Steve Rose isn’t your average senior. For starters, he’s not real — at least in a physical sense.

Consider him an amalgam of sorts who’s helping change the dialogue around senior and assisted living in a new marketing campaign, “The Quintessential Gentleman’s Guide to Assisted Living.”

“There’s a lot of information about senior living out there, and a lot of it’s very healthcare-oriented,” says Lorraine Aiken, director of social media for Senior Living Communities. “This is more of a lighthearted way to say that people who need assisted living are still living their lives. We wanted to be informative from a relatable viewpoint.”

Senior Living Communities, LLC, based in Charlotte with locations here in Winston-Salem, decided it was time to try something new to help clear common misconceptions about senior and assisted living. Through a humorous, conversational style of storytelling, the owner of Homestead Hills near Wake Forest University is making the transition to senior living more comfortable and familiar for seniors than ever before.

In Part 1 of the campaign, released in January, Rose vented about the misconceptions of senior living based on hearsay from friends, resolving to get to the bottom of the issue on his own. He establishes himself as the audience’s reliable narrator to finding the best senior living community.

Senior Living Communities released Part 2 in February, with Rose researching senior living communities in his area and listing questions for his phone inquiries, including, “Am I allowed to have a car?” and “Do I make my own meals?”

Rose realizes that in his research, no question is too small and empathy and compassion are favorable when it comes to first impressions. This naturally led to the late spring release of Part 3, in which Rose ventures out to see different communities for himself. He focuses on services and amenities that best fit his lifestyle. Part 4, due out in June, is all about Rose finally making the move from a home he’s spent decades in to a senior living community.

“We’ve had a great reception so far I think because it’s more of a relatable thing,” says Aiken. “It’s not the same old brochure you’re used to getting. You can really get invested in Steve Rose’s story.”

Aiken and her team have been just as savvy about distributing the campaign, working mostly through social media and an accompanying blog on the company’s web site.

“Word-of-mouth is the greatest way people learn about retirement communities and other things in general,” says Aiken, adding that social media has become the modern version of word-of-mouth. Seniors are regularly using Facebook, Twitter, and Google to see what others are saying about senior living communities.

“Our company puts an emphasis on what we’re doing on social media in terms of reaching people where they are,” says Aiken. “Our demographic is seniors but also their adult children. If you don’t have a digital presence, you’re missing that audience.”

Now, among all the reviews and opinions on the web is Steve Rose, a funny, relatable guide who dispels the myths of senior living for the benefit of everyone considering the transition. “The Quintessential Gentleman’s Guide to Assisted Living” is changing minds about the whole senior living community industry, one online researcher at a time.

“It’s such a great series,” says Aiken, adding there may be a Part 5 given how many topics Rose could cover. “It’s about making the best of your retirement, whether through wellness programs, great food, exercise, or social events. We’re really proud of it.”

To view the “Quintessential Gentleman’s Guide to Assisted Living,” visit

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