Edgewood Senior Living places huge emphasis on people. Our knowledgeable and helpful staff provide the best experience possible for seniors in our care, and that is made possible through management team members like President Russell G. Kubik.
Senior living community beginnings
Russ Kubik has been a part of the senior living industry since his teenage years. His dad was on the board of a senior living community when Russ was in high school. After a stroke, his father refused to resign his position and instead had Russ accompany him to meetings and functions. The now-president learned a lot about the industry then, and he opted to use his sociology degree from the University of North Dakota to continue in this field he'd come to know and love. Russ moved from an administrator position at a skilled nursing facility to regional director of operations and finally president of Edgewood Management Group.
The heart of the Midwest
Edgewood Senior Living communities are scattered across the Midwest. Many people in the region complain about cold and snow and wish for warmer climates, yet they don't spend their senior years in Florida! Russ noted that Midwesterners may retire to a tropical zone for their 60s but return to their home states in the Midwest when it's time to choose an assisted living community.
"People are attached to where they grew up and lived their whole lives. Their roots and connections have powerful influence on people," Russ noted.
Having grown up in North Dakota, the president is particularly familiar with the nuances of the region, from the accented vowels to the food preferences.
"Dining is a big aspect of Midwestern culture," Russ noted. "We pay close regional attention when planning menus in order to offer our residents the kind of foods they enjoy."
He shared that tastes vary by area, with Minnesotans enjoying a lot of fish and hot dish and Nebraskans preferring Runza sandwiches. Each year, the Edgewood dining team meets to discuss menu plans. They spend three days going over resident and family feedback to come up with the most loved options to provide for each community.
We're a "big, small" company
There are 55 Edgewood communities, and while that may sound like a major undertaking, Russ shared that the company has a small-business attitude.
"We're big enough to bring resources and talent to the table yet we still want to spend our time in the hallways," Russ said. He shared that Edgewood firmly believes that listening to feedback from senior residents and their families leads to creating the best living experience.
A key aspect to using those big company resources is providing a plethora of training to all Edgewood Senior Living employees. From dining staff taking sanitation quizzes and re-certifications to teaching medical staff about new techniques, all employees strive to be the best in their field.
"Seniors are the VIPs of planet earth. We treat them as such," Russ passionately shared.
Life enrichment programs
Many people are unaware of the depth of assisted living life enrichment programs. Seniors don't just play cards and bingo. The staff at Edgewood communities are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to provide fun opportunities for residents. When the weather is nice, seniors may take a trip to a park for a picnic. During the fall, some communities offer road trips to see the changing leaves. Art classes, musical activities, shows and many other options are also available.
"When people are enjoying themselves they are happier and healthier," Russ declared. "Just because they are older doesn't mean they don't want to have fun."
Advice for loved ones on helping a senior transition to assisted living
Russ shared that many people wait too long to move to assisted living communities. Seniors may see this change as a major loss of control and therefore put it off.
"Seniors gain independence in assisted living because they have the opportunities to do what they want to do. Instead of spending time cleaning or doing laundry they can leave that to our staff and go enjoy three meals a day and socialize," Russ said.
He added that seniors often don't know what to expect when they get to assisted living. Once they're there, he claims within 30-60 days they wouldn't want to leave.
"Seniors blossom here," Russ shared, as they have the chance to spend their time and energy on things they care about instead of housekeeping and other menial tasks. Plus, they have health support and assistance to ensure they are living their lives to the fullest.