Morning Star - Overall Good Place
My mom has been living at Morning Star about 3 months and overall is satisfied with the facility. Most of the food is good but there are a few things she does not care for and sometimes they run out of the more popular menu items. They do having considerable staff turnover in the dining room among the servers. Communication is pretty good but sometimes you have to go to the executive director to get something done. For example they were suppose to clean the carpet in her suite and it took several requests before it was done. The staff are all very friendly but there is sometimes lack of communication between the staff. The surroundings are very pleasant and modern.
Mom loves it here
I like this community because they are very supportive to my mom. Staff is very friendly and attentive. It is clean and it's very modern and up to date. THe food seems to be fine, she has options to chose from.The grounds are nice just not enough room for my mom to walk she loves walking. I would recommend this to my friends and family.
They allow pets
My mother was staying at this location under their respite program. She was not there for a long period of time, but while she was there everything was wonderful. The public relations director and the rest of their staff were very communicative and easy to work with. I would go over sometime in the afternoon and speak with them for options if I had chosen their location for mom and I would come back home and find an e-mail with options and offers. They are very proactive and knowledgeable. We have become more involved with their daily activities since they send me emails and invites to events that they’re holding. I was just invited to a Thanksgiving event for next week. The food there is pleasurable and I enjoyed their salads. Every time that I went there everything was very fresh. They have different set menus. One would change daily and another that would never change. They have a great variety of selections from soups, veggies, chicken fingers, sandwiches, etc. They also have an extensive selection of beverages, they place snacks out during the day like popcorn or bowls of fruit, and a juice & coffee dispenser. The other residents that are there seem very friendly as well. They also have a 30 day calendar of activities to do. They had jazz night with a sax player with 4-5 background people accompanying him. They also had a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Walker. Everyone seemed to be really involved. Overall, this is a great community with very attentive staff. They also allow the tenants to keep pets: dogs, cats, birds, etc. Of course it would cost extra and they have weight restrictions with the dogs.
So far everything has been great. They have answered every question with honest answers, very friendly lots of activities for mom and family special outing for mom. Every time I go there they greet you with a good morning and her room a the whole facility is clean. I would recommend morning star to anyone in need. Also the food is very good.
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We feel very at ease since placing our friend here. The area is nice the staff is so friendly and caring very engaging. The staff really makes you feel comfortable and is there if you have questions or concerns. The inside is quite nice very clean and maintained well.
The food from what I was told is very good I personally have not eaten there. There seems to be plenty of activities to do however my friend cares not to do them. I would recommend them if asked.
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Poor leadership leads to poor service
Below is a note I sent to the VP of Operations for the South West Region of MorningStar. We have yet to speak, and she has not returned my phone call.
The purpose of this note is to thank you for taking care of my father and to provide you with some constructive criticism on your operations. I found it surprisingly difficult to get contact information for any of the senior leadership team at Morningstar. The website does not provide any phone or email contacts.
First some praise. There was a genuine care exuding from the original staff for the tenants. We knew them by name and you could tell they were invested and genuine in their interests in tenants and their family. The facility looked great because everything was new and clean. The newness of everything helped us get over the continuous sewer gas smell, but it looks like you have resolved that problem. In fact we liked the facility enough that my teenaged daughter volunteered her time and worked there for many months.
As a quick summary we were one of the first people to put money down as pre registered customers for your community called Morningstar at Arcadia back in late 2013. My father OET moved into your facility in March of 2014. He started off in assisted living and quickly was asked to move into Memory Care due to his Dementia, and has lived there ever since. My family was very active and involved in the community in the beginning, and we knew most of your staff by name. But there has been a continuous turnover of the leadership team at the facility, and that is where my constructive criticism will focus.
From my notes this is the turnover for just two positions, but it appears that nearly all senior leadership positions have regularly turned over.
[Removed] build out to 5/2014 I understand she had a baby and might have wanted a different lifestyle
[Removed] 6/2014 to 12/2014
[Removed] 1/2015 to 11/2015
[Removed] 12/2015 to present
Memory Care coordinators
[Removed] Opening to 11/2014
[Removed] 12/2014 to 3/2015 designated Interim
[Removed] ?/2015 to 8/2016
[Removed] 8/2016 to present
This seems like a substantial amount of turnover at the leadership level, and makes it hard to deliver a consistent level of service. I think that your team can do the following better:
Better leadership fosters continuous improvement in service levels I have had some discussions with the line staff and many have expressed concerns with how the facility is being run, but are afraid to push their concerns to hard fearing that they will be fired. I have been in leadership of manufacturing plants and understand that you can’t please all employees, but creating an environment of fear will prevent the leaders from creating a culture of continuous improvement. Most of the high value improvements come from line level people not management, because they are too far removed from the actual work.
Better communicating the leadership changes to the people who are paying the bills. Give us the courtesy to give some content as to why a change is needed and set the new person up for success by highlighting their qualifications. Julie in Memory Care was in the position the longest and had a good relationship with me and other tenants, and then one day she was gone and I still have not heard from the new person.
Voice of the Customer team I think that you would be well served to form a small group of tenant family members to meet with your leadership team on some regular basis (quarterly?). This is a tried and true component of customer driven organizations the world over. This will ensure that the voice of the customer is included in the teams discussion, and might prevent misunderstandings from snowballing. For example, If I was in such a meeting and found out there was going to be a leadership change I would have suggest sending out an email communicating it to the family members.
Plant & equipment improvements. I have begun to notice that much of the furniture is looking very shabby. I see blood stains and other bodily fluids on furniture fabric (in the main entry way as well as the memory care floor), and can imagine that this will not pass hygiene tests by the city. I also see trash on the balconies that no one seems to pick up. I think that you would agree this is a corporate culture set from the top. If the top person lets that stuff slide then all the way down to the cleaners they all let it slide. If the top person takes the facility seriously then everyone below them will know that it is important. As a corporate executive this becomes a red flag to me that you are hiring the wrong people at leadership levels.
Here is another example of the lack of leadership or the proper corporate culture. My daughter found a dead mouse in a half eaten bag of chips in the kitchen cabinet inside my fathers room. The mouse had been there long enough that it was fully desiccated. How did this mouse get into my fathers room and then die in a bag of chips? How did it sit there for who knows how many months before my daughter found it? What is the cleaning crew cleaning, and how did they not smell it? Tenants are paying for services and when this happens to me, it makes me feel like I need to start supervising your staff to ensure that I am getting the value that I am paying for. But why should I supervise your staff that is what your leadership team gets paid to do? This type of situation erodes trust and confidence between your team and the customer. I brought this to the attention of Julie and the executive director, but not sure what changes were made to ensure it does not happen again. I should have escalated this when it happened because I did not get a good feeling that anything was going to change. I knew this was the sort of incident that might get people fired, and wanted to give them a chance to turn the negative into a positive by taking visible corrective actions. I was not informed of any corrective actions that were implemented as a result of my fathers dead mouse and the obvious fact that his room was not being sufficiently cleaned on a consistent basis.
In summary, we were VERY excited to put my father into your facility when it opened. We liked the facility, liked the staff, and loved the location. Over the past 2 years the facility has become shabby and far less appealing on the memory care floor, the only people I interact with now are the line level staff. If things do not improve then I will begin to investigate other facilities as a back up plan.
Thank you in advance for reading and thinking about my comments.
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Dedicated to making your retirement years carefree, MorningStar at Arcadia offers 80 assisted living suites on three levels, with spacious studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom floor plans (including penthouse suites). Within our Reflections Neighborhood on the second floor, we offer 30 suites devoted to the individualized, specialized care of residents with memory impairment from Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia.
In January 2014, MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arcadia proudly opened its doors in the time-honored Arcadia neighborhood. Later in the year, the nationally reputed Phoenix firm of Thoma-Holec Design swept the Senior Living Category at the National 2014 ASID Design for Excellence Awards, winning First Place for the gorgeous, contemporary décor that makes MorningStar at Arcadia so remarkable.
In contrast to other senior assisted living facilities, MorningStar’s exceptional architecture and design will impress you from the first. Our graciously-appointed spaces are extensions of your private suite, beautiful and ready to receive your callers any day of the week.