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What The Heck Is A Lyceum?

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By Steve Moran

I have been aware of Masterpiece Living for a bunch of years and knew they had something to do with programming for senior living communities and that was about it. Then two things happened: I heard Roger Landry, President of Masterpiece Living and author of Live Long, Die Short, present the keynote address at Environments for Aging and I kept crossing paths with Clark Lyons, the National Sales Director for Masterpiece, at various conferences.

Then, at PEAK, Clark extended an invitation to attend their 2017 Lyceum in Denver.


As per Wikipedia: "The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe."

As defined by Mirriam-Webster Dictionary: Lyceum ~ 1) a hall for public lectures or discussions 2) an association providing public lectures, concerts, and entertainments

Masterpiece Living

This may not be the official Masterpiece Living definition of what they do; however, as I understand it, they provide senior living organizations with a system or tool kit that helps them create living environments that smash the traditional model of declining in luxury. They ease into replacing it with a system that encourages residents to . . .

  1. Create a live-in community -- The idea is that senior living is home and community all wrapped in one. That community includes residents, family members, team members and others engaging in life together.  

  1. Encourage mental and physical activity -- The idea is that senior living does not need to be the place where seniors go to decline and die in luxury, but rather it can be a place where seniors come to add years of improved health to their lives.  

  1. Create opportunities for purposeful living -- Too often senior living has been a place that strips purpose and meaning from seniors. Everything gets done for them. They are entertained multiple times in multiple ways. It sounds good, yet -- in reality -- hardly anyone would want to be condemned to spend the rest of their lives on a cruise ship.

All of these things together result in a much higher quality of life, longer lengths of stay and reduced staff burden.

I Don’t Need No Stinking System

It is theoretically possible to do these things yourself, but it is unlikely that even a very large organization could do it as thoroughly or effectively. Every company needs to figure out what things they are going to do themselves and what they are going to purchase from others. What seems to happen is that the senior living communities that are doing the Masterpiece Living thing most effectively are using the tools and system Masterpiece provides, then putting their own spin to it. In effect, they are creating their own very unique and special sauce, while using the Masterpiece ingredients.

I went in a skeptic and came out convinced this is a great, proven strategy to serve residents and improve the bottom line.


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