Bill Kaplan, Co-Founder and Chairman
In the early eighties, Bill Kaplan noticed that while many families and friends were searching for a more independent environment with active programs and hospitality services for their aging loved ones, this simply was not a model that nursing homes could provide.
“The 24-hour bedside care was not only unnecessary, it was also unaffordable for many families,” says Bill. “Seniors wanted a place where they could maintain their independence, socialize, dine, and live full lives without having to worry about daily tasks such as housekeeping and laundry.”
Rather than settle for what was available, in 1985 Bill founded Senior Lifestyle and set out to fulfill this vision.
It was in Chicago the following year when Senior Lifestyle broke ground on its first community, an upscale independent living high-rise along the lakefront. The Breakers at Edgewater Beach opened its doors in 1988 and proved to be in high demand with families and residents. The spring of 1989 saw the opening of the second Senior Lifestyle community, The Breakers of Golf Mill in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
In the years since, Senior Lifestyle has continued to offer more options for residents and their families. You can now find Senior Lifestyle communities in 22 states across the country.
“I believe in the value of our service culture for our residents and their families,” says Bill. “It’s what drives me and our team to deliver the Senior Lifestyle Mission to enrich seniors’ lives today and tomorrow for as many residents across the country as we can.”
Many of the communities offer a continuum of care, where residents can access a range of lifestyle options so they can age gracefully in place without having to relocate.
In cooperation with the Chicago Mayor’s Office, Senior Lifestyle developed Senior Suites, an innovative and affordable housing brand that provides income-qualified residents with quality apartment homes in neighborhoods throughout greater Chicago. Unlike traditional affordable housing, Senior Suites includes daily resident programming, weekly local transportation, à la carte dining options, and a daily check-in service.
Along the way, Senior Lifestyle has received a number of prominent awards to recognize its innovative programs and overall excellence. Today, The Breakers at Edgewater Beach still stands as a beacon of independence on the lakefront, continuing to offer residents a quality of life that would not have been possible without Bill’s desire to challenge the status quo.
Prior to founding Senior Lifestyle in 1985, Bill served as a Managing Partner of Romanek-Golub and Company where he was involved in all real estate transactions and was responsible for the Residential Marketing and Management Divisions. Before joining Romanek-Golub in 1971, Bill was Vice President/General Manager of Greyhound Food Management, Inc., where he was responsible for its Midwest Hospitality and Food Service Program.
- Former Vice Chairman and Chairman of the American Senior Housing Association
- Member and Certified Property Manager of the Institute of Real Estate Management
- Member of the Board of Directors of Shelby Williams Industries
- Former Vice Chairman of the Board of the YMCA Lawson House, Chicago's largest single-room occupancy hotel
- President, Meals on Wheels Chicago
- President Emeritus and Member of the Executive Board of the Chicago Fund on Aging and Disability
- Bachelor of Science – Food Service and Management, Pratt Institute
- Associate in Applied Science – Hotel Administration, New York City Technical College
- 1997 National Council on Aging's Distinguished Achievement Award
- Chicago's 2001 Luminary Senior Award
- Recipient of the Chicago Association of Realtors 2007 Hall of Fame Award
- Recipient of American Senior Housing Association's Lifetime Achievement Award