There are a multitude of challenges that come with the idea of placing a loved one in an assisted living community. Aside from the cost of doing so, which can often be thousands of dollars for each month of residency, residents in assisted living facilities are often there as a last resort. The change of environment, coupled with a lack of maintained social connections, available transportation, and routine staffing issues, these factors can lead many residents of assisted living facilities to feel like a burden — both financially and physically — on their families: a feeling that was only heightened by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
With those challenges in mind, it’s no wonder that investors, managers, and owners of assisted living facilities are seeking ways to not only make their facilities more accessible, caring, and socially responsible, but also more affordable.
One industry veteran, Ricki Kaneti, is going a step further — hoping to set an example for her peers and colleagues in the assisted living industry by showing them how they can achieve this without inadvertently causing extra challenges.
“Our mission and objective at Colonial Assisted Living Management (CALM) is to assist REIT(s) [Real Estate Investment Trusts], Family Offices, and other institutional investors maximize their performance on their seniors housing assets,” says Kaneti, CALM’s founder. “Through years of direct industry experience and deep roots in seniors living we are able to guarantee a solution for operational excellence.”
Kaneti is no stranger to offering her guidance or assistance to those in need, especially those within the assisted living industry throughout her home state of Florida. In Spring of last year, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaneti and her organization offered their industry expertise to help other assisted living and senior living communities throughout Florida navigate industry regulations and implement solutions to overcome operational hurdles brought on by the pandemic.
“The guidance will be provided by top legal and regulatory minds and fully sponsored in generosity by Colonial Assisted Living Management, as a ‘Good Neighbor,’” Kaneti said in a message to the state’s living communities last year. “Our team believes that if we all truly work together, with the Governor’s office included, that we can continue to succeed for the benefit of those we serve.”
Kaneti’s industry expertise and knowledge are rooted in her passion for her work. In fact, she is the third generation in her family to directly work within assisted living facilities to improve operations management and maximize the performance for stakeholders and residents. Her dedication and drive to go above and beyond for her own partners and residents has even had her organization, CALM, recognized amongst Florida’s top 20 women-owned businesses and one of Florida’s “best places to work.” It stems from Kaneti’s constant and neverending drive for improvement. A drive to creating value for all those around her. In fact, with each new market cycle, with each evolving adversity, Kaneti innovates and challenges herself and her team to come up with new and better ways for operational efficiencies and disrupting the common cycles.
“We have creatively designed each of our communities to deter from the traditionally unappealing ‘retirement home’ look and feel,” Kaneti tells us, “so that our designed communities do not look, smell, or feel like the often-stigmatized connotations of traditional Nursing Homes. Instead, we’ve Uniquely designed our communities to have the look and feel of ‘Main Street’,” Kaneti continues. “The interiors are inviting, playful, and make our residents and their families want to stay rather than wanting to leave. This is reflected in our own team members and community’s staff, too, who get to come to work at an amazingly created workplace.”
The “CALM” difference, according to Kaneti, was creating a culture that is completely rooted in and cultivated by family values; values that – as any review of Kaneti’s organization will tell you — are driven by a sense of trust, compassion, and belonging.
In a time when many struggling families are torn by the challenges of putting a loved one into an assisted living facility, CALM’s success has been received through Kaneti’s commitment to kindness and equity.