Jeff Cline

Every day, an average of 10,000 Americans turn 65. After decades of demanding careers, raising families and planning for the future, the last thing these older adults want to worry about is laundry and cleaning.

A successful environmental services program can help residents at senior living communities spend more time enjoying their retirement and less time on household chores and maintenance.

Created by Morrison Community Living, CommunityWorks includes environmental and operational services designed to save costs, keep senior living communities running smoothly and take the burden off of seniors. CommunityWorks offers landscaping, light maintenance, grounds keeping, laundry and housekeeping for residents. From finding the right service providers to implementing the right equipment, CommunityWorks helps communities operate more efficiently, save money and improve the resident experience.

One challenge faced by facilities and operations departments at large senior living communities centers around communication. When maintenance requests are placed, for example, communication gaps can develop if the requests are not confirmed or potential delays are not explained. Keeping up with preventative maintenance schedules for each facility also can be challenging.

The solution? CommunityWorks uses cloud-based software WorxHub to assist with scheduling, project management and quality control across departments. Among its many functions, the software can be used to schedule staff, track and complete work orders and monitor quality assurance. Applying this technology at senior living communities has improved communication and automated processes significantly. The technology also provides the ability to measure and compare performance at a national, regional and site level, including drilling down to specific accounts or staff members.

Another focus of the CommunityWorks program is enlisting business partners to bring cost-effective energy practices to customers. One partnership with American DG Energy already has facilitated the installation of units that generate both electricity and hot water onsite, producing clean energy that offsets utility costs for clients.

For senior living communities that are looking to go green and save green, CommunityWorks is using a new technology, Tersano, that can replace several chemical cleaners. This sustainable cleaning system transforms tap water into a toxin-free cleaning solution that replaces traditional glass cleaner, stainless steel cleaner and chemicals that clean carpets and hard floors.

One thing is clear: Innovation across every aspect of senior care is critical to resident satisfaction.

And the positive feedback reported via improved client and resident satisfaction surveys underscores that programs such as CommunityWorks will become the new norm in senior living.

To stand out, environmental service programs at senior living communities must consistently strive for innovation and work seamlessly behind the scenes. This comprehensive approach truly allows residents to make the most of their retirement.

Jeff Cline is the senior director of CommunityWorks for Morrison Community Living.