Global Insights , China Context




ICAIA successfully held Beijing networking event


June 15, 2015


ICAIA held a networking event on 15 June, 2015 in Beijing. The event was attended by an intimate group of over 20 participants, ranging from at home and community care operators, architectural firms to a veteran rehabilitation professional who is now retired and running her own consultancy. The smaller setting allowed for a deeper dialogue that touched on a variety of issues related to elderly care policies, operation models and pricing strategies. 




Li Mei, Vice General Manager of Wanfu Care, an integrated senior living operator spoke about Wanfu's community care differentiation including around-the-clock respite care. She also talked in length about the difficulty of constructing community care centres, which lends itself to the American idiom "Not at my back yard", meaning community residents are well-aware of the benefits of developing senior care communities embedded within a larger community, but at the same time they are weary of the negative externalities, such as environment contamination, real estate and asset devaluation, that are often sprung out of such developments, which could sometimes be life-threatening. Developers and operators often have to take into account such operational risks and deal heads-on with such strong opposition from the community.


The second speaker, Robert Arsenault, Vice President of Operations at Meridian Senior Living gave an elaborate presentation on the strategies of running a memory care unit in China. Such lessons-learnt were accrued from operating Senior Living L’amore (ChunXuanMao), a project co-developed by Cascade Healthcare and Sino Ocean Land. Care for demented elderly is an invisible social phenomenon in China and bears much hidden cost. Elderly who suffer from dementia, without access to professional help and services, deteriorate fast whereas their families are both physically and emotionally exhausted. It is estimated that there are over 10 million demented seniors in China, the majority undiagnosed, let alone professionally cared for. It is a sector with huge demand but very little available service. Important takeaways include develop a memory care quality assurance and quality improvement plan as well as a memory care marketing strategy that would drive sales. Mr. Arsenault, a seasoned senior living expert with 30+ years of experience also stressed that independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care are all different products and require different marketing strategies.