By Brandon Hair, Executive Director
Each year, I attend a conference coordinated by LeadingAge North Carolina, and this year’s theme was MOMENTUM. As our world at large and the world of retirement living have changed dramatically over the past two years, we have had to develop new strategies and plans to keep moving forward and to prepare for what lies ahead. This was the overall message from the presenters and keynote speakers at this year’s conference.
The theme was incredibly uplifting to me, especially because I tested positive for COVID after the conference and had to work from home for three days. Even though I moved forward with “momentum” during this time, I learned how much I missed coming in to work. As a gregarious person, I’m energized by the many face-to-face interactions I have with residents and other staff throughout my workday.
My primary purpose in attending this conference each year is to obtain the required number of CEUs (continuing education units) to keep my nursing home license active each year. The secondary reason is that I chair the Education Committee of LeadingAge North Carolina, and our committee is responsible for the overall handling of the conference.
We select presenters, register more than 500 attendees, introduce all speakers, monitor each session, and address the many other aspects of producing a three-day conference. I work with a great team of leaders from seven different retirement communities across the state.
Some of the sessions and topics at this year’s conference that I enjoyed most were:
• Building Momentum in Adult Day Care
• Best Practices in Master Planning
• Recruitment Performance Metrics
• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Springmoor is already engaged with three of these topics. We do not offer adult day care services, so I was very interested in learning more about how other communities implement these programs, which are similar to day care for children.
Food, supervision, activities, and social interaction are provided to older adults while adult children or other caregivers are at work. Adult day care service providers offer additional support for the family members as well.
Some retirement communities in North Carolina offer adult day care services on their campuses to people who are not residents of that community. The community offers the space, the staff, and the food, and offering this vital service to families creates another revenue stream.
There are currently five senior centers in Wake County that offer adult day care, and two more are in the planning stages. Seventy percent of the attendees are self-referred; the other 30% are referred by their medical professional.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is another topic that is a top priority for most businesses and organizations. At Springmoor, we have a DEI committee composed of 15 employees. Implementing a fair and balanced DEI culture is a journey that takes some time, but we feel as if we are on the right path by forming a committee and learning about the different backgrounds of many employees we have at Springmoor.
In addition to offering equitable opportunities for all employees, we want to create increased awareness of peoples’ different cultures and experiences. One thing I learned at the conference is that increasing DEI is just as much about finding similarities as recognizing differences. Identifying similarities with others and finding shared experiences helps us understand so much and create a more inclusive work environment.
One of my biggest takeaways from the conference came from a round table discussion at a leadership breakfast. A director of a community in Greensboro reminded all of us to stop comparing our communities to others and stop worrying about who has the newest or next best thing. Instead, during these post-COVID years, we need to get back to the basics of caring for our residents and community.
As we plan for the future and present these ideas to our Boards, we should remember that we are here to care for our residents and to make sure they have what they need—rather than always moving on to “bigger and better” things. Furthering our well-established reputation is what gives me MOMENTUM. Our team works hard every day to ensure that Springmoor continues to provide exceptional care and services, as we have for almost 40 years.
If you’d like more information about life at a CCRC (continuing care retirement community), you can click here to fill out a short online form and receive a free packet of information. Or, you can schedule an appointment for a personalized tour or give us a call today at 919-848-7080. We look forward to answering your questions!