Best of Lawrence Profile: Brandon Woods at Alvamar recognizes choices are important in senior living

Brandon Woods at Alvamar has won 1st place for best senior living community for the past 11 years in the Best of Lawrence. Brandon Woods offers a variety of living options for seniors including townhouse living, independent apartment living, assisted apartment living, and assisted memory care living.

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored content produced by the Journal-World’s advertising department. Businesses who received a top three award in the Best of Lawrence competition are eligible to participate in the Best of Lawrence Spotlight Series program, which includes a question-and-answer profile. Look for future profiles in the print and online editions of the Journal-World.

Congratulations on being voted the “Best of Lawrence”! How does it feel to receive this recognition from the community?

It feels great to receive this recognition from the community. This is our 11th year in a row to win 1st place in the Best of Lawrence in the Senior Living Community category and we are ecstatic about it. This really speaks to not only our name recognition in Lawrence, after all we have been in the community for 35 years, but also speaks to our consistent focus on quality services to senior adults.

Brandon Woods at Alvamar is located in west Lawrence at 1501 Inverness Drive.

Can you provide a brief overview of your business’s history, including its founding, initial goals and how it has evolved over the years?

Brandon Woods started in 1988 and was developed by Retirement Management Company. Brandon Woods was sold in 2008 and is now managed by Five Star Senior Living. With all the changes in the past 35 years, our chief goal of providing choices for individuals interested in senior living has not changed. We respect our primary customer and recognize their differences and preferences. We recognize that choice is important to everyone, so we incorporate choice in all we do, especially our food program and in our lifestyle program.

Staff members Tara Moore, Abby Yother and Paul Fanning, stand in the Movie Lounge which features comfortable theater chairs and a big screen tv where residents can enjoy their favorite tv shows and films.

Could you share an example of how your business has embraced innovation to stay ahead of the curve?

Brandon Woods at Alvamar embraced that senior adults wanted more independent living options than what was available in 1988. In this geographic area we pioneered the idea of home ownership coupled with the benefits of a senior living community. Our townhouse development structure is still on the forefront of senior living. We also embraced that aging well includes wellness. We continue to be the only senior living community in Lawrence with an indoor heated, salt-water pool.

Brandon Woods is the only senior living community in Lawrence with a salt-water swimming pool.

The “Best of Lawrence” title often indicates a commitment to excellence in customer service. How do you ensure that every customer has a positive experience with your business?

Our business is “people helping people.” We realize that in order to ensure positive customer experiences, we must pay special attention to the people providing the daily services and experiences. We work hard to hire individuals who have a desire to provide service excellence and we engage in monthly training. We work to show our team members we care about them as individuals and recognize their efforts through our tuition reimbursement program and other plans designed to engage, retain and reward. This year we began a daily all team meeting to increase our communication and transparency with each other.

Donna Bell, executive director at Brandon Woods stands in the outdoor gathering space. In warmer months, residents enjoy having coffee and pastries outside or chatting around the fire pit.

What long-term goals do you have for your business, and how do you plan to achieve them?

In 2021 we changed our definition of senior living to include townhouse living, independent apartment living, apartment assisted living and memory care assisted living. This left us with accommodations formerly used for skilled nursing care. Long term we plan to renovate those areas to appeal to this generation of seniors and to the future generation of senior adults. We are still in the planning process, but we are focusing our planning efforts to expand assisted living and to focus on healthy active living.

In the library, Jeanette Armstrong and Sandra Wiechert browse for books to borrow.