How do you create a senior care community that truly enhances the lives of their residents? By doing the right things for the right reasons. Vitality, joy and celebrating the excitement of living was exactly what I felt from the time I entered the doors of Cherrywood Village Retirement Community in Portland, OR last week.
Never underestimate the value of a first impression. As I drove up to the Village Center, around the 18 hole putting green and the beautifully landscaped walking paths, I was looking forward with anticipation to what was inside.
A Village Center it was... with happy people visiting in the village cafe, some just wrapping up their daily work-out in the fitness center, visiting and (I'm guessing) planning the rest of their day. Would it be a trip to the in house movie theater, soda shop, art studio, enjoying some quiet time in the library or getting ready for the Irish dancers who would be performing that evening?
Vitality = Happy People
My first impression was that this was a happy place filled with happy people. Residents mingled with staff as if they were family. The Village Center was vibrant, inviting and a definitely a place that celebrated the excitement of living.
Vitality didn't stop at the Village Center. Their Parkview Memory Care is transformational. The well designed "village concept" integrated a Snoezelen room, chapel, movie theater, always-open diner, and the absolutely awesome real 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook for residents to actually sit in and take care of in Wally's Garage. Imagine their residents actually getting to ride in this lovingly restored auto? Residents were taking care of life like babies, fully engaging with attentive staff. I can only imagine how overjoyed their families are to have their loved ones in such a vibrant community where, despite living with dementia, their mom, dad or spouse are still living a life of joy and purpose. That's vitality!
While I was there, I learned more about the nationally recognized Generations community founded by Wendell White. Mr. White grew up caring for the elderly, so his passion and vision for creating a place for seniors to live fully was learned at an early age. Now the White children are leading the organization in carrying out the vision their father has established.
Generations has an envious high employee longevity. Their relationship-based management practices speaks volumes of their respect and investment in each and every employee, whom after talking with them, say "this is an incredible place to work.. they really value us."
Here are Generations' core values:
- world class excellence for the residents and employees they serve
- create environments that enhance lives
- celebrate the excitement of living
- excellence in the stewardship of our communities
- honore the goals and missions of our campus partners
This company lives their values. They do the right things for the right reasons for their residents, employees, and the communities they serve.
Is it a winning model? You bet it is!