The Following is a Guest Post By Chelsea Richardson, Associate Editor at Signal Hill

A custodian at a continuing care retirement community plays guitar with fellow team members to help trigger memories for residents with Alzheimer’s. An 80-year-old resident rides his bike to the local university twice a week, where he studies the great writers of American literature. The two join a group of volunteers on weekends to pack healthy lunches for homeless youth.

Data, facts and figures may quantify a senior living community’s successes, but numbers can only go so far. To really resonate, that data needs context. It needs emotion. What it needs is a story.

History can attest to the power of storytelling. From cave drawings to carefully crafted status updates, story sits at the core of how we communicate. It’s only natural for those stories to drive marketing efforts.

When marketing comes in the form of great storytelling, it paints a picture that has impact. Potential residents and their family members are no longer staring at a bullet-point list of amenities a CCRC has to offer. Instead they see a vibrant future full of neighbors and team members who truly care.

The strength of any community is its people. Through colorful profiles, dynamic photography and smart social media, that strength can be harnessed in a powerful way. It allows audiences to build relationships and feel connected before ever setting foot on campus.

Using storytelling breaks down stereotypes about what a retirement community looks and feels like. It shows that the community is not only made up of extraordinary people, but it’s a place where passions blossom.

Most importantly, it reminds current residents of the good in their community and compels others to say, “This looks like the perfect place for me to call home.”

About Signal Hill:

Signal Hill is a leadership and communications consultancy that outfits organizations for adventures in story. Founded in 1999, Signal Hill uses narrative practices to help organizations draw upon the power of their stories and multimedia approaches to get the stories out. Learn more at

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