From Hotel to Assisted Living Hospitality

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For 11 years, Lindsay Redin worked as a front office manager for big box hotels in downtown Boston. Empathetic and caring, Redin loved interacting with guests as they arrived tired from their travels and was willing to go above and beyond to make the guests happy. But the hours were tough, and when Redin and her husband decided they wanted to adopt a child, she knew it was time for a change.

Redin grew up in Western Massachusetts and knew her cousin was running a successful family business in the area. Her cousin? Sara Robertson, co-owner of The Arbors.

“Her mom and my dad are sister and brother,” Redin says, “so I always knew of The Arbors. I knew it was family-owned and -operated company, and I knew they had good growth, which means they had a great product. I thought it would be a great fit given my hospitality background.”

Hospitality, once reserved for hotels and resorts, is now a key component of senior living, so Redin left the hotel industry and started working as the director of marketing at The Arbors at Stoughton. After a year, she moved to the executive director role at The Arbors at Stoneham. In July 2018, she became the executive director of the Ivy at Ellington.

Going from Global to Local Hospitality

In the five years Redin has been working in senior living, she’s noticed a few similarities between the hotel world and the senior living world.

First, it’s the little things that make the difference in terms of offering hospitality — whether to hotel guests or to her residents at the Ivy at Ellington. For example, Ellington, Connecticut, has its roots as an agricultural community, so in the restaurant-style dining room at Ivy at Ellington, residents are served locally-sourced food.

Second, whether you’re staying in a nice hotel or an assisted living community with The Arbors, it’s all about treating each individual with compassion and understanding.

“For me, it’s all about seeing the good that you’re bringing to people’s lives whether for the moment or the day,” Redin says. “I love seeing our residents flourish in a community that’s safe and suitable for them, seeing an uptick in where they were. A lot of residents were anxious to come here, and watching the anxiety go away as they transition to living here is rewarding to me.”

The biggest difference Redin has noticed since moving from a global corporation to a family-owned senior living community, even though both positions are both related to hospitality? Numbers versus names.

“In your individual hotel, you have a name and voice associated to you, but companywide, you’re just a number,” Redin says. “Here at The Arbors, that’s never going to be the case. It gives us — as the executive directors — the ability to call an owner and say, ‘This is my issue. What do you think we should do?’ We can talk through individual cases and figure out what works best for the person in the community.”

Adding Members to Her Family

As Redin and her husband are adding to their family at home, Redin is adding to her family at work and in the community, too. It’s what she loves most about working at The Ivy at Ellington.

“We are family taking care of family,” she says. “We always want to take people who are appropriate for our setting. We look at every individual and their needs and see if we’re a good fit for them. We don’t put anybody in a position where we just putting in a head in the bed so we can collect rent. We look at everybody’s individuals care needs and see if we can offer the best quality of life for them.”

The Ellington community is welcoming The Ivy at Ellington and Redin with open arms, too.

“The Ivy at Ellington has a much more small-town feel than our other Arbors communities,” Redin says. “I like how wholesome and down to earth the people are. Everybody is welcoming and willing to help. They’re super excited that we’re here. The town is happy to have us as an option for seniors in need.”

Searching for the Right Home

For families who are searching for assisted living or memory care for their loved ones, Redin likens it to the college search on which recent high school graduates embark.

“You know when you step onto a college campus that it’s the right fit for you,” she says. “It’s important to feel like it’s a good fit, but it’s really important that you have a good connection to the professors, or in our case, the staff. Most assisted living communities are these big, beautiful buildings and the only different thing between us are the people in it.”

That’s why Redin is so happy to be working at The Ivy at Ellington. “It doesn’t even feel like work,” she says. It really feels like — it sounds silly — but it does feel like a big family. Your residents become attached to you and vice versa. It really is everybody looking out for each other and making the most out of their day.”

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