A great story about the 5 pm Sunday Afternoon prospect that turned into a move-in.
This is not technically a tour story because I ended up with a gimped up foot (almost all better now) and could hardly hobble around the house and office, let alone go visit a community. But what I have for you is an even better story that was sent to me in response to my week #11 tour where I showed up at 5 pm on a Sunday afternoon.
Keystone Senior Living
I have developed a friendship with Kent Mulkey, the executive Director of Keystone Place at Legacy Ridge in Westminster, Colorado. This was a 2013 and 2014 Caring.com top rated Caring Star Community. Kent sent me this timely story. Keystone has a 24/7, on call protocol for inquiries and it really means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While they essentially never get calls after about 7 pm, they want the marketplace to know that there is always someone available if a family hits a crisis point. It looks like this: Kent, the Executive Director, and two of his sales people, live within 10-15 minutes of the community and one of them is always on call for new prospects. During the hours when there are no sales or management people on site, the calls that go to the sales office are automatically forwarded to one of the three on-call people’s cell phone and it is mandatory that they answer their phones. In addition, their concierges are trained to provide beverages, etc. while the sales person has time to get to the property. Interestingly, they have never had someone refuse to wait for the sales person to get there.
Sunday Afternoon at Keystone
It was just this past Sunday afternoon that a woman and her brother stopped by looking for help. She was frazzled, defensive, scattered and baffled as to what to do with their Mom. Did she need memory care, assisted living or something else? The daughter wasn’t even sure. She was clear that she had looked, or would be looking, at several places. but she agreed to wait for a salesperson. When, Cathy, the sales person got to the community she discovered that the Mom in question was in a nearby skilled nursing building and was done with Rehab. The skilled facility staff was pushing to have her stay in skilled as a long-term resident because of her “bad dementia”. Rather than push for the sale, Cathy suggested the right thing to do was have the director of resident care go visit Mom in the skilled nursing building in an effort to help the family decide what was best for her. Keystone had just two open units at the time, one in memory care and the other in assisted living. The sales person promised to keep both available until they figured out the right move, even if that meant Mom staying in skilled nursing. This was a great customer service thing to do. It left the decision completely in the resident’s family and, because of that freedom, the family said they would not be looking anywhere else. On Wednesday, three days later, the family signed the resident agreement and Mom was scheduled to move in the following weekend(this weekend). As they were working through the move-in details the daughter said to Cathy, “Thank you so much for giving up part of your weekend to come meet with us.” The Keystone mind-set says that we are here to serve our residents, their families and the community 24/7. It paid off with this move-in and it results in a 98.5% average occupancy rate.
It is funny to me because, with a 98.5% plus occupancy rate, Keystone could arguably see this on call system as an unnecessary bothersome burden. As something that just costs them extra dollars when someone comes in from home . . . and yet they are full. Not having this system might well have cost them a move-in and may be they reason they stay close to full. Part Two: It’s All About the Culture
Steve, I have honestly just glimpsed over these articles. However, to cut to the chase, I do not like LTC facilities, perhaps I am wrong in judging all as in the same boat per say.But, i have yet to see a good one! They are over loaded and under staffed for proper care to the clients! If they can feed themselves well…maybe ok, if not well you might as well be up the creek without a paddle! Not that is not to say there are not a few good hearted people out thee that might take the time to feed someone…but you see it is not so much the people but the time and rules put on the people who work there….the DO ers! I was in a LTC facility once and 3 women all at the same time were yelling bathroom, BATHROOM! Not one aid on that ward all were on break, I would have went and helped but I was not working and usually not afraid of liability I was due to the fact I was doing or wanted to do a job I was not hired to do and therefore probably if an acc. would have happened been sued! I know not everyone can afford private care, but tell me what does it take to get proper care in these places? And how do they screen their employees? I think sometimes they are on the second story see someone, anyone walking by and yell HEY, you, do you need a job? We will pay you $7.OO an hr to come to work and it is so easy! Yea right, and Monkeys fly too! There is nothing easy about caregiving ! That is the main thing in my story here CARE GIVING! You must CARE, you MUST be compassionate, you must want to make a difference in someones life! Give them a Quality Of life not just an existence! To make the time to hold out your hand and say I am here, I will help you:) But how many LTC facilities have the help to do that? Not one that I know of! I get so angry about Elderly abuse and it does happen in LTC facilities! I have seen it! It infuriates me to no end! If you don’t care about CARING then LEAVE! U have no business there if you have employees who only care about a pay check FIRE THEM! And if you are only in the business because of the $$$ FIRE YOURSELF! Because what goes around comes around. I refuse to be part of any such thing! And I see it they will be reported to the Dept of Human Services, a trying to do the best they can is not good enough for me. And yes, I have been told my standards are way to high, well you tell my clients that and see what they say……there is no excuse in the USA for our aging parents or anyone to not be treated with Dignity and grace and a Quality of Life. Sincerely, Carol Carter .
Carol, I feel for you and understand your sentiments about LTC facilities. However, there are indeed communities that take real heart into caring for those in need. Our community is one of them.
I am the owner of Heritage Village Assisted Living, a community in Mesa, AZ. We make sure our staffing ratios are the best in the country. This ratio is a simple indication on how we make sure we have plenty of staff taking care of every resident need–even those that need additional care like help with eating that perhaps you and I take for granted. We have other indicators and family surveys to help us make sure we are on the right path. Simply asking the residents if they are happy with a positive response is, most of the time, a good indicator we are doing something right. We love what we do and everything else will follow, including success. We definitely aren’t all the same.