Brightview Senior Living communities are most successful when our associates, residents, and families are engaged in frequent and transparent communication. In addition to emails, letters, phone calls, and more, every Brightview Senior Living community hosts several monthly community meetings to receive feedback from residents: Dining Committee, Activities Committee, and Resident Council. During these meetings, Brightview associates can share updates with residents and get feedback or recommendations for making the community as comfortable and vibrant as possible.
To get an inside look at one of these meetings, we attended June’s Resident Council at Brightview Perry Hall. Executive Director Laura Stewart creates the agenda and leads this meeting every month.
“Resident Council provides an in-person opportunity to keep lines of communication open between residents and the directors,” Stewart said. “We are able to address issues, inform residents of upcoming events and policy changes, and hear suggestions from the residents. It is always encouraging to hear our residents speak up in the group to publicly acknowledge our team and their hard work. This helps to promote positivity in the community.”
Stewart opened the meeting by first welcoming new residents to the community. She then handed the podium over to presenters from Gilchrist, who provided an overview of their Elder Care Medical program. Brightview partners with many community medical providers that bring their services directly to residents’ apartments, such as Gilchrist Elder Care.
After the Gilchrist presentation, Stewart went through a slate of updates concerning COVID rates in the surrounding county and parking in the community. Vibrant Living Director Bonnie Gorman was next up to talk about upcoming events and classes in the community. She announced Brightview Perry Hall was resuming in-house church services, monthly birthday parties, and yoga classes. She also explained that the community was adding a second class for card making because it has been so popular.
Next, Dining Services Director Kathleen Smith presented an overview of the most recent Dining Committee meeting. She discussed several upcoming special dining events and dinners: a Father’s Day Surf and Turf dinner, a pig roast at the community’s Hawaiian Luau Party, and a Fourth of July cookout. Smith also told residents that starting in July, each dining room would have a unique menu. Different menus were standard before the pandemic, and given the community’s recovery, they felt comfortable bringing that back. Smith also encouraged the residents to attend the Dining Committee meetings for a chance to bring up suggestions and concerns, as well as sample snacks!
One of the residents in attendance, Marilyn Schiavone, told us her anecdote regarding Dining Committee. At one meeting, she suggested serving scones more often. The next day, a box of hot, fresh scones was delivered to her apartment, and they are available more often in the breakfast offerings. Marilyn has filled her three and half years here at Brightview Perry Hall with just about any activity: trivia, word games, art, card making, bingo. “All the associates are very forthcoming,” she said. “If you ask for something, everyone is willing to help out.”
Following the dining update, Stewart opened the floor to resident comments and questions. Residents discussed everything from traffic on the road to new construction in Perry Hall, rug cleaning, and future meetings. As the Resident Council concluded, Stewart reminded everyone that she would print and send minutes for the meeting to every resident’s mailbox.
Another resident who came to the meeting, Audrey Lentz, has lived at Brightview Perry Hall for three years and enjoys all the art and craft classes. She enjoys coming to the meetings to learn more about what’s going on in the community. “They take great care of us,” she said.
Beverly Herman has lived at Brightview Perry Hall for five years after moving from Florida to be closer to her family. “I don’t know what I would do in Florida by myself,” she said. “I’ve made a new family here. The residents really care for one another.”
Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent Living, Assisted Living, Enhanced Care, and Wellspring Village®, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.