Juniper Makes Case for Living Wage

Juniper Promotes Living Wage

Juniper Promotes Living Wage

by Lois A. Bowers of McKnight’s Senior Living

At a time when many senior living providers are taking a stand against proposed minimum wage increases across the country, Juniper Communities is taking the opposite approach. April 1, the Bloomfield, NJ-based company implemented its new 15X20 program, which has the goal of increasing hourly minimum wages in its communities to $15 by the year 2020.

“We’ve always been committed intellectually to a living wage and have always known that the people who work for us often struggle, that many of them work multiple jobs to make ends meet for their families and that that then creates issues for them on the job,” Juniper Communities Founder and President Lynne S. Katzmann, Ph.D., told McKnight’s Senior Living in an exclusive interview.

The national drive toward a $15 hourly minimum wage prompted the company to act on its commitment, she said, adding that Juniper expects to see the plan through as long as “the stars align in the way we expect.”

“We’re in favor of a living wage, which is not necessarily $15 an hour in every location, but $15 is where we think national legislation will go over the next couple of years,” Katzmann said. “While there is no $15 minimum wage in our markets at the moment, we believe it’s inevitable.” New Jersey, one of four states in which the company operates (the others are Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania), probably will follow neighbor New York’s April 4 action to raise the statewide minimum wage, she predicted, and legislation also has been passed in California and proposed in Pennsylvania.

“This is going to happen whether we want it to or not,” Katzmann said. “If we don’t start looking at it now, it could have serious financial repercussions down the road. You can’t just make this happen overnight.”

So company leadership set the wheels in motion about eight months ago, researching living wages and reviewing starting wages and wage scales in all of Juniper’s buildings. The 15X20 program went into effect April 1 in all but three of the company’s 20 buildings (although it may be implemented in one of those three later this year), and employees could see increases ranging from 50 cents to $2 depending on their geographic area beginning July 1. The program is tied to a larger workforce development effort to reduce turnover, call-offs and overtime and increase buy-in into the company’s culture, however, Katzmann said.

“It’s not all about the money,” she said. “It’s also about the culture, and it’s about purpose at work and being clear that the people we hire are valued for their commitment and their passion to making lives better for the people they serve.”

New employees at Juniper Communities now have the opportunity to earn a pay increase after 90 days if they meet certain criteria, and existing employees are eligible based on a 90-day look-back period, too. “You can’t have a higher starting wage than people who have been working with you for several years,” Katzmann said. “We had to address that as well.”

To obtain a raise, employees must not have had unexcused call-offs or excessive absenteeism, cannot have been tardy, must have abided by the company’s code of conduct, cannot have been written up for any infraction, can’t have been the subject of a complaint from a family member or resident, cannot have committed a safety violation, and must have worn their uniforms and name tags at all times while on the job.

Additionally, employees must have completed Juniper’s onboarding program as well as electronic training for mandatory requirements with a minimum score of 80%. Also, because Juniper caregivers receive consistent assignments, each must be able to prove that he or she knows 10 things about one resident designated as a “best friend.”

All in all, Katzmann said, “What this says is, ‘We’re going to pay you more, but we’re going to expect more.’ ”

Juniper found funds for the increases by switching to a lower-cost benefits plan, Katzmann said, but in the future, the company hopes to realize savings through the reductions in turnover, call-offs and overtime that it hopes result from the program.

Read the entire article on Juniper’s Living Wage increases in McKnight’s Senior Living.

Family Letter of Thanks

A letter from a family member:

My name is Rose and my mom has been at Juniper Village at Naples for about 3 months.  She was previously at another facility, which did not sufficiently meet our needs. 

If first impressions at Juniper can begin a story, then I can’t wait to read the rest of the book!  From the first moment we walked into this facility, there was such a peaceful and pleasant feeling.  The simplicity of Juniper is its’ charm.  We met with Maria, the director, and can honestly say that -an angel has led us to her path.  Her warmth, personality and kindness made this process simple and exciting, for both mom and our family.  She carefully explained all concerns and went over everything in detail.  She is always quick and reliable to follow up and go over any issues at any time. This type of leadership is commendable, and it is reflected in the staff. 

Mom settled nicely in her new room, and is enjoying her surroundings. For someone who speaks mostly Italian, mom has become quite social and made many friends. She enjoys the food and the activities, and most of all-the freedom to be outdoors.  The staff is wonderful, always ready to assist in any way possible.  They greet everyone with a pleasant smile and positive attitude! 

Thru this journey with my mom, I watched her struggle dealing with her onset of memory loss; losing her independence; trying to fit in; and making sense of things around her.  Now when I come to visit mom, I stop and watch, and think how far she has come in this short time. I see a peace and tranquility in her that I have not seen in awhile. In my heart, I know that mom did not find just another facility.   Mom found her HOME.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Rose

2015 Successful Outcomes

Successful Outcomes

Successful Outcomes

by Diane Byrne

Our Clinical Successful Outcomes Speak for Themselves

We want to be your partner of choice in the new shared savings environment. At Juniper Communities, we have been collecting critical data for nearly 10 years. For example, we closely monitor residents to assure successful returns from either the hospital or rehabilitation setting.

Many re-hospitalizations are the result of falls. While unavoidable, response rate and injury rate contribute dramatically to unnecessary readmissions

The ability to manage pressure ulcers is key to minimizing hospitalizations. Low rates of facility acquired pressure ulcers are the result of a high level of wellness/clinical oversight and an indicator of quality care and service.

Another contributing factor to acute re-admissions is infections, in particular Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). The senior population can be extremely susceptible to infections and proper care and monitoring is paramount. Our wellness response team is skilled in recognizing symptoms of UTI in order to provide proactive interventions that reduce the need for hospitalization.

Another common cause of both initial hospitalizations and rehospitalizations is medication errors. Changes to medication regime whether after a scheduled physician appointment or emergency hospitalization can leave patients confused about what medications are most current. Our wellness team is responsible for medication reconciliation and management, a process which virtually eliminates medication errors.

Communication is key and Juniper Commmunities takes communication to the next level through:
• Use of Electronic Health Records (Point Click Care)
• Optimized care transitions protocols
• Full implementation of INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers)
• Use of a highly recognizable and consistent transfer information packet
• Focus on resident and care giver education and engagement
• Individualized care and service

Visit each of our Juniper Village communities’ blogs for more on their specific successful outcomes.

April 2016 Events at Juniper Communities: Believe in Yourself

April 2016 Events

April 2016 Events

by Tara Williamson

Do you know that embracing a healthy lifestyle promotes brain health as well? This month we embark on our quarterly Alive in All Season theme of Healthy Aging: Let Wellbeing Thrive. Throughout April we will focus on brain health and encouraging you to Believe in Yourself. We will learn more about how physical health and exercise, diet and nutrition, cognitive activity, and social engagement can help keep both your body and brain healthy and potentially reduce your risk of cognitive decline. At the 2014 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, results of a two-year clinical trial of older adults at risk for cognitive impairment showed that a combination of physical activity, nutritional guidance, cognitive training, social activities and management of heart health risk factors slowed cognitive decline. It’s never too late to make changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Join us this month as we expand our knowledge of brain health and take steps to boost our brain health through our Healthy Brain series featuring our Daily Brain Builders and Wii Games designed to promote cognitive activity. Continue your research by perusing our Healthy Aging Resource Library, filled with volumes of information to help you and your loved ones age well. And, don’t forget to join us for our Brain Healthy Luncheon where we will nourish mind, body and soul. We look forward to sharing this month of healthful thinking and encouragement to Believe in Yourself – you can do this!

Our fabulous April 2016 events at Juniper Communities include our:

  • Way to Grow in Our Community Garden because one of the beautiful benefits of Juniper is our courtyard, an essential tool to complete a balanced experience for our residents, being able to watch the baby birds in spring, and enjoy the harvest of our vegetable garden, gives one a sense of ownership and involvement, and this year we are inviting our friends and family to launch our planting season since many of you have a great amount of knowledge that we could use in our very own back yard, and we will also be serving fruit salads and refreshments on April 5th from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm in Louisville, CO at Juniper Village at Louisville.
  • Business After Hours Reception with the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce for a glass of wine or a bottle of beer and some tasty hors d’oeuvres and take this opportunity to make new business connections, and during the event, we’ll be showcasing our new Wellness Suite and Connect4Life program, and you do not have to be a Chamber member to attend, so join us on April 7th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in Lebanon, PA at Juniper Village at Lebanon.
  • Brain Matters because a mind is a terrible thing to waste, so let’s learn how to use some special techniques to keep the memories alive and be prepared, as Paul White tackles the skills that are needed to develop your brain to the fullest on April 13th at 6:30 pm in Chatham, NJ at Juniper Village at Chatham.
  • Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Habilitation Training Curriculum one day session by the Greater PA Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association created to prepare attendees, already familiar with Alzheimer’s and dementia care, to train direct staff in a wide array of care settings, and provide trainers with the tools and knowledge to return to staff with a consistent, vetted curriculum taught in various settings for 20 years on April 14th beginning at 8:00 am in State College, PA at Juniper Village at Brookline.
  • Seniors For Safe Driving Mature Driver Improvement Course a 1 day seminar designed for drivers over the age of 55 who wish to improve their driving skills, and participants can also receive a 5% discount on their automobile insurance premium for 3 years after taking the course on April 19th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in Pittsburgh, PA at Juniper Village at Forest Hills.
  • Mind Blowing Motown & Martinis as we celebrate the beginning of Spring and enjoy the musical talents of our favorite Motown man, Greg Miller; this year we’re taking it up a notch, and having “The Band” join Greg for some mind blowing entertainment, and delicious appetizer’s and chocolate martinis will be served on April 29th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in Cape Coral, FL at Juniper Village at Cape Coral.

We look forward to sharing our April 2016 events at Juniper Communities with you as you Believe in Yourself.