Navigating the Options of Senior Living
People looking to move to a community often assess location, services, culture, reputation, financial strength and most importantly a community’s future. It’s a big task that sometimes requires expert advice. RiverMead recently presented a program to address this challenge. Please find the high-points below.
Keith Robertson, Managing Director of Ziegler, one of the nation’s leading underwriters of financing for non-profit senior living providers, presented a national overview of CCRCS. A commonality that senior consumers share is that they are looking for communities with a high level of resident input and involvement, transparency, accountability, amenities, a hospitality culture and a sense of greater community engagement. A benefit of non-profit communities, such as RiverMead is the transparency and financial disclosure available to consumers. Non-profits offer access to audited financial statements, public disclosures, and have regulatory requirements.
Jaime Conley, RiverMead’s CFO, spoke about the benefits of a CCRC and how to evaluate them based on industry metrics. Jaime led a discussion on the benefits of a LifeCare (Type A- all inclusive and most extensive) contract which serves as a financial asset to the resident. Jaime also discussed other criteria to evaluate a CCRC using qualitative and quantitative measures, mission, reputation, transparency in financial reporting, long term and strategic planning, occupancy and other financial ratios. Jaime also noted that RiverMead has a prevailing “open door” policy for questions directed to senior management and the Board of Trustees.
Deborah Roody, RiverMead Resident, spoke of her and her husband's decision to choose RiverMead. The following are her own words describing the culture here.
“Respectful – Everyone here – that’s all of us -residents, staff, visitors, service folks – everyone is treated respectfully. It doesn’t matter who you are. It is a high standard that you will see reflected by everyone.
Supportive – RiverMead bends over backwards to make people feel supported, but never patronized.
Engaging – My Word! There are opportunities to be engaged on every level here. Be it physical activity, intellectual activity, social engagement, hobbies, you name it. I have a former colleague who used the term “the tyranny of opportunity”. That’s how I feel about life here – just too many things I’d like to try.
Accommodating/Flexible – CCRCs are bound by many rules, regulations and considerations concerning health, safety, individual welfare, services and the like, yet RiverMead strives for as much flexibility as possible to meet every resident’s needs and desires. We are frequently asked for feedback or given opportunities to participate in planning and decisions that affect our life here. Having been part of service organizations in my professional life I am often amazed at how delicately RiverMead walks the line between organizational requirements and client needs and wants.
Caring – I often hear myself telling people how thoughtfully we are treated here. This thought and caring is written into the mission statement, and I can tell you that this is an organization that walks its talk when it comes to mission.
I’m building friendships and a support structure here that will sustain me through the end of life. It is stimulating, active, caring, loving, and secure. I feel, we all feel, fortunate to be here."