This is a time of considerable change at Riderwood – generally hopeful and positive change. 2017 will be a year of the groundbreaking for the new Wellness Center as well as major remodeling of Town Center. A major new resident information system, called MyErickson, is in the process of being rolled out even as it is further developed. We RAC members are deeply involved in helping to plan and in providing resident viewpoints to the Riderwood Executive Team.
Riderwood had a very successful year in 2016. Occupancy is up to around 96 percent. Financial performance continues to be good with a strongly positive operating ratio and continuing buildup of reserves. The latter is important to meet anticipated future cost increases including minimum wage increases and anticipated cost increases in labor, benefits and supplies.
Signature Dining, the new system of cook-to-order meals, has just begun. I have had several excellent meals brought hot and fresh to table after a short wait. Much remain to be worked out so let’s all have patience while adjustments are made.
Recently we have had several days of temperatures as low as 12 F. Fortunately during the past year a program of adding insulation was carried out. As a result, we have so far not had a repeat of the series of frozen pipes in apartments that plagued us last year. We have had two episodes of freezing and leaking in public spaces which were quickly identified, stopped, and cleaned up. Also, we have had a boiler failure over the weekend which resulted in uncomfortable temperatures in some public spaces. Kitchen and serving staff carried on cheerfully under difficult conditions.
We RAC members are in continuing discussions with the Administration about needed fixes including new HVAC consoles in some corridors and improved operation of the building management system and budgeting for same.
Another major improvement program now underway is the installation of card-actuated external doors supplemented with automatic door openers for some of the most heavily used external doors. This card system will not only improve quality of life for many residents, but it should improve security as well.
This card-based external door system provides an example of a significant program of improvements to help residents with special needs. A committee with RAC membership under the Resident Life Department develops and prioritizes a list of needed improvements for residents with vision, hearing, or mobility needs and advises management on the need to budget for them.
RAC must also plan for its own future. If you want to make a real contribution to the quality of life at Riderwood and are willing to make a serious effort please consider running for RAC.