I remember growing up in a small California Central Valley farming town and visiting relatives in facilities generously called “retirement homes”. It did not seem to be a very good way to spend your retirement, but what did a little kid know.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to revisit these memories and started asking myself: “What would I do different?” It turns out be quite a few things.
We design, build and operate our own facilities. It is the only way to put your personal stamp on what you think is important–from larger rooms to creative programs and activities to putting greens, bocce ball and Irish Pubs.
It is also the only way to incorporate others’ good ideas, feedback (both positive and negative) and changing societal demands into our buildings and care structures (think Baby Boomers for a challenge).
I truly dislike the idea of having a mission statement. They are generally these trite soundbites that are made up of a bunch of $100 words that do not really mean very much. Sort of like a business bumper sticker or an internet tattoo placed on your face.
My personal mantra is simple. We can always do better. That’s it. Nothing fancy, but it is what I believe and hope to convey within my life and our company.
It can be a little thing, like which direction should the toilet paper come off the roller or something big like what amenities can we provide to families with a loved one on hospice or providing internal daycare for our employees with children.
We are building homes for you, your parents or other loved ones. These homes should be filled with good stuff—nice smells, good food, caring people, laughter, companionship and activities that make you look forward to the next day while living your life in the moment.
This does sound a bit like a long-winded mission statement. It’s not. I promise you. It is the message given to our managers and staff, and hopefully, what they are imparting to your loved ones in our communities.
Some of your loved ones have dementia, which is a terrible affliction that has touched many Americans, either directly or indirectly. We have one the best memory care programs in the country, designed by a very caring and knowledgeable director within our management company.
We are very proud of our memory care program but would be ecstatic if it were no longer needed. An investor once asked me what we would do with our memory care facilities if someone came up with a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
I told him that we would throw the biggest, longest party we could imagine and when we sobered up we would figure out what to do with the buildings. He thought I was kidding.
Life should be fun. Come have fun with us.