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Resident Life

On Site Shops
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Years ago we used to have our own on-site pharmacy, but we now contract it out to Symbria. At Westminster Place we have found that contracting out for services such as pharmacy, beauty shops, dining, rehab, and others is a better way to go as these firms know what they are doing, and we can hold them accountable for their performance. We use Unidine for dining services which was the most problematical at first, but it's getting better all the time.

I live in Wind Crest in Colorado, which is an Erickson Senior Living (ESL) community. We have had a resident run shop.

Soon we will be shifting to a CVS run shop, and apparently there will eventually be such a shop at all the ESL communities.

They will have most of what you would expect in a pharmacy.

At Westminster Place in Evanston, Illinois, the "Gift Shop" is really a convenience store run by Dining Services and is located in Independent Living.

We have other shops in the Assisted Living area run by a volunteer group called the Woman's Board: a thrift shop for used clothing and books, a used furniture store, a small grocery store, and a knick-knack shop. Both residents and staff shop in these stores and the money raised is donated to various needs of Westminster Place. The Woman's Board is rather unique. It was begun many years ago when Westminster Place was known as a predominantly charitable home. The members of the Woman's Board were volunteers from the surrounding community. As they began to age themselves, they moved in and became residents. They provide a wonderful service in so many ways.

I have a question about the prevalence of a shop on the CCRC campus. I'm wondering if, in the "new world" of ordering on-line and grocery Instacart for home deliveries as examples, these shops might becoming deemed "old school" and possibly being discontinued. Reasons: space could be used for something else; lack of staff to "run" it, and/or difficulty in finding resident volunteers.


I'm living in my 2nd CCRC in my second state. The shoppe at CCRC #1 was stocked and staffed by an employee. Merchandise included dry goods, some toiletries, candy, some gift items, non-perishable foodd (cereals; can goods; cookies; chips, etc.) At CCRC #2 the shoppe is entirely resident-run --- doing everything from purchasing stock, to pricing, to staffing, to offering occasional promotions. A resident committee mainly provides cashiers. If the committee chair chooses to step down and "pass the baton," it can be really problematic to find a new "chief" because it's a substantial commitment.


I'm wondering how your shoppe works at your communities. So many residents want their retired life to be relaxing and are reluctant to commit for anything long-term or involving significant leadership. That said, maybe these shoppes might NOT be needed anymore?


I'd really appreciate a discussion on this. Thanks.

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