Greetings from Administration – April 2017

I was having lunch with a friend recently. He happens to be in his mid-nineties and has a great perspective on a whole lot of things. He’s had, and is still having, a very successful and exciting life. And, like all of us, there has been ups and downs and heartache. There is a question that I like to ask people that live fully, positively and with purpose. It is this: What is one attribute that you’ve exercised in your life that has made all the difference? Without hesitation, he said, “Optimism!”

I love that response! He said that optimism was the key ingredient in the recipe for a full and successful, life. The term “optimism” is derived from the Latin “optimum” meaning “best.” Whether you are 16 and taking on your first job as a dining student here, or 106 and still setting goals for the future, we want to be the best we can be. That’s what we try to do at Riderwood.

And, to be the “best,” we can’t do it alone. None of us are truly independent; we are interdependent. I am thrilled that there are so many residents, staff, family, and friends who are “optimistically” looking to “optimize” Riderwood! I know that I speak for the staff here when I say that we certainly can’t “optimize” Riderwood alone. We constantly need the resident voice. And, a key to accurately hearing the resident voice is the Resident Advisory Council (RAC). Congratulations to the new members who came on after a robust election with ten great candidates filling five spots. And, of course, a big thank you to the recent RAC members stepping down after finishing their terms…Rita Hofbauer, Jim Dorsey, Maggie Kinnaman and Jim Torri….they certainly helped Riderwood tremendously.

I am certainly “optimistic” about the days ahead and the positive, “can-do” perspective that Riderwood staff and residents overwhelmingly bring to the table. And this is even in the midst of trying days, difficult circumstances, and even deep disagreements. It brings to mind something that Oscar Wilde penned regarding perspective and optimism: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Here’s to looking at the stars, together.

– Gary Hibbs, Executive Director

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