Thrive Senior Living Pushes Traditional Care Boundaries with “Safety Third” Initiative

May 6, 2019

ATLANTA–Thrive Senior Living is once again shaking up norms with a defiant, new position as it relates to the human experience in care-based settings.

“Safety Third,” a mindset pioneered by the non-conformative industry leader in elder care, puts decision-making back in the hands of residents while navigating the upsides and downsides to risk. The concept pushes against the longstanding medical paradigm, policies and procedures of “surplus safety,” allowing adult residents the human right to make their own choices and evaluate their priorities. This innovative thinking falls in line with Thrive Senior Living’s bold legacy and mission focused on elevating the human experience and quality of life for older adults.

“Safety Third” is a first-of-its-kind philosophy that uses three filters to prioritize levels of care. The first filter consists of doing more good for residents, families and team members by valuing the desires of individuals first and foremost—particularly as it pertains to the wishes of those in their care. The second filter is the assessment of any barriers that may be hindering that desire—including coaching for teams and families on the importance of dignity and quality of life. Finally, the third filter is that of safety and assessing the upsides and downsides to associated risks.

The ultimate goal is to cultivate happier, more satisfied residents who are able to live fulfilling lives with autonomy, often shattering previous restrictions and limitations imposed around their care.

“We can do more good if we think beyond simply ‘safety first,’” said Thrive Senior Living’s Chief Experience Officer Tammy Marshall. “We all take upsides and downsides to risk every day: it’s part of being human. This new thinking allows us to put decision-making back in the hands of our residents. If we consider measures of safety above all else, our residents risk losing their identity and dignity—and that’s simply not a risk we are willing to take. The spirit dies when, for example, we put someone in a wheelchair who doesn’t belong there. The question is not why we should prioritize a human experience, but rather how can we educate our teams to push against these long-held clinical measures that threaten to institutionalize America’s population of aging adults?”

Thrive Senior Living has already implemented measures to familiarize teams with this nontraditional concept, offering corporate-led panels and Q&A sessions to address employee concerns and challenges. With the guidance of top-level leadership, Thrive’s community teams adhering to “Safety Third” have been able to accommodate residents with atypical health problems or living situations who have otherwise struggled to find a place to live, simply by prioritizing human desires, navigating through barriers and assessing risks.

Thrive Senior Living designs, develops and operates innovative independent living, assisted living and memory care communities across the country with a fresh perspective on senior living. Thrive strives to enrich lives and be faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to them by respecting and honoring older adults as valuable members of society. Headquartered in Atlanta,  Thrive has been named a “2018 Best Workplaces for Aging Services” by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE and a “Great Place to Work” by Activated Insights for two years in a row. The company currently operates communities in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia and the D.C. metro area.

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