Insights from Senior Living Industry Expert Tracy Blazer

Published on : 3/17/23
  • We spoke with Tracy Blazer, MPH, RD, regional vice president (West and Midwest) for Sodexo Seniors, to gain her insights on the senior living industry.  

    Interviewer: What is the #1 priority of a senior living community? 

    Tracy Blazer: The #1 priority is to service the residents and meet their needs. The ultimate clients are the residents we serve, and keeping them at the center of everything we do is our top priority.

    Interviewer: What differentiates one senior living community from another? 

    Tracy Blazer: There are many things that can differentiate communities, many of which tie into the culture. Also, finding partners that have common values and believe in the same vision (for a dining and hospitality experience) can set a community apart in a market.  

    Interviewer: What makes a successful dining program? 

    Tracy Blazer: A successful dining program is one where we exceed residents’ expectations. This will vary based on the unique nature of each community. There is a saying in senior housing: “Once you’ve seen one retirement community’s dining program, you’ve seen one program.” That’s true! To stand out and be successful, a community must have a distinctive dining program.  

    Interviewer: What is the most dramatic change in the senior living industry over the last 20 years? 

    Tracy Blazer: I think the most dramatic change is the fact that we have close to three generations of seniors living under one roof. We, as partners, need to be able to balance services that appease all. Since COVID, the use of technology is prevalent. Seniors are more comfortable with technology, which has led to the introduction of robots, digital menus, online ordering and electronic surveys.  

    Interviewer: How can senior living providers prepare for the silver tsunami? 

    Tracy Blazer: All providers must be equipped for the wave of people turning 65 every day. The needs and wants of today’s new residents are different from what they were 10 or 15 years ago. For everything from menu items to dining room settings to technology, we must be ready to adjust to resident needs.  

    At Sodexo, we partner with the senior living industry to continually keep communities moving forward. Contact us today to learn how our solutions can help elevate your community and empower residents to live their best life.