Executive resident at local assisted living community

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Transitioning to assisted living can be a hassle, and a bit overwhelming for seniors, but an executive from a local community is taking a new approach to managing to remedy this.

The COO of Heritage Communities is living as a resident to get an inside view to see what improvements can be made for both current and incoming residents.

Amy Birkel is the Chief Operating Officer for Heritage Communities, and is moving in as a resident-for-a-day at all 13 of their facilities. Her thoughs were that "it might be important to hear the perspective of the residents and really understand what's important to them. And I thought, what better way to do that than become a resident?"

The one-on-one interaction with the executive directors at each community gives her a sense of how each is run, and all the details of the orientation process. She said after her tour, she will bring them all together to discuss a "start-stop-continue" list. This is a list of ideas and practices that may be new and could be an improvement, may not be working as intended and should be changed or ended, and things which are working at one or more facilities and could be desired at others as well.

One highlight of her Hastings visit is she's already felt a deep sense of community. "it is a tight family. The residents here at this community knew each other outside of the Heritage at College View... They not only have that with one another, they have that with the associates as well."

She will be heading up to Grand Island tomorrow to live at that community, then she will be off to their facilities in Arizona to round out her tour.