Franke Tobey Jones Recognized by LeadingAge Washington
Front row left to right: Elizabeth Alvarez, Executive Assistant; Shirley Robbins, Resident Accommodations and Garden Apartment Concierge; Peggy Michel, Therapeutic Activity Assistant; Christine Hall, Sr. Director of Marketing and PR; Michelle Olafson, Director of Admissions and Resident Relations; Terri Ross, Accounts Payable
Back row left to right: Shelley Harris, Director of Philanthropy; Carole Velez, Community Liaison and Resident Accommodations; Jessica Rueber, Social Services Coordinator; Terry Allman, Resident Accommodations; Amy Petschke, Accountant; Patricia Moore, Therapeutic Activity Supervisor; Esther Norton, Medical Records Coordinator; Heidi White, Director of Life Enrichment; Nalani Brown, Philanthropy Coordinator.
From LeadingAge Washington – award presented by Seniors Better Together
It is most fitting to give this award to a LeadingAge WA member who has actively contributed to the association in so many ways and to a community that is also coincidentally represented on the Seniors Better Together Advisory Committee. Out of the 20 or so entries that were submitted, this one really stood out and I’ll tell you why.
Part of our mission is to highlight and promote the benefits of congregate living to senior consumers. As an organization we also want to encourage creative problem solving and the continual evolution of programs that enrich the resident experience and support employee satisfaction. The community I’m about to name implemented a program during the pandemic lockdown last year that accomplished all of these things!
The name of this program is appropriately titled “Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes.” It is best described as a personal concierge program in which 14 team members volunteered to take on extra duties as a personal concierge each to a designated group of residents and their family members. They served as the direct connect between their community and the resident and their family members on a daily basis throughout the COVID visitation restrictions. The goal was to counter isolation with attention and replace all that had been lost with something new and special.
The team members who volunteered to be part of the Personal Concierge Program came from multiple departments and already had multiple responsibilities, but they willingly and joyfully signed up for the program. Personal concierge team members maintained daily contact with their assigned residents and performed services such as:
- Helping them with technology, troubleshooting phone and tablet issues, connecting them on virtual platforms, hooking up new TVs, installing Netflix, and as you can imagine, they helped set up hundreds of zoom and skype meetings!
- Running errands, picking up gifts, prescriptions, and even someone’s favorite lipstick
- Coordinating appointments for things like car repairs and doctor’s visits
- Arranging furniture, hanging pictures, and decorating their apartments for holidays
- Helping them celebrate birthdays and other occasions with gifts, treats and décor, hosting one-on-one tea parties, and door-to-door happy hours and overall creating special moments of joy
- Connecting with the resident’s family members several times a week either for virtual visits, to deliver packages from family members to residents, answering questions, and so much more.
- One concierge even helped a resident find their “teeth” and another helped a resident with her taxes!
- And mostly, they provided high-touch communication and companionship, serving as their go-to-person for anything and everything they needed or wanted – going for walks, helping with personal grooming, keeping them informed and entertained, and being there when no one else could.
Although the extra hours were sometimes exhausting, concierge team members regularly remarked that their time with the residents was the best part of their day. And the residents were over the moon with the special attention they all received. Family members also heaped praise on the team, the community and the individual team members.
It is understandable why this program and Franke Tobey Jones was so worthy of being selected for this special award.
It is my great honor to recognize the following FTJ team members with the Seniors Better Together Award of Resident Engagement During the Pandemic. Your creativity and innovation in the face of adversity has served as a source of inspiration for us all. Congratulations!