facilities.

“At the present time, neither the training programs nor the pay scales are ready to attract the workforce that will be needed,” says Paul Schoeffler, senior pre-construction manager at Adolfson & Peterson Construction. The Weitz Company has worked in the senior care market since the 1960s. Based on its research, the senior living trend is leaning “overwhelming” toward stand-alone assisted living, says Brendan Morrow, Weitz’s director of senior living.

“It seems to be what everyone is building,” he says. “The current market size is about 50,000 units for all services. We project that to grow to 180,000 by 2030. Between now and 2030, the population of people 65 and older is projected to grow by 257 percent.”

There are 76.4 million Americans who were born between 1946 and 1964 — the affectionately named Baby Boomer generation. The oldest Boomers are about 68 years old, points out Morrow. This means they’re 13 years younger than the average occupant of a senior care facility, he says. Currently, about 12 percent of individuals who are age and income qualified for senior care facilities are residents. With the projected growth of population, demand will increase. However, Morrow says there’s still “some time before that explosion starts.”

“The facilities that are being built are nicer, more luxurious with many amenities and people are more willing to leave their homes,” he says.

This is the generation that followed those who were hardened by WWII. For Jan Wiggins, sales director at assisted living facility Vi at Grayhawk, this means a generation of arrested
development. “

They’re buying the lifestyle [of an assisted living facility],” says Wiggins. “They’re spoiled already. They’re not like the people who are 90 and live here and went through the wars. They were
more thrifty. They saved. The people coming in now like the idea that somebody is always going to be taking care of them.” This is what Wiggins says gives a place like Vi at Grayhawk a competitive edge in the market — its large care center. Residents who buy into the lifestyle also buy into the care plan, which guarantees that they never have to leave the property or be, “farmed out,” she says, to another care facility.

“I question that about the new developments,” she says. “A large care center makes all the difference in the world.”

Adolfson & Peterson Construction’s Schoeffler has worked on multiple assisted living facilities and says healthcare integration begins on “day one” when planning a new development.

“Today’s new facilities need to include not only a robust special system infrastructure, but the flexibility to upgrade the infrastructure as the facility ages,” he says.

The level of caregiver services required in each type of assisted living area — memory care, skilled nursing, hospice — and how many rooms and how much space is dedicated to each assisted living type are “critical for plan development.”

“Many older facilities still focus on the aging aspect of assisted living rather than the living aspect of assisted living,” he says. “Caregiver training will be needed to change these attitudes.”


Though Wiggins has observed that generations are staying independent longer, the average age of residents in Vi at Grayhawk’s community is dropped. Since January 2013, 72 homes have sold.
Many new residents are couples in their 70s, she says. However, she has seen some people as young as 59 join the community.

“Now it’s a choice, not an obligation,” she says.

Choices is the operative word, according to Schoeffler.

“Baby Boomer expectations are almost unlimited and always have been. I know because  I am one,” says Schoeffler. “No sitting around for us after retirement. Many of us look to reinvent ourselves on a regular basis. We expect any place we live to offer all the services we have had for years — internet, TV, activities, fitness centers, yoga classes, dining options, outing options and choices — lots of choices.”

About one million Americans live among an estimated 30,000 senior care facilities, reports the Small Business Development Center Network. Assisted living facility industries are part of a $259B industry, according to data reported by healthcare research firm Kalorama
Information. Vi at Grayhawk, for instance, accepts outpatients and private pay patients from Mayo Clinic and Scottsdale Healthcare facilities to offset its fees.

The number of seniors are expected to double by 2030, but the caregiving generation
is not growing as quickly.The need is increasing, many elderly may be postponing
retirement due to housing market slumps.

Baby Boomers represent more than 70 percent of the country’s financial assets and more than half of discretionary spending, according to the SBDC.


Healthcare real estate has been progressively moving toward a more campus-like environment. However, as Wiggins mentioned earlier, senior care facilities that can curb the need to outsource its patients have an advantage for securing residents.

Morrow cites Denver, Texas cities and others in the Midwest as hot spots for senior

Arizona ranks in the top 10 states for rental assisted living, rental memory care, rental independent living and entry level fee CCRC. Another thing it has going for it is outdated facilities.

“A good sign for Arizona is we have a lot of aging facilities and a lot of investors looking to get their hands on those. Many of these facilities built in the ‘70s and ‘80s are now ready for a facelift,” he says, adding the weather and golf courses accessibility don’t hurt the state’s draw.

What can also draw more attention is technology — be it TeleMedicine suites, preventive monitoring systems or offering more memory care options.

“On the memory care side of things, there is a real need for facilities that can handle Alzheimer’s patients,” says Morrow. “As a country, the main focus has been on eliminating other diseases and less on the Alzheimer’s and dementia. As people live longer their likelihood of showing signs of these ailments increases substantially.”

The most notable trend, Morrow says, is “the change from a hospital mentality to a hospitality

“We have three product lines colliding: healthcare, housing and hospitality,” he says. “Some of the facilities are over-the-top nice, but the facility doesn’t have to do all the work. The concierge
service, room service, wellness coaches and things of that nature are taking senior care service to a new level. In the right facility, you can really get pampered physically and mentally. It’s not your old nursing home picture in your mind, that is for sure.”


Vi marks 25 years as leader in senior living

Vi – the developer, owner and operator of older adult living communities – is celebrating its 25th anniversary in August. Today, Vi operates 10 continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) nationwide, including Vi at Silverstone and Vi at Grayhawk in Scottsdale.

“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments we have achieved during the past 25 years,” said Randy Richardson, President of Vi. “In an era of uncertainty, our employees and residents can take pride in the fact we are a stable, national presence within the senior living industry, free from third-party debt in our CCRC communities and managed by a strong, long-tenured team.”

Vi was established in 1987 as Classic Residence by Hyatt.  The company changed its name to Vi in 2010.  The company was created by Penny Pritzker, whose family founded Hyatt Hotels, to leverage Hyatt’s hospitality expertise in the growing retirement living industry to better cater to the needs and lifestyle of discerning older adults.

Vi (pronounced vee) is the Latin root for the word “life.” It was chosen as the name for the company because it captures the positive opportunities to live a more engaging and fulfilling life as an older adult.

Vi’s ability to merge its hospitality heritage with quality senior living is what differentiates the brand from others. Visitors and residents can sense this commitment to quality and service from the moment they walk into one of Vi’s communities, according to Richardson.  “Hospitality is in our DNA; and every detail is meant to convey quality service, from the decor to our lifestyle and fitness programs and to our employees who’ve been specially trained in the art of making residents feel at home.”

In addition, Vi communities feature stylish dining venues that enable residents to eat well and dine in style. Menus offer a wide variety of options to suit residents’ nutritional needs and taste preferences. Meals are prepared by executive and pastry chefs who receive specialized training at The Culinary Institute of America.

As testament to Vi’s approach, a recent survey of independent living residents at Vi’s 10 CCRC communities finds them happy with their decision to live at Vi.  The survey, taken this spring, finds that 94 percent of Vi’s independent living residents who completed the survey are very satisfied or satisfied with the community.  Almost 95 percent say they would recommend their Vi community to family or friends.

Late last year, Vi commissioned a report by Ken Dychtwald Ph.D., renowned gerontologist, psychologist, best-selling author, and CEO of Age Wave that challenges the “prevailing myths and misperceptions” about CCRC living.  The report, “The Five Myths and Realities of Continuing Care Retirement Communities,” is available in its entirety at www.ViLiving.com.

Smiling Graduate Holding up Diploma

Vi At Grayhawk Residents Award $100,000 In Scholarships To Employees, Family Members

Vi at Grayhawk’s resident charitable foundation, the Grayhawk Classic Residence Residents’ Foundation, has awarded $100,000 in scholarships to support the educational efforts for 20 Vi at Grayhawk employees and/or their dependents for the 2012/2013 academic year.

Vi at Grayhawk is an award-winning Continuing Care Retirement Community located in North Scottsdale that was developed and is owned by Vi and Peoria, Arizona based Plaza Companies. The Foundation awarded scholarships to six employees in 2003, and that number has increased significantly over time. The scholarship program is designed to reward the individuals who work diligently to provide an exceptional quality of life at the community.

“Our residents never let the hard work of our employees go unnoticed,” said John Koselak, Executive Director, Vi at Grayhawk. “They are considered to be invaluable assets to our community and the Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation strives to give back to employees for their service.”

Vi at Grayhawk employees who meet pre-determined criteria may annually apply for college scholarships for themselves or their children who are dependents. The scholarship application process involves completing and providing a personal essay, letter of reference(s) and school transcripts. Applicants are then interviewed by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee before final recipients are determined. The scholarships cover tuition and academic fees.

The Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation was established in 2002 by residents of Classic Residence by Hyatt and the Plaza Companies, now Vi at Grayhawk. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community by promoting the cultural and intellectual welfare of its residents and employees.

The scholarship program is a one-of-a-kind effort with an impact that is unmatched by any other retirement community in Arizona.

“Employees of Vi at Grayhawk provide exceptional care and service,” said Jane McGrath, President, Grayhawk Classic Residence Residents’ Foundation. “Because our residents value education, we feel this is a wonderful way for us to express our gratitude.”

Recipients are attending a variety of local college campuses and studies range across the board. Hospitality Management, Nursing, Business, Physical Therapy, Marketing, and Astrophysics are just a few examples of majors and programs employees have enrolled in with previous scholarships.