Caring for Our Residents

Brookdale is a national company, but we serve people locally. We are deeply invested and embedded in each civic community we serve. We advocate on behalf of seniors’ issues where our voice can help make a difference, at local, state, and national levels. Living in a Brookdale community provides an opportunity to live with meaning and purpose, and an opportunity for us to give back to the larger surrounding neighborhood and community because we are an integral part of it. At Brookdale, we care about our residents and their family members, and we become part of their extended family.

So all our sustainability work begins with the premise that we pursue sustainability initiatives in order to better serve our residents. For us, a central part of how we define sustainability includes its “social” component also: we are committed to helping our residents live their Optimum Life®, continuing to live with meaning. Therefore, for us to be truly “sustainable” at Brookdale, we create caring, healthy, and supportive benefits for our residents and their families now and for generations to come. In addition, we are actively engaging our residents in the work of sustainability, helping them contribute to a greater good and live with purpose. Beyond making our residents’ lives richer, this also benefits the local cities, towns, and regions in which we live and work.

Clinical Excellence

First and foremost, we are committed to the highest quality of care for each of our residents. This is a vital part of how we think about sustainability. Our Sustainability Roadmap lays out our three-year plan for continuously improving the quality of our resident care. As part of our plan on the Sustainability Roadmap, we completed the first step along that journey in 2015 with the development and implementation of our comprehensive “Clinical Insights and Analytics Scorecard” — our data-driven approach to understanding and improving the care we provide for our residents.

Our Clinical Score Card measures key resident wellness criteria such as falls, skin integrity, pressure sores, infections, and appropriate medication usage. The data for all of these measures are now systematically collected and fully integrated across all Brookdale communities.

The scorecard establishes a model of Key Quality Resident Care Criteria and is helping us align all our systems and training to that resident care model. The now-fully-developed and automated Clinical Scorecard provides three months of trending data, along with daily, weekly, and monthly red and green coding to highlight progress and problems. This scorecard is the most comprehensive in the senior living industry and has established Brookdale as the industry leader in creating the highest standards of resident care.

Resident-Focused Sustainability Activities

Beyond physical and emotional health, part of living richly also includes living with purpose and meaning. At many of our Brookdale communities, our sustainability-related activities directly include our residents — often involving our residents in various leadership roles.

  • At Woodside Village in Ohio, for example, residents have helped to create a 500-square-foot vegetable garden — ringed with an 8’ deer fence — and in the Spring go together to the local garden center to personally select everything that will grow there. The bounty from the garden is both freely available to any resident who wants it and provides fresh organic produce for the community’s dining room. The residents at Brookdale Athens in Tennessee teamed up last year with the local Boy Scouts to build their own raised vegetable garden — and celebrated their harvest with a shared homemade salsa social!
  • At Brookdale’s Solana community in Germantown, TN, dozens of residents are part of the Random Acts of Kindness Club. The club’s simple request to collect snacks for local firefighters turned into “not just some snacks … but an avalanche of 6-foot tall bags filled with snacks,” says Resident Program Director Deb Kornrumpf. Now both firefighters and residents — including one 102-year-old resident who leads the way — meet regularly in emotionally moving get-togethers. The club also donates coats to the homeless, sends get-well and anniversary cards to those near and far, holds concerts for the homeless, and participates in home repairs for local shelters. “This is a true win-win,” Deb says. “Our residents’ involvement in our Random Acts of Kindness Club helps give them a sense of purpose; they’re certainly helping others, but at the same time, they are in a very real sense enriching themselves too.”
  • In Ft. Myers, FL, at our Brookdale College Parkway community, our residents participate in a meaningful tradition each year continuing a legacy in their butterfly garden. Residents receive locally appropriate butterflies and individually hand-warm them in order to release them into the community’s flower garden as a living memorial. Being in direct touch with nature nourishes the spirit of those who participate and creates a daily bond of memories and joys.
  • Many communities have begun recycling activities in which residents play an important role. Funds raised from recycled paper, aluminum, and glass at numerous Brookdale communities are used to provide donations to hospitals and schools. At Brookdale Roslyn near Denver, CO, residents gather a variety of plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and poster board and donate them to the Denver Zoo, where they are used for enrichment activities for the Great Apes – and residents are thrilled to visit, learn about the apes, and see their contributions in action.

Optimum Life®

At Brookdale, we know that every resident has unique dreams and passions that continue throughout life. That is why we strive to create a place that goes well beyond physical support to a socially connected community with opportunities to challenge the mind, lift the spirits, revitalize purpose, and nurture the heart. We call this Optimum Life®, and believe it provides the ultimate in senior health and wellness.

And we believe that everyone can live an optimal life regardless of the challenges that may come with age. We blend the unique spirit of each community and its residents with our award winning, evidence-based programs to provide a customized, integrated pallet of opportunities designed to support the pursuit of living well.

These programs include integrated fitness, exercise, tai chi, meditation activities, health and wellness educational opportunities, life-long learning and intergenerational programming, and purposeful, meaningful opportunities that make a real difference in the lives of so many. We are committed to leveraging technology to enrich the lives of our residents, offering unique experiences to stay socially connected.

Sustainability in Dining

By promoting healthy lifestyles, we can positively impact both our residents’ quality of life and our environmental footprint. Our philosophy is as much as possible to make our meals on site from scratch utilizing fresh quality ingredients, with produce, dairy, and food products sourced locally whenever we can. Optimum Life cuisine provides our residents with nutritious foods that are lower in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. For residents who require a specialized diet, we offer eight dietitian-approved therapeutic diets as well as our regular diet option. Across our dining programs, we are continuing to pursue a range of sustainability initiatives, including more environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals, sustainably produced food, and sending out used grease to be utilized in other processes.

Wish of a Lifetime™

Our residents’ desires, dreams and wishes remain at the heart of what we do. That is why one of the most inspiring and heart-warming aspects of our sustainability-related work with our seniors is our founding sponsorship of Wish of a Lifetime™.

Brookdale and Wish provide a helping hand in making some of the dreams of our residents come true. Residents at Brookdale communities nationwide are invited to share and submit their wishes to Wish of a Lifetime; through the granting of these wishes, our residents are able to find fulfillment in the six dimensions of our wellness platform: purposeful, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, and intellectual.

With the partnership of Brookdale, Wish of a Lifetime has granted more than 1,250 lifelong wishes for Brookdale senior residents. These life-enriching wishes are designed to reconnect loved ones, renew and celebrate passions, fulfill lifelong dreams and commemorate service. Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime are engaged in a multiyear initiative to grant wishes for hundreds more seniors annually nationwide.

Our collaborative relationship builds on the joint commitment of each organization to serve seniors and raise awareness about the importance of helping to keep older adults dreaming, daring and discovering, as well as changing the perception and experience of aging.

Continuum of Care

Brookdale’s offerings for America’s senior population falls into four main categories with increasing levels of care – independent living, assisted living, dementia care, and skilled nursing. We offer the industry’s only seamlessly coordinated ancillary services platform, which includes therapy, home health, private duty home care, and hospice services.

Because of this, we become the central source for care options for our residents as they age and as their needs change. This means that our residents and their family members only have to make one decision – that Brookdale is right for them. While we are the biggest company in our field, our goal is to be the best. Our mission is to enrich the lives of those we serve and so we are all about service. People serving people. We exist only to serve our residents and their families.