Westminster Village on How Life Care Communities can Improve the Quality of Life – LIVING WELL Magazine

Westminster Village on How Life Care Communities can Improve the Quality of Life – LIVING WELL Magazine

Jim Singleton, Westminster Village, Scottsdale LIVING WELL Magazine (formerly SENIOR Magazine)

Retirement communities usually advertise the type of services and amenities they provide, such as dining facilities, exercise equipment, activities offered, etc. These are not of help in forecasting the quality of life that residents will experience after move-in. Three unique attributes at Westminster Village are sources for many of its residents’ deep sense of gratitude for the quality of life they experience.

The first of these is the willingness to serve, exhibited by an administration and employee staff almost as numerous as the resident population itself – 274 at last count. Our executive director gives monthly New Employee Orientation briefings to personnel joining our staff, urging that every person here be treated as a human being and not only a resident – an end not a means.  Residents have said to the writer they have never heard any employee – from junior landscaper to department head – say “that’s not my job.”  The entirety of the staff takes on any job called for to satisfy the need at hand.

Next, there is no competition between the three distinct constituencies making up our community: residents, employees and board of directors. “We” vs. “they” loyalties and interests are avoided by the disarmingly simple mechanism of requiring a Residents’ Council to evaluate and recommend to management all innovations in resident services. Elected democratically by the residents themselves, this council invites proposals from any resident for changes in service or facilities. There is no “other” to blame for a perceived lack in service other than one’s own resident neighbors.

The third vital characteristic that makes Westminster Village distinctive is the spirit of voluntarism. Opportunities exist for volunteers to participate in many of the functions essential to our successful operation: marketing, reception, keeping up spirits of patients in the skilled nursing facility, library maintenance, support to the Resident Activities Department, etc. Doing for others is a principal avenue to the residents’ feeling of self-worth and accomplishment, and they become enriched by this experience.

These three attributes are among the many reasons the quality of life at Westminster Village is so special.

Jim Singleton has been a resident at Westminster Village for four years. His email is jsingle@wmvaz.com. For more information about Westminster Village, contact Lindsey Arrey at 480-451-2062, or visit www.wmvaz.com.