AS OUR LOVED ONES GET OLDER WE YEARN FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO AGE GRACEFULLY, AND THERE MAY COME A TIME WHEN THAT MEANS MOVING TO A SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY. For those who have never been through the process, finding the right place for grandparents, parents or other relatives to call home may seem overwhelming. Access to the best doctors and therapists, resort-like amenities and the ability to retain independence are important factors to consider, and Brightview Mount Laurel surely checks off all of those boxes.
Yet above all else, the defining characteristic that has helped this picturesque, peaceful community stand out for years is the compassion and commitment of its associates. Families can rest assured that their loved ones will receive the care they deserve from team members who are not just punching in every day but truly believe in the work they are doing.
“Our philosophy is, if we can create a great place to work, that will result in a great place to live,” says Lavanda Clinkscales, executive director of Brightview Mount Laurel. “It all filters down to our residents and helps create an energetic environment. Our objective is to make sure we’re creating vibrant days for our residents every single day, and it starts with the right mindset from our associates.
“We realize that a pleasant place to live involves walking around with a smile, always being prepared to help and engaging with our residents while meeting all of their needs. We don’t ever tell someone, ‘That’s not my job.’ Everybody knows that every job here belongs to every associate.”
Brightview Senior Living, which is focused on keeping residents safe, inspired and entertained, operates 45 communities across eight states and has been named the Best Workplace for Aging Services by Fortune Magazine for the last two years. In addition to those accolades, Mount Laurel was named Community of the Year in 2020 out of all the Brightview locations, receiving high marks in their satisfaction surveys from both residents and associates along with the New Jersey Department of Health’s highest level of accreditation, Advanced Standing, for the past five years.
Longevity among staff members is common at Brightview Mount Laurel, which has 16 associates with more than 10 years of service and six who have been with the community for more than 15 years. Clinkscales recently celebrated her 31st anniversary in the field, following a passion that started as a young woman.
“I started as a certified nursing assistant and I wore many hats on my way to becoming an executive director 15 years ago,” she says. “My goal is to be with all of my residents because they are like my grandparents. I’m out on the floor with my team every day, supporting them and letting them know that I’m willing to work side by side with them.”
There are many stories like hers at Brightview, which has established a culture of encouraging associates to blossom in their careers. Naketa McPherson, a certified medication assistant, is also in the Individual Development Plan program to become an assisted living director. “There are so many avenues for growth here for individuals who want to pursue them, whether it’s in nursing, activities, marketing, maintenance or dining,” McPherson says. “This company immediately saw something in me that I didn’t see or maybe I was doubting, and they pushed me in a great way.”
Brightview Mount Laurel has two neighborhoods, one for assisted living and the other a memory care unit for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. A specific care plan is tailored to each resident and may involve help with chores and mobility, important reminders or medication management, depending on their needs.
Living arrangements include studio, companion and one-bedroom apartments, each with their own kitchenette and bathroom. Amenities range from an on-site spa to a salon, library, fitness room and walking paths on a serene campus. Residents are provided three meals per day from a renowned executive chef and can eat breakfast and lunch at their convenience rather than at set times.
Before COVID-19 struck, interesting trips away from the community included whale watching in Cape May, visiting Long Beach Island and attending the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, and community events are now starting to resume with safety as a priority. Even earlier in the pandemic, Brightview adapted to offer on-site activities like home gardening kits or being a part of The Brightview Lions Club.
“We did virtual around-the-world tours and a lot of residents enjoyed that because it took them back to where they grew up and brought up a lot of memories,” McPherson says. “We also helped set up Zoom, FaceTime and window visits so they could connect with their families.”
South Jersey families are encouraged to take in all that Brightview Mount Laurel has to offer and get the peace of mind that comes with trusting their loved ones’ care to warmhearted associates. “We really want to promote our residents’ independence,” Clinkscales concludes, “and allow them to feel as free as they can be and to feel like they have a purpose in life.”
Brightview Mount Laurel
400 Fern Brook Lane | Mount Laurel | (856) 222-1213 | BrightviewSeniorLiving.com
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 12 (March 2021).
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