We regularly sit down in our sales office with individuals who get right to the point: “We are visiting many communities, and we’ve started a spreadsheet to compare them objectively.” Honestly, we love this approach… even if it is all wrong in the end.
We love the spreadsheet because when the time comes to tally up the score, our village will have more boxes checked than most communities in any price range. If you are starting your own spreadsheet after visiting two or three villages, we humbly suggest that you pay special attention to the following categories:
• Presence of a strong Memory Support program in all service lines: Health Care, Personal Care and in Residential Living in the form of education and an active, holistic Care Team
• Possibility of extensive “aging in place” in Residential Living thanks to a reliable 7-days-a-week residential nursing program, adequate internal transportation services, and technological “check-in” features
• A flexible (read optional) meal plan with menu and venue variety, and with dining room coverage for 21 meals every week
• A long tradition of strong census and financial stability
Now, why do we say that the spreadsheet approach is all wrong in the end? That’s because you are not going to move into a spreadsheet or into a brochure. Yes, our village offers all those features – and countless more – in a convenient and reasonably priced location, but that is only the beginning.
What truly sets a community apart is its spirit. Here, for instance, we are a retirement community but there is nothing retiring about us. As demographically diverse as we are, we are all linked by a certain character: we are intolerant of limitations and dogged in our belief that aging is an opportunity, not a handicap. Instead of saying “no,” we prefer to say “why not?” We take our work seriously but we don’t take ourselves a bit seriously. We don’t dress up for dinner but we get up early to volunteer. So… go ahead and start with the spreadsheet if that is your wish, but spending time in the communities you are considering (actively connecting with your potential neighbors and the staff), is an essential step in determining whether you will feel at home after your move.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Oliver Hazan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community in New Oxford.