Each year hundreds of senior living communities are awarded one of the SeniorAdvisor.com’s “Best Of” Awards, whether its for Best of Assisted Living, Top Home Care, or Best of Senior Living these communities represent the top 1% of all senior living communities in the U.S. and Canada.
SeniorAdvisor.com is entering its 5th year hosting the Best of Senior Living Awards. What is it about a community that makes special enough to win one of these coveted awards? We interviewed Barbara Womack, a Community Manager at Gardens of Wetumpka in Wetumpka, AL to gain some insight into what makes an award-winning senior living community tick.
Gardens of Wetumpka recently held a party – with cake! – at their assisted living community to celebrate their SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Award. We wanted to know how this award affected Gardens of Wetumpka residents and staff and how they spread the news about their award-winning location.
SA: Is this the only community you oversee?
Barbara: Yes, it’s the only community she oversees.
SA: Is this the first year you’ve won a SeniorAdvisor.com “Best of Award”?
Barbara: Yes, for this property. Our Great Oaks Management property, Limestone Manor, in Athens AL also won an award.
SA: What has your community done to share the good news? (in your own words)
Barbara: We used our local media, distributed information about our award celebration event throughout the community. The Gardens of Wetumpka is located in a well maintained neighborhood. The families within the neighborhood love participating in our planned events. We also published the great news of our award on our website,. Families were excited to share with friends and church members the news about the award and celebration event. We also invited our local dignitaries .
SA: Was your event open to the public or for specifically for residents and staff?
Barbara: Yes, it open to public
SA: What do you attribute this award to? Is it your staff? Activities? Food? Engagement with residents?
Barbara: All have been equally important in providing the residents and families with the positive experiences that are noted in the reviews. I don’t think we would have gotten the great reviews if all areas were not to the satisfaction of our residents. Our staff is very well trained and hardworking; they make every effort to make our residents feel as if they are a welcomed addition to a big family.
SA: Tell us more about your community. In your opinion what are some of the best things you have at your community?
Barbara: Our small home-like atmosphere. Residents express a sense of security in knowing every staff. Families really appreciate the bond and relationships that resident develop with each other.
SA: How do you view the role of celebrations like the one you had recently in the assisted living environment?
Barbara: The use of the local media and information on our website has had a tremendous impact. We have had an increase in walk-ins and phone calls inquiring about assisted living services and residency with the Gardens of Wetumpka. We’ve had on average at least 3 to 4 walk-ins a day since the advertisement of the award event. We have also been congratulated on receiving the SeniorAdvisor.com Best Of Award from other healthcare providers who services to our residents.
SA: Did you receive any great feedback from the residents about the event?
Barbara: Yes, through conversation and the review postcards made available during the event. The review cards were submitted to SeniorAdvisor.com marketing department soon after.
SA: How involved do your residents feel their impact was when it comes to this award?
Barbara: The residents were surprise to hear we received the award as a result of their participation in the Senior Advisor.Com reviews. Our residents were excited when asked to participate in interview with the local newspaper to express their thought on getting an award. They also gave some great comments about their experience as a resident at the Gardens. They were pleasantly surprised by to see their photos when a local community magazine (distributed throughout a multi county area) published an article the award.
SA: Are you actively informing all inquiries that you are an award winner?
Barbara: Yes and we continue to proudly display our banner and plaque showcasing the announcement of our award.
SA: Have they seen a positive impact on business because of the award?
Barbara: Yes, it has added value to our community.
SA: You obviously see the value in reviews. What are you doing in the future to get more reviews?
Barbara: We make every effort to have the review cards available to families and residents at all times. Our planned events provide a great opportunity to invite families to complete the reviews. Next month we will celebrate National Assisted living week. The week of activities will be a great time to get more reviews.
SA: Do you have anything you’d like to promote? This is your chance to put in any plug you’d like.
Barbara: The Gardens of Wetumpka is a senior living community that’s a part of an entire neighborhood. Our neighbors are great supporter of our community. They attend and participate in many of our events or at times volunteer to sponsor an activity. We are grateful and appreciate their support; it make our residents feel special and is their home
Congratulations again to the Gardens of Wetumpka on their 2017 Best of Assisted Living Award and good luck on your winning of a 2018 Best of Award!
In order to be eligible to win a SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Award, be sure to use your review postcards. Use some of Barbara’s ideas to get these postcards in front of residents and families and encourage them to leave an honest review. You can order more postcards here or download the postcard template and print them yourself. Collect them and scan them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to us at 7756 Northcross Drive #101, Austin, TX 78757.