Are you new to our Senior Living LIVE! series? Check out our latest episode to learn more about it, both past and present. Melissa Lee talks to Chris Harper, the creator and original host of Senior Living LIVE!, about the origin of the series, what you can expect from our episodes and webinars, and the features of our new Senior Living LIVE! website. 


Video Transcript

- Hello everyone. And welcome into Senior Living Live. I hope you are having a wonderful day today. My name is Melissa and I am very pleased to have the original host of Senior Living Live with me, Chris Harper. He is a familiar face to many of you who have been watching these segments from the very beginning. Chris, how are you?

- I'm doing very well, Melissa. Thanks for having me on your show now. You know, it's nice to pass that baton over to you.

- Yeah, well, and it's been a wonderful baton to take and carry and to try to help build this Senior Living Live platform. And that is what we're talking about today. So Chris, you came up with this idea and this initiative and maybe late 2017. Where did this idea come from and what did you hope to gain from it?

- Well, the idea came from how we've approached what we call content at the Arbor company from the very beginning which is to provide educational resources to people who are dealing with the aging process with the dementia process, or just, you know thinking about senior living in general we want to be a resource to people whether or not they ever move into one of our communities. And so we were doing great with a fantastic blog with several hundred blog posts with educational content. We had e-books interactive tools on the website. And so then we started thinking how can we incorporate video into this? And in 2017, live streaming was really starting to take off with Facebook Live. And so we started looking and decided, well let's try this Facebook Live thing. And so we got a little bit of equipment and we set up in the lobby of our office. And I think that first episode was dealing with what we call home for the holidays. It's sort of a tip guide or so for families what to look for around the holidays when they're gathering with their loved ones. And so then it just kind of took off from there and we had a great time.

- Yeah, and for those wondering Chris is the vice president of communications at The Arbor Company. So this is all very near and dear to his heart. And Chris, you and I are both video nerds. So we love looking at other companies or other television shows and getting ideas and I think that this idea for the webinar has really just taken off. It gives people a live opportunity to chat with a live professional and to get their questions answered and to do it anonymously. And we have found that that has been huge. So it has been a great addition to the Senior Living Live platform. Now, obviously things evolve over time, right? And things certainly evolve very quickly from a technology standpoint because of COVID. But how has this Senior Living Live platform evolved and how will it continue to evolve in the near future?

- Well, you mentioned being video nerds and I think we're definitely that. And we had a lot of fun playing with our little studio here in the office and I think every week I had a new piece of equipment coming in and out and lots of Amazon boxes and things. And so that was a lot of fun but from a content perspective we went for I would say a good year or so with regular episodes with me interviewing different people mostly other people from within the Arbor Company. And we just picked topics. We picked topics about the senior living process, moving in and experiencing senior living how to select a community. There's just so many things it's not something that people shop for and do every single day. And so it's important to get your education about the whole process. And then about a year ago, as the pandemic was setting in we decided that we really wanted to up our education game. And so at that point, we decided to partner with outside experts who could come in and give these presentations. You know, we used to give these presentations in our communities. People would come to the communities, we'd have a speaker come in, you know, be it an elder law attorney or someone who specializes in estate planning or anything like that related to the senior living process. And they would give these presentations to these big audiences. And when the pandemic sets in, you can't really do that. We can't bring people in person. And so we looked to this platform, Senior Living Live to help us enable that. And so it looks a little bit different where we now have these webinars where people can register and you can go to You can see the list of upcoming webinars and these topics. And they're generally about an hour or so. And you, Melissa, you host those, you welcome everyone in. And then pretty much it's that person you know, that's the guest of the webinar. They take it from there, they're giving their presentation. But the value I think there is that there's an opportunity for Q and A. And so people can go right in it's we use Zoom and you just go right into the question box and you can type the questions that you have. And I think that's a super valuable tool because then that speaker can answer those questions live right on the air.

- Yeah, and even if you are not able to make a webinar live, we do send out the links if you did RSVP. So that's one of the beauty, beautiful points of signing up is you get the post-webinar you get the link for it. And more than likely somebody has asked the question that you probably have. So you're going to get it answered one way or the other or all of the guests will leave their information. So you were able to call them and a lot of times they offer their consultations free. So it's another great way to to get these people connected. So that, again, the education portion is there you get your questions asked and answered. So Chris, let's talk about some of the new features that people will see on the relaunched Senior Living Live website.

- Well, now we've got all of this backlog of episodes that we used to do and then we've got the webinars and all of the great features that come with the webinars and you can now go to And not only can you see the upcoming webinars and things like that, but you can also look back at our whole back history of things. So that's the back webinars and the back episodes and you can watch those on demand, really. So if you didn't make a webinar maybe you didn't know about it, or you didn't have the time to join when it was live. You lose the opportunity of asking those questions in real time, but you can still go back and watch that presentation at your leisure. Or you can share it with your friends or your family members. And we also take the opportunity to transcribe all of our webinars. Our webinars actually now are transcribed live as they are going. So, as you're watching a live webinar you can turn on closed captioning and we have a system that's transcribing those lives. So if you're hard of hearing, or if you're just like me sometimes you just like to kind of read the captions as you watch TV that's it seems to be a growing trend these days, you have the opportunity of doing that but not only do we have the captions we then give you that transcription in full text right below the video. So if you would prefer to read things or just skim it that way, rather than watching the video you have that option as well. So we try to give different ways to absorb the information based on how you like to consume it.

- Yeah, it's very user-friendly and again there's a little something for everybody. So if you didn't go through to see this video, and you you stumbled upon it some other way, let's send you there. So here's how you can get there, The video content as Chris mentioned is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can see the list of the upcoming webinars to decide what you want to be a part of, maybe what you don't want to be a part of. What's interesting to you or your family members or friends. And as we said, the beauty of these webinars is for you to ask these questions live and have them answered live by a trained professional. Now, what other key feature is the emails, right? Chris, so somebody can sign up and get the latest and greatest in terms of senior living.

- Yes, so there's two things you can look for when you go to over on the left hand side, you can see the list of our upcoming webinars that we have scheduled and we don't go too far out, but we do plan, we do have webinars planned, I think two per month for the rest of this year. So that's a fantastic resource for you. So you can see those, you can click them and you can register. And by registering what that does is it sends the link to the webinar, to your email, and it sends you reminders in your emails so that you don't forget about it. And then also further down on the page you can subscribe to Senior Living Live and that's just putting your email address in and we're not going to do anything crazy with your email. It's really just to let you know when we have new episodes that have published or new webinars that are upcoming, so that you can decide if you want to watch those on your own. You can also follow The Arbor Company on Facebook and YouTube and, and get things that way if those are your preferred platforms. But I really think is a great like sort of single place to get everything.

- Yeah, and one thing that the pandemic has done is it has accelerated the learning curve for our seniors when it comes to technology and Zoom and computer use in general. So they're all very technically savvy. I have learnt. So let's take some of that knowledge and send it over to And we really hope you join us there. Again, that content is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So Chris, as we prepare to part ways here any final thoughts you want to share?

- Well, I'm happy to be back for this one episode and maybe I'll come back and do some more with you here in the next several weeks and months. So it's been a lot of fun to get the whole video rig set back up. And we're not in the same room we're on Zoom but it sure does make it a lot easier to connect with people everywhere. We don't have to book people into a studio now we can use the power of Zoom and that's been really fantastic.

- Yeah, I think that is maybe the one bright spot that has come out of this pandemic is the ease of use and getting to people of all kinds of backgrounds very quickly, very conveniently and it seems that there are far less hurdles when you want to have a conversation with somebody now than there was prior to the pandemic because we have such wonderful technology like Zoom and we have wonderful technology like the internet and We all certainly hope you hop on over and join us there for the latest and greatest in Senior Living news. Chris, thank you so much for joining me today.

- Thanks for having me, Melissa. It's so good to see you. Yeah. So good to see you too. As always, we appreciate you watching Senior Living Live have a great day everybody.

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