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Five Star Decor with Three Star Service
Balfour Independent Living at Riverfront Park in Denver is a mixed bag. When you walk into Balfour, your breath is taken away by the exquisitely designed common areas. The five star decor is beautiful and elegant, but also bright and welcoming. The apartments, unfortunately, are nothing to rave about, but every inch of the common areas from the main living room to the dining room to the library, and even the salon, are pure delight. The three star service, on the other hand, is unpredictable. The members of the upper management team are disconnected to the residents and to each other. They don’t know what they are doing because the turn over rate is off the charts so they are always new (or absent because their positions have not yet been filled). Communication amongst the different teams and with the the residents is lacking. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing leading to inefficiency, chaos, and levels of incompetence that are just down right unacceptable in a place such as Balfour that is intended to be of such high caliber. Non management members, however, are wonderful, accommodating, and compassionate and the best part of what Balfour has to offer and in some ways make up for what the upper management team is incapable of accomplishing. Unfortunately and sadly, their turn over rate is also very high. It appears that Balfour has not figured out how to show appreciation for their Riverfront employees enough to keep them happy. With a turn over of four chefs in less than a two year period, the The Dining Room Service and Food Quality is less than mediocre and has been a disaster. For a facility that sells itself as a five star community and charges exorbitant fees to match the five star promise, their residents deserve better than three star service. With all of that being said, Balfour is centrally located, and if you or your parents are culturally oriented then you cannot beat the downtown location. The best part about Balfour are the residents and the camaraderie they share. Sure, you could rent a beautiful unit in a full service apartment building for half the cost but you wouldn’t find the friendships, support, and companionships that you find amongst the Balfour residents. For that reason, Balfour is worth a shot. Just understand that the service isn’t as pretty as the decor and be prepared for a lot of frustrations and disappointments along the way.
Look deeper if you need more than independent living
First impressions can be deceiving. We had done the tours, due diligence and planned to bring our mom here. But it appears there is a lot of dissatisfaction within the staff and a management group that is constantly turning the staff. Over the past few months they have turned over at least 30-50% of the staff with a new director that seems disinterested in keeping educated, experienced staff in deference to less expensive caregivers. In speaking to some of the staff, there seems to be some who genuinely enjoy and care for the residents for whom they work. However, there also seems some infighting or jealousies that are problematic. Leaving an incontinent patient for the next shift to take care of instead of immediately taking care of the resident is an issue. The ownership group seems more interested in the bottom line than the memory care seniors. We decided to go elsewhere with mom.
The Tour I Had
I would have went with this community if I was able to wait one week. They would have worked very comfortably for me. It is a good community with good people.
Mom enjoys it here
I would rate Balfour at Riverfront Park a 5 as it is a very nice place and my mother likes being there everything is clean and the staff is great with the residents. They have a lot of activities such as bingo and puzzle nights, that they encourage their residents to join in my mother likes going to several of them.
There is a nice dining room and my mother seems to like the menu and socializing with everyone
There is transportation offered to the residents for doctor appointments and shopping, but I still like taking my mother out to help her with her shopping.
They also like to do field trips for the residents that want a day out.
I would have no problem recommending Balfour at Riverfront Park to my friends and family.
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I am celebrating my one week anniversary at Balfour at Riverfront Park in Denver. In this short time I have been welcomed by staff and residents alike.
They all remember my name and are happy to remind me of theirs. The neighborhood is very vibrant, almost more like San Francisco than Denver. All ages are visible near the parks and people watching from benches or outdoor cafes is very pleasant.
My dog is welcomed in the entry area and any public space where food is not available. Coffee or tea is a;ways available, If I want to take a some to my apartment, the concierge is wiling to hold his leash while I grab a cup to go.
The services and amenities are exactly as described. I couldn't be happier. I thank Sandy from A Place For Mom for finding this location for me.
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