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So far Imani Gay has created 30 blog entries.

#SafeForLife: National Safety Month Tips for Seniors

(Courtesy: National Safety Council)

(Courtesy: National Safety Council)

What comes to mind when you think of June? You probably think of Father’s Day, the first day of summer, beaches, vacation and other summer related activities. But there’s something else that you should think about, and that is National Safety Month! Of course, safety should be remembered 365 days in the year, but this June we want to encourage you to learn more about safety issues that can impact the lives of you and your loved ones.

The National Safety Council designated this year’s theme as “SafeForLife.” Each week in June is divided into a different safety topic. Below you’ll learn more about each topic, especially when it comes to older adults who may live at home or in a senior living community.

From a slip and a fall at home to a natural disaster, anything can happen at any time. The most important question to ask yourself is if you will be ready? Preparation is the key, especially when you only have seconds to act.
Below are some important questions you want to be able to answer “yes” to in the case of an emergency:

  • Is anyone in your home trained in First Aid or CPR?
  • Does your family have an emergency plan at home?
  • Is your loved one’s senior living community prepared for an emergency?

TIP: If your loved one stays in a senior living community or you’re looking into making that move, Forbes contributor Jacob Edward recommends that you stop by the management office to get details about the facility’s emergency plans. Find out how new staff are trained about the plan and how often the employees are updated.

The Assisted Living Federation of America has an emergency preparedness toolkit that outlines standard procedures and suggestions for assisted living facilities and other senior communities. You can use this tool as a guide to help you know what to ask for.

Every day you make decisions that have a direct impact on your health. From making smart food choices to exercising regularly, these decisions can help you stay in good shape and avoid injuries. However, when injuries do occur, you can still protect your health when deciding what medications to take. However, the National Safety Council wants to make sure you are aware of the dangers. According to the Council, 52 people die from prescription opioid overdoses every day. That’s why they recommend you know the signs of opioid painkiller addiction and talk to your family about the risks of those medications.

Medications are essential for the care of seniors. When used appropriately, medications are effective treatments for acute and chronic conditions. For tips and more information on proper medication management, check out this guide from AssistedLivingFacilities.org.

Falls are the leading cause of death for older adults. The National Safety Council recommends the following tips to ensure their safety:

  • Use non-skid mats in the bath and shower
  • Install grab bars in the tub, shower and near the toilet, and railings on the stairs
  • Provide adequate lighting in every room and stairway
  • Place nightlights in the kitchen, bathroom and hallways
  • Keep often-used items like clothing and food easily accessible to avoid stools or ladders

Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death overall, according to the National Safety Council. However, you can change these statistics by changing your actions. The Council recommends that you slow down on the roads, eliminate distractions like your cell phone, buckle up and watch out for children.

Also, when it comes to older drivers, did you know that the risk of a fatal crash increases for drivers older than 70? That’s according to the CDC. If you think it’s time to determine whether driving or public transportation is the better option for your older loved one, check out these resources from NHTSA. You will find advice on modifying cars for older drivers, how to talk with them about driving and medical conditions that can affect driving.

At Morrison Community Living, we understand the importance of safety in senior living facilities and we celebrate the National Safety Council’s campaign to help everyone stay SafeForLife.

Check out our recent blog post to see more safety tips for seniors.

We’d love to know how are you celebrating National Safety Month and staying SafeForLife. Let us know in the comment section below.

#SafeForLife: National Safety Month Tips for Seniors 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00

How to avoid opening day roadblocks


FSD-weblogoThe ability to adjust on the fly is a key job requirement for any foodservice manager, but doing so during the stress of opening a new facility could be described as an art. “After you’ve worked for a number of years, you get that sixth sense of how to adjust quickly,” says Scott Almy, director of dining room services at Morningside Ministries Community in Boerne, Texas. Read Full Stories Here

How to avoid opening day roadblocks 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00

Morrison Community Summit: A Strategic Road Map for Rehabilitation


Is your community looking to enhance your rehabilitation program? Register now for the next Morrison Community Summit Educational Series webinar on Facts, Findings and Food for Thought on creating a strategic Rehabilitation program. This engaging one-hour webinar will give access to industry practices and examples. To register for this webinar, click on the link to the right.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Register here.


Denise Rabidoux
Denise RabidouxPresident & CEO
Evangelical Homes of Michigan
Julia Pratt
Julia PrattExecutive Director of Rehabilitation & Assisted Living
Brooks Rehabilitation
John Rifkin
John RifkinSenior Corporate Executive Chef
Morrison Community Living
Carole DeBonte
Carole DeBonte Director of Clinical Wellness
Morrison Community Living
Morrison Community Summit: A Strategic Road Map for Rehabilitation 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00

Jeff Cline: CommunityWorks smooth operator


McKnight’s Senior Living: Want to wow your residents? Be a smooth operator. 

Every day, an average of 10,000 Americans turn 65. After decades of demanding careers, raising families and planning for the future, the last thing these older adults want to worry about is laundry and cleaning.

A successful environmental services program can help residents at senior living communities spend more time enjoying their retirement and less time on household chores and maintenance.

Created by Morrison Community Living, CommunityWorks includes environmental and operational services designed to save costs, keep senior living communities running smoothly and take the burden off of seniors. CommunityWorks offers landscaping, light maintenance, grounds keeping, laundry and housekeeping for residents. From finding the right service providers to implementing the right equipment, CommunityWorks helps communities operate more efficiently, save money and improve the resident experience.

Jeff Cline: CommunityWorks smooth operator 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00

Get to Know Chef O


Bateman Community Spotlight: Get to Know Chef O

When Fred Orton began his career with Bateman Community Living, he had one special person in mind: his grandma.

She regularly received food from a meal delivery program and lived on the outskirts of their service delivery area. When she received a meal that didn’t travel well, she was sure to let her grandson, Fred, know about it.

A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York, Chef Fred Orton, a food service director for Bateman Community Living, vowed to create the best possible dining experience for his grandmother and seniors like her.

For more than 30 years, Bateman has provided healthy, nutritious meals for senior meal programs, including many Meals on Wheels organizations. Bateman also serves adult daycare, Head Start and summer lunch programs, prepares food for event catering, therapeutic meals and provides shelf-stable meals and disaster response nutrition across the country.

According to Meals on Wheels America, 1 in 6 seniors struggles with hunger in the United States. In New York State alone, over 600,000 seniors are threatened by hunger.

That’s why Chef Orton is making sure seniors in his community—Dutchess County, NY—get the nutrition they need and the delicious meals they love.

“It all starts with one,” he says. He teaches his culinary team to put the same care into getting a meal right for one person as they do for serving 500 people.

There are many organizations preparing meals for seniors, but what makes Bateman stand out is the quality of each meal and the care that goes into it. “For us,” Chef Orton says, “it’s more than a meal. The bread that I’m including with this meal has a name on it: Mrs. Johnson.”

It’s this sense of community—people serving people—that Chef Orton nurtures in many aspects of his work. He has helped launch a series of cooking demonstrations that teach seniors more nutritious ways to prepare the food they already love. Seniors love asking questions and watching how the food they eat is prepared, and it’s also an opportunity to come out of their rooms and meet each other. Chef Orton offers follow up support by posting his recipes online, and the program has a Facebook page where seniors can post questions and receive answers.

When he’s not teaching seniors how to cook healthy, Chef Orton is using his kitchen to provide opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from the ARC of Dutchess County, three local school districts, and Abilities First. Chef Orton teaches adults with disabilities alongside his Bateman culinary staff who receive the same food safety, kitchen safety, and hospitality training. Four students will go on to culinary school while others have learned skills that will help them in a range of careers.

“These young people are so excited to receive the training and come to work every day,” says Chef Orton. “They are a true inspiration to me and my staff!”

For this vocational training and helping to prepare people for success in the community, Orton and his team were recognized by ARC of Dutchess County and was presented with the Bridge to Employment award on May 4th.

“Bateman’s culture has been embraced by my team and extends to the community through the services we provide,” Chef Orton says. What has been the recipe for his success? Bringing together two of his favorite passions: family and food.

Although his grandma is no longer his top food critic—she passed away a few months ago—Chef Orton says that he has 698 Dutchess County seniors who are happy to give him feedback. His story is powerful example of how service and compassion can inspire a community.

To keep up with Bateman Community Living, make sure to like their Facebook Page.

Get to Know Chef O 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00

Young Employee Saves Resident’s Life


Young Employee Saves Resident’s Life – Chicago Tribune

Eighteen-year old Lucas Bennett of North Aurora is credited with saving the life of a resident at GreenFields of Geneva earlier this year. The Waubonsie Community College student works as a dining room server for the senior living community. A resident in healthcare started choking on her food at dinner one evening, and the nursing assistant wasn’t able to dislodge it. “She started doing the Heimlich maneuver but her arms were too short to get a firm grip. She asked me to step in, and I did,” Lucas recalled. “I was shocked and scared. It was surreal. Afterwards, I went back into the kitchen and carried on with what I’d been doing.”

Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

Young Employee Saves Resident’s Life 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00

Becoming an Employer of Choice


As successful senior communities develop their services to improve occupancy and build financial performance, it is imperative to focus on building an employer brand to attract, engage and retain top talent. This is extremely important when demand for talented staff is high and to maintain a consistent culture of excellence. Known for its focus on community and outstanding employees, Morrison recently completed a thought leadership study connecting a strong brand identity to becoming an employer of choice.

A Common Problem

Historically, the senior living industry struggles with employee retention and high turnover rates due to several factors: low wages, a competitive marketplace, low job satisfaction and poor work/life balance.

According to the recent 2015-2016 Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report from Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service, the average annual turnover rate is close to 32 percent across all job categories. The position with the highest annual turnover rate is resident assistant/personal care assistant, with a rate of 39 percent.

Staff turnover negatively impacts communities in many ways. It can lead to low morale for loyal staff as well as low satisfaction among residents and their families.

The financial outcomes can also add up. In 2014, McKnight’s Senior Living reported that the cost of replacing an employee is equal to 25 percent of their annual compensation. That’s a cost no operator can afford to absorb.

Build Your Brand to Attract and Retain Employees

Research has found that a focus on culture, engagement and communication increases retention and reduces turnover. This can be achieved by building a strong employer brand, which can:

  • Build your reputation
  • Reduce turnover
  • Enhance associate engagement
  • Improve resident satisfaction
  • Streamline communication

Did You Know?

90% of companies with an employer brand saw improved retention, engagement and job satisfaction.

Make the Move

Investing in building a strong brand is critical to increasing employee retention and resident satisfaction at senior living communities.

Ready to create your employer brand? Contact Us

Becoming an Employer of Choice 2018-01-28T20:20:41-05:00