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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Argentum recognized the winners of the 2017 Best of the Best Awards at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference in Nashville, Tenn. this week. The awards program recognizes innovative programs and best practices working to improve the future of senior living. The programs selected for awards provide solutions relevant to critical imperatives recognized by Argentum including workforce development, quality improvement, operational excellence, and memory care. From using unique calming therapies to involving residents in product innovation, the companies and programs honored represent those reaching for the highest level of innovation and excellence in senior living.

“Sharing best practices is one of the most impactful ways we can work together to improve the quality of life and quality of care for senior living residents,” said James Balda, Argentum president and chief executive officer. “Argentum’s Best of the Best winners raise the bar of excellence, delivering programs that inspire innovation across the industry.”

The following 2017 Argentum Best of the Best Award winners were honored at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference:

Operational Excellence

Entrepreneur in Residence

Residents at Brookdale South Regal participating in the Entrepreneur in Residence program.

Brookdale’s Entrepreneur in Residence program invites entrepreneurs developing products and services for seniors to move into a Brookdale community for a five-day residency. During the residency the entrepreneurs participate fully in community life–they eat meals, play games, attend events, and build strong relationships with fellow residents. The Brookdale team helps the entrepreneurs design formal opportunities to receive feedback from residents through focus groups, product demonstrations, or conversations around the community. The program allows entrepreneurs to connect with seniors and involve them in the product design process.


Memory Care
Country Meadows Retirement Communities
“The Unforgettable Adventures of Grandma’s Cape”

Country Meadows executive director of memory support Joel Kroft wrote “The Unforgettable Adventures of Grandma’s Cape”

“The Unforgettable Adventures of Grandma’s Cape” is a story and activity book created by Country Meadows to help families connect with a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The adventure story is told from a child’s point of view and features a dynamic, cape-wearing grandmother who has a “forgetting disease.” The book uses an engaging story, bold illustrations, child-friendly activities, bite-size facts, interactive assignments, and suggestions for positive interaction to convey and reinforce the information. Though targeted for children, the book helps people of all ages understand how dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can change the way their loved one acts and communicates.


Memory Care
Legend Senior Living
Biofeedback Therapy Innovates Memory Care

The Paro seal is the centerpiece of Legend Senior Livings biofeedback therapy program.

A lifelike robotic baby harp seal called Paro is the centerpiece of a Legend Senior Living biofeedback program designed to enhance the functioning and quality of life for residents with dementia. Paro recognizes the voice of each person who handles it, remembers their previous interactions, and responds accordingly. Paro was designed specifically for therapeutic interaction in people with dementia, and the progressive nature of the seal’s interaction with each resident helps to manage many common symptoms observed in memory care such as anxiety and depression. Results from integrating Paro at Legend have included the improvement of depression scores, an increase in serotonin in the brain, and a viable alternative for controlling symptoms of anxiety.


Quality Improvement
Senior Lifestyle Corp.

The Essence program at Senior Lifestyle Corp. offers essential oils for sensory stimulation.

The Essence program by Senior Lifestyle Corp. is a sensory stimulation program based on aromatherapy principles. The use of essential oils either applied to the skin or inhaled can be an effective complementary therapy for dementia-related conditions such as sleep disturbance and agitation. Essence offers a series of signature blends using essential oils in the form of spritzers and sprays, body oils, lotions or creams in a variety of scents. Each signature blend is designed to stimulate specific responses or support a specific participant concern. Senior Lifestyle Corp. cites that residents participating in the Essence program have experience elevated mood, reduced stress, improvements with restlessness, and decreased anxiousness.


Workforce Development
Senior Living Communities

Students from Senior Living Communities Explore program.

Senior Living Communities inspires youth to pursue careers in senior living through its Explore program, a community outreach initiative that exposes middle school and high school students to career opportunities in the industry. The key tenets of this program are identifying talent at a young age, exposing those students to the wide scope of the senior living field, and helping to spark a passion-driven career. Explore is the first step of an innovative three-part program established by Senior Living Communities to expand and enhance its organizational development structure and has been successfully piloted on both the community and corporate level. Over the next year, Senior Living Communities plans to expand the program to all properties company-wide.


About Argentum
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services to older adults and their families. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults. Learn more at

Jessica McKay, Senior Communications Manager

Read about the 2017 Best of the Best Award winners in Senior Living Executive magazine

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