Am I crazy or what? Okay, today I am pissed but be prepared. It's a long story. Don't get me wrong!
I love my new apartment in Watercrest at the Dominion in San Antonio, small, yes, but it is working. I love the location. I'm on the top floor facing the hills and freeway. Each morning I am able to greet the sunrise coming over the opposite hills and see the clouds turn pink at sunset. I am close to all kinds of shopping and have found good doctors, some I can drive to myself, others, my kind daughter-in-law steps in to drive me. And have found the best dentist I have had ever. I have made some friends in other residents whom I enjoy and we have a lot of laughs. And I get to hang out with my son and his family.
BUT management here is driving me crazy! I just can't keep my mouth shut about it. I'm finding some residents are afraid to speak up...why, I don't know and think it must be a cultural thing. Right away I discovered there was NO residents association here and that even the suggestion of one had been discouraged at first by the director. But a group of us got together and formed one anyway. I helped form the simple by-laws and was elected Vice-President at our first get together. The purpose of the group is to be a sounding board for residents like a homeowners association and to help mediate complaints, help new residents, suggest wants and desires and sooth ruffled feathers. As yet we have not had an official meeting as the Residents Council but the board has gotten together to handle some issues that have come up. According to the by-laws our meetings are every other month, the first one coming up in August. And we are pleased that several of our requests have been honored by management and we are grateful that we were heard.
We have several resident couples who have a spouse who is unable to totally care for themselves and depend on their spouse as a caregiver. Had Ken lived we would have been one of them. Breakfast here is included in our rent...three days a week it is a continental breakfast, Tuesdays and Thursdays bacon and eggs are served. Several of these couples depend on a family member coming to the dining room to pick up breakfast and take it back to their loved one. A few weeks ago a caregiver showed up as usual to do just this and was told by kitchen staff absolutely no breakfasts were to be taken out. No warning, no explanation, just an edict from above. It seems as though a resident was coming in a filling up a box with enough food to last for several days leaving less food available for other residents. We agree not a nice thing to do. The board received letters from three couples regarding this new rule explaining what a hardship it had created for them and that the director was not willing to give a solution at the time. Some of the affected couples are afraid to speak up so brought the issue to the board after not getting any satisfaction from the director. The board brought the matter up at a Town Hall meeting led by the director and she apologized for the way it was handled and offered an explanation and a solution...a staff person would fill the box. So for a week or two it seemed the issue was taken care of but today the rule was in force again much to the distress of several residents who were refused breakfast to go.
But the boss of the boss was on campus today and our president of the RC managed to engage him in conversation over the issue at the lunch table. He knew nothing about the breakfast issue and left the table with the residents present feeling assured that he felt it ridiculous and would be rectified.
Fast forward to an RC board meeting this afternoon: We were reporting in on progress and setting the day and time for the first official meeting of the Residents Council , of which all residents are members and welcome. We set the date and asked the Activity Director to put it on the calendar for August. She has to clear everything with the director and reported back that we could not have a spot on the printed calendar. What the +&$%#@? Why? The only reason we can come up with is that she is pissed that we discussed the problem with her boss. What is the fear there? I'm baffled and pissed that we get no support for these efforts. Other retirement communities have organized regular meetings of residents by and for residents. So we will post flyers and put them in mail cubbies which we would do anyway. But why the opposition?
I've had enough drama in my life the last few months to last me a long time. I give up and plan to take a back seat for a while. I'm going to bed after watching some totally stupid mindless TV. New crown on a molar today and teeth cleaning tomorrow. Oh goody!