Weekly Chats Keep Communication Flowing Both Ways
Paul Bartlett needed some help this morning. Recently approached to write an article about future trends in senior housing, he knew right where to go to get the answers he was looking for. During his first “Coffee with Paul” session of the year, he turned to the experts—the 40 or so residents who braved the cold to come to the Wintergarden at Brickstone by St. John’s—for input on what aspects of their senior housing experience are most important and what they would like to see in the coming years.
Since joining St. John’s as vice president of senior housing nearly five years ago, Paul has held weekly forums at both St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone. These chats have allowed him to keep a running two-way conversation going to address needs both big and small. “Gathering weekly with our residents gives me 52 opportunities a year to listen and respond to ideas, concerns, celebrations, compliments, and yes, even complaints,” Paul says.
Like most chats, this morning’s session started with general announcements and updates on topics discussed in previous weeks. Residents appreciate that Paul holds himself accountable to the people he serves. If he hears about an issue or concern and says that he will look into it, they can be assured that he will do so and address it again at a later date. This dedication to follow through has helped build trust between administration and residents over the years.
For his part, Paul has another reason for putting on weekly chats. “I enjoy the company of our residents and this gives me an opportunity to get to know them on a more intimate level,” he says. “I am a strong believer in cultivating relationships and our weekly forums offer a great chance to develop and maintain our friendships.”
It is clear that the feeling is mutual. Chats are typically well attended and always filled with lots of laughs. “Paul is a lot of fun,” says Brickstone resident Sue LeSage. “This is a great chance to socialize and there was a lot of good information this morning.”