Fostering Our Culture: A Day at The Farm
Sometimes an organization’s mission statement is a nice marketing tool but easily forgotten when their focus is on the bottom line. Kensington Senior Living is not that kind of organization. Instead of a mission statement, Kensington’s partners have created a promise that shapes the culture of each individual community. “We promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.”
Kensington Falls Church strives to live this promise every day. Our care plans and business objectives include goals to strengthen and nurture the psychosocial well-being of each resident. The relationships that are built between our team and our residents, create bonds that are not only healthy for those who live in our community, but enrich the lives of those who work here too.
Recently Christiana, one of our care managers, was invited to bring her family and spend the day at Thistle Hill Farms in Hume, Virginia. The farm is a family business, founded by one of our residents who has grown close to Christiana over the past two years. Christiana, her husband and four children, set off one morning for quite the adventure. The family had never seen a farm and were excited to experience all that was in store.
Christiana shared that the day at Thistle Hill was so special for her kids because they really got to know one of the people she works with. Apart from riding the incredibly cool ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle), they also spent time with the animals and learned to fish. Christiana told me, “The love I give to my resident is not just who I am at work but how I also live at my home, giving myself to my family.” Our resident was also thrilled to share his life and his family outside our community, and to get to know Christiana better by getting to know her husband and children.
Strong caring relationships between residents and professional caregivers is not uncommon but there is something happening at The Kensington that feels different. We appreciate when team members take the time to listen to residents one on one and participate in activities alongside our residents. But being given permission to take the time to truly get to know our residents is not the only ingredient to what makes the ‘magic’. I believe it’s the Kensington promise. When we empower each member of the team to ‘love and care for our residents as their own family’, we allow them to truly engage in the relationship. They are all in!
When I asked Christiana why she thinks it feels different here, she explained that she believes The Kensington is not just a place to work, but is a family. She also noted that it’s not just the relationships we are building with residents but with the resident’s entire family. She said, “The more the family shares with us, the more we get to know about the residents. Strengthening those relationships enriches the care we give to them.”
Encouraging team members and residents to build relationships is a given in our community. Not everyone takes advantage of this opportunity, but I believe those who do, find more joy and fulfillment in their work. This industry tends to attract individuals with naturally caring hearts – people who get attached. Allowing them to do just that is what makes The Kensington feel like family.