By Corrinne Lennox
“Coming here is like looking in a slightly changed mirror,” says Chris Taydus the newly appointed manager of the Riderwood TV studio. He is speaking of the differences between Oak Crest, which he recently left, and Riderwood where he has just arrived. Immediately before his appointment to Riderwood, Chris served as the Community Television Production Coordinator at Oak Crest, another Erickson Community, located in Parkville, Md. Originally Chris thought the differences between the two would be greater but quickly realized just how similar the communities truly were.
“The size is the obvious difference,” he reflects, “but beyond that, the communities are almost identical in their core beliefs and practices. All Erickson Communities are here to help seniors age successfully. Switching from Oak Crest to Riderwood has made that clear.”
Chris is no stranger to TV production. Born in Philadelphia, he grew up in Deptford, NJ and, then, in 2003, entered Towson University (located just outside of Baltimore), where he managed the University’s TV station, wrote and produced comedy sketches and produced the TV news program.
Six months after his graduation from Towson with a degree in television production, Chris was hired to coordinate the TV station at Oak Crest. Since he had worked for several years with students, and, immediately thereafter, with seniors, I asked Chris to comment on his experiences, first of working with older persons and then, about senior residential communities. “I’m a little ashamed to admit that I used to believe the stereotypes of seniors,” he responds with candor, “but in nine years with Erickson Living, the residents have shown me they’re are capable of so much, especially at a community like Riderwood.” These thoughts lead Chris to his observations about residential communities for seniors.
“It seems to me,” he says, “that Erickson is pushing against negative ideas about older persons. Many of my friends and relatives still stereotype seniors, but I try to help them to realize that it just isn’t true.” Gary Hibbs, Executive Director of Riderwood, knew Chris from when they both worked at Oak Crest. “Chris is talented and funny,” says Gary, “he is focused and imaginative. For him, this work is not just a job, it’s a calling.”