Not only do we develop, build, maintain, and manage all of our housing, we layer on top of it wraparound services that allow older adults to live rich, active lives. Our involvement at all levels gives us a deep understanding of supportive housing that older adults can afford and allows us to plan for emerging demographic and market needs.
Housing and Healthcare
The quality of your housing has a huge impact on your health—and your health has a huge impact on your ability to stay in your home. At 2Life Communities, we believe that housing and healthcare are both human rights, and we’re working to integrate the two. By doing so, we hope to lower costs and improve health outcomes for our residents.
24/7 emergency pull cord response: Our residents live independently, but can easily summon our on-site team around-the-clock in case of emergency—a feature rarely found in affordable housing. In 2018, in 89 percent of cases, our staff was able to help residents avoid a visit to the emergency room.
Care coordination and data-sharing with health insurers: With various health care partners, we are pioneering systems of care coordination and information-sharing to improve our shared clients’ health. If residents consent, our specially trained Resident Service Coordinators can access portions of their health records to communicate information about care transitions and changes in residents’ condition.
I visit the nurse weekly.... [She] found that a new prescription was interfering with my blood sugar... I believe she saved me from needing to visit the emergency room.”
-Lyubov, 2Life Communities resident
Real Estate Development
Our full-time Real Estate Team innovates at all levels, from putting together creative and complex financing to keep our apartments affordable, to developing partnerships that enable us to support a diverse population.
Sustainability: In addition to developing highly efficient buildings, we are experts in “grey-green” technology that saves money on operations, is good for the planet, and is informed by how seniors use technology. In fact, 2Life Communities has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its energy-saving practices and achievements.
Design Guidelines: With over fifty years of building and managing apartment buildings, we’ve learned what works best for our residents and staff. Our Design Guidelines collect all of that information in one place so that each 2Life community can be built to the same high standards. The guidelines also serve as a model for, and are available to, others in the field.
Housing for disabled and formerly homeless seniors: The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House, the newest building on our Brighton campus, features five apartments for adults aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and seven apartments for formerly homeless seniors. The residents of these apartments will receive enhanced services and support from our partners at Advocates and at Hearth. The Golda Meir House Expansion project will also include nine apartments for chronically homeless individuals, with supportive services provided by Hearth in collaboration with 2Life staff.
Serving older adults with moderate wealth: Baby boomers with moderate wealth are a fast growing group. We are doing groundbreaking work on a creative approach to providing Aging in Community options for seniors who are over-income for housing with government subsidies, but do not make enough to afford market rate options.
Data Collection and Research
We’re implementing a new, state-of-the-art database that allows us to better support residents by assessing their needs and coordinating their care. It also tracks resident participation in all programs, activities, and events. And through our many partnerships across the state and country, we’re able to conduct research and compare outcomes to continually refine our model.
Housing and Healthcare Study: 2Life Communities is the Project Lead on a complex study that will show how Medicaid, Medicare, and Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) expenses relate to the level of services incorporated into senior housing. Our researchers, LeadingAge and UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine, are working with data of over 5,000 residents living in over forty properties owned by twelve providers of affordable senior housing. We are also leveraging the expertise of our Project Advisory Committee, which includes Alice Bonner, former MA Secretary of Elder Affairs; Lew Lipsitz, Director of Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research; Len Fishman, Director of UMASS/Boston Gerontology Institute; Elissa Sherman, President of LeadingAge Massachusetts; Stephany Descisciolo, Enterprise Foundation; Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University; and Marc Cohen, Clinical Professor, UMASS Dept. of Gerontology and McCormack Graduate School Director, Center for Long-Term Services and Supports. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA Foundation, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, MassHousing, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Enterprise Foundation have generously funded this important project. We expect to have preliminary results in mid-to-late 2019.