By Mickey Thaxton, Associate Executive Director
Please come and join the next “Conversation with Administration” at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, in Lakeside Commons Encore Theater.
These monthly conversations provide an opportunity for residents to share concerns and receive feedback. They also help Administration understand what we can do to improve service to residents. Transcripts of questions and answers from the meeting may be rephrased without changing the accuracy of the information presented or omitted due to spacing issues for this column in the Reporter.
The following reflects the highlights of Conversation with Administration conducted in December:
Updates from the Executive Team
• Gary introduced Lori Simpson, the new Director of Resident Life. Lori mentioned that she has worked with continuing care retirement communities like Riderwood for about 30 years with a background in social work and nursing.
• The community’s ramp shuttle buses were still being repaired at the time of the meeting due to the high volume of deployments necessary during the daily routes on campus. The Transportation team is looking to get the buses back into service as soon as possible.
• Applications for Riderwood visitor ID badges began rollout on January 2, 2019, and should now be available at all community building front desks. Residents were provided with the first application, but they are welcome to pick up additional applications for all regular visitors. There will be a one-time $25 fee per badge.
• We want to extend a special thank you to the residents for welcoming friends and family of both residents and staff to the campus for the annual Winterfest celebration. We’d also like to thank all the staff that worked to put the event together as well.
• New menus launched on December 17. Some adjustments are being made to those changes, but most new items have received positive reviews from residents. Weekly dining specials will return in the third week of the new menu cycle to give residents a chance to sample all the new fare.
• Lance Severance announced that he would be leaving Riderwood in January of 2019 to pursue a career with Bridgepoint Health Care as their new Vice President of Facilities Management. We wish Lance the best in his future endeavors.
Questions & Comments from Residents
• Is there any update on Riderwood working with the new Adventist Hospital on Plum Orchard Drive to create an agreement to have residents be admitted to that hospital as opposed to one further away?
Riderwood is currently in discussions with the Adventist team to work on the relationship that our community will have with the hospital.
• What is the advantage to the previously mentioned visitor badges?
The new visitor badges will allow guests to enter the community through the same lane that residents and staff use and not be held up in the visitor lane. Visitors with badges will also be able to access the building entrances and not be required to pass through the community buildings.
• What precautions are in place for keeping residents safe while construction crews are using various chemicals and materials during construction and renovations?
Riderwood and its contractors follow the guidelines put forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We also work with residents to try and schedule work times to best suit residents that may be impacted by the various materials and debris from the renovation work around the campus.
• I had heard a recent rumor that three vehicles were broken into on campus and had their airbags stolen. What is security doing about these concerns?
To correct the rumor, only two vehicles were affected. The perpetrators were spotted by the Riderwood Security team and pursued, but the suspects were lost at the community’s fence line. Police were notified and came out to file a police report. Unfortunately, this type of crime is somewhat common outside the community due to the ease of resale. We will continue to conduct patrols of the campus to prevent this issue in the future hopefully.
• Is there any update to the potential to have our badges being used as the sole method of accessing outside doors, being used to access apartment doors, and/or being used for payment around the campus?
Utilizing resident badges as a payment method around the campus requires an upgrade to the existing point of sale systems. While the plan is for this to feature to eventually be available, the timeline has not been laid out yet. As it pertains to badges being the sole method of entry through outside doors, the current strategy is to give all residents’ visitors an opportunity to acquire the previously mentioned visitor badges before the exterior door keys are eliminated. Using your badge to open your apartment is a multimillion-dollar capital expenditure project which is only available at the two of our sister communities (Lantern Hill and Windsor Run) that included it in the initial construction process. While Riderwood has much of the infrastructure in place to eventually make that transition, it is not a project currently being considered.
• If the badge access system goes down on exterior doors, how will residents access the building?
Some of the mechanisms used during the initial installation of the automated doors were defective. They have since been replaced, and the community has seen a much lower number of incidences with non-functioning doors. We also have a contract with the installer to have issues resolved in a very timely fashion.
• Is it possible to make the badges smaller or institute key fob to open exterior doors?
We are looking into one of these two options in the future, but no information is available at this time.
• Can we install ramps in the existing non-ramp buses?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to retrofit existing buses with ramp mechanisms.
• Can you briefly clarify the role the Information Technology (I.T.) team as it pertains to resident concerns? Also, are any of the IT staff certified in Apple technology?
The IT Team is tasked with assisting both residents and staff with technology issues on the Riderwood campus. We are not sure at this time about Apple Certification, but we’ll do more research into that.
• I believe the new stop sign outside of Town Center is poorly placed and therefore regularly ignored by drivers. I’m worried about the safety of residents and staff crossing the road at the new crosswalk there. Can anything be done to improve the visibility of that stop sign or draw attention to it?
Our security team will check on improving that area to make crosswalk safer.
• I want to thank all the staff members that promptly call me back when I leave a message, but some staff still don’t get back to me in a timely manner. Can anything be done about this?
We recommend you document the person you contacted and when you reached out to them, then if they don’t get back to you, please let an administrative team member know so it can be addressed.