Brookdale Senior Living is pleased to announce that one of its Dining Services programs, Growing Together, has been recognized by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) as part of the ALFA 2011 Best of the Best Awards. The awards program recognizes programs that raise the bar of excellence in senior living.
For some associates within Dining Services, English is their second language. Growing Together, Brookdale’s hospitality English series, is a nine-week program designed to assist Spanish speaking associates in feeling more confident when interacting with residents, guests and other associates. During the program, students are taught a lesson of basic hospitality English vocabulary and phrases by a Spanish-speaking leader online. The program not only improves the English speaking skills of associates in dining rooms, but it also improves an associate’s comfort level when communicating with residents – therefore effectively enhancing their dining experience.
"After completing this program, the newfound confidence in an associate is palpable," said Joska J.W. Hajdu, senior vice president of Dining Services for Brookdale Senior Living. "There is a whole new bounce in the associate’s step when they approach a table."
"Teaching is a very rewarding career," said Francisco "Pancho" Chaves, a 94-year-old resident of Chambrel Roswell, a Brookdale Senior living retirement community in Georgia, and mentor for the program. "Giving knowledge to someone else is a valuable tool that can be beneficial to the person you are teaching. Establishing a relationship with your student is equally important because relationships may yield fruit in the future."
"We have the honor to spread the good news about remarkable resident-centered programs fulfilling every aspect of senior-living operations, from wellness services to staff development," said Rick Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA. "All of this year’s entries speak to the high standard of innovation and professionalism among our members and demonstrate their resourcefulness and ingenuity."
The ALFA 2011 Best of the Best Awards program expanded from previous years. The program received 140 nominations, a record number of submissions. For the first time allied ALFA members, members of ALFA who serve the senior living industry, were able to win the much coveted award. Submissions were judged for their uniqueness in the industry, innovative use of ideas from outside the industry, impact on residents, their families, staff and operations, the strength of quantitative and qualitative results and strategic vision.
The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally-managed senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve. For 20 years, ALFA has worked to educate policymakers and consumers by advocating for choice, accessibility, independence, dignity, and quality of life for seniors. ALFA’s member-driven programs promote business and operational excellence through education, research, publications, professional networking and online tools designed to foster collaboration and innovation in the field of senior living. Visit ALFA’s Web site at alfa.org.
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