Before I came to Lenbrook, I had to maintain a large home, buy groceries, fix my own meals and pay all the bills associated with keeping a home functioning, including utilities. It wasn't fun when my water heater broke one weekend and I couldn't get a plumber in until Monday. And when I had my total knee replacement, the three flights of stairs in my home became quite a challenge.
A resident recently commented to me, "I've been here eight years and Lenbrook looks just as beautiful today as it did my first day here." It made me smile as I headed into a budget meeting where we would be talking about the very thing that engenders a "WOW" impression when you first walk in our doors: appealing amenities. The real WOW, I’ve learned however, comes when amenities are enduring – when you are able to keep them fresh and relevant year after year.
Continuous Investment in Physical Inventory
Remember the Food Guide Pyramid? Or maybe even the Food Wheel? Guess what ... the "Pyramid" is now a "Plate." In fact, it's called "My Plate". So what's up with this new guide for how to build a balanced plate for healthier living?
What is My Plate?
For over 60 years, my parents lived in the same house in Rome, GA. Boy, talk about people who did not want to move when the time came. My dad was 93 and mom was 84. And the time came. Mom was showing signs of Alzheimer's and, for her, taking care of dad, the house and cooking had become too much.
My husband Richard and I had to step in and firmly guide my father to select an independent and assisted living community in Rome. He did and they moved. We assumed power of attorney and sold the family home for them.
According to an article in Psychology Today, one of the major reasons people tend to stop exercising after recently starting an exercise routine is that they do not want to experience discomfort. After reading this article, it made me wonder whether this is the reason some residents are more hesitant than others to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives. Investigating further into this, I had conversations with several residents about this.
Generally, when people think about the word "responsive" they think about quick action. However, well-known author and TED Talk speaker Simon Sinek says, “It’s better to go slow in the right direction then to go fast in the wrong direction.” It is true that the proper definition for responsive is “reacting quickly and positively.” So if we are measuring quality in our organization (which we are), shouldn’t we have a process for responding?
Anticipate the Issue
The one true certainty we have in this life is that it is unpredictable and anything, good, bad or otherwise, can happen. Additionally, “it” is not only defined by the passage of time. "It" can also be influenced by proactive planning or, on the flip side, lack of planning. Let's take a look at the "10 Tough Questions About Life Planning."
Being able to live your best life, in all stages of life, takes planning. And we're not just talking about planning for your golden retirement years, but also for your end-of-life needs and wishes, too.
Being a positive influence and having a positive impact is something one of our former Lenbrook board members, Glen Jackson of Jackson & Spalding, would frequently talk with us about. I remember a time we were walking through his Midtown offices and I noticed that when we came across his team members he would always acknowledge them in some way, often with a meaningful statement.
We've been intentional about integrating the "The Lenbrook Way" into every aspect of our operations this past year. It's been a time of exploring, defining and putting into action the behaviors and service standards essential to creating excellent experiences for our residents.