There are now 9 reports on Ripoffreports.com, setting a theme....Bonaventure IS a ripoff! There are links on Google & Bing that can be reached by typing in Pam Gray Bonaventure. Out of 15 reports 1 was positive. I'm happy that a family member had a positive experience, however in reading these reports, not everyone does. There is a pattern here due to abusive upper management & poorly paid, poorly educated middle management & this has gone on @ least 2 years.
Those of us writing these reports want to convey BUYER BEWARE & let you decide for yourself if Bonaventure is the place for you. After reading what is available on the internet & you decide it is, well...good luck to you!! People write these articles because they were not treated fairly as employees or customers & want the public informed. My report is lengthy, but factual. In fact I'm writing 2 reports because the abuses are so numerous @ Sparks that it can't possibly be put in 1 report! There is a common thread here & the complaints come from communities from several states, so it's not just one improperly run buildng, but the management style that's the problem. The Washington properties have the most severe problems & have had involvement with their state bureau of licensing. Don't be fooled by an A or a B hanging in a frame on the wall. That means that on that particular day the state survey people gave them a grade based on what they found that day. That grade is there for a year (unless it's a C or D,then they a re required an other survey within 30 days). The problems you are about to be made aware of happened in the 4 months after that survey under the management of Todd Robinson.
Every company has their problems, but does the retirement community you are considering have 15 internet postings that have the complaints that have gone on for 2 yrs like Bonaventure has?
Please respect that former employees writing these articles are not crazed or disgruntled, but truthful & frustrated. Writing to a consumer watchdog site such as this is cathartic for those of us that had no chance & no choice. Many of us have a high work ethic & as stated previously feel the public has the right to know what goes on in these buildings that goes unchecked. Remember the care of your loved one IS affected by management decisions. The Executive Director (ED) you meet today may be gone in 7 months (which is Sparks average) & someone worse in their place.
Working in the state of Nevada, wrongful discharge can't be proven short of it being racially motivated. Being over 50, caucasion & female, it's not an option for me. My benefit is not monetary, but to inform the public of the autrocities that are acceptable to Bonaventure.
In 2009 the former ED @ Salem said there employee turnover rate was 94-97 %. In 2010 Sparks had a low turnover rate compared to other Bonaventure buildings @ 300%!! Some buildings were as high as 700%!! Keep in mind that not every position turns over annually. There are still 3 employees @ Sparks that are from the original start up crew. The ED, marketer, dietary & caregiving positions turnover the most frequently, so one dept. that turns over rapidly affects the percentages of other departments.
Yes, rents can raise frequently. The 1st raise is usually is because you were "lowballed" a price that was represented as a "move-in special" to get you to sign a contract. Inaccurate pricing on medical services for assisted living (ALF) is another reason when these contracts are being done by JUST the marketer or ED. The Resident Care Coodinator (RCC) or the Registered Nurse (RN) is supposed to be involved in the service plan prior to you signing a contract, but this isn't happening @ Sparks because they haven't met their move in projections. So if your move in price seems to be a real bargain...buyer beware, it probably is. Try to get a contract @ a price acceptable to you for as long as you possibly can. Bonaventure isn't the only game in town. Currently the market is VERY competitive, so shop around.
Remember...PLANNING IS EVERYTHING NO MATTER WHERE YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE!! Currently, average monthly costs run between $3000-$5000 , depending on your needs. Five years of placement could cost you $3000. If you outlive your savings & investments you could be broke & facing a move. Many of our residents faced this within the 1st year of placement. Don't be fooled by VA deferrments. I have seen some very bad financial decisions made on this pretense. Bonaventure management hopes you will be impressed & impulsive so the "Dream Experience" overwhelms you. Keep in mind if your balance isn't paid, your experience won't be very dreamy!!!
The comment about the food is true. In the 2 years I was @ the Sparks property we were on our 6th Chef. The food was SO bad that the residents were contemplating a petiton to send to the home office to get him replaced!!! But don't shoot the Chef quite yet...the quality of product he has to work with is sometimes poor, especially the meat. When pork steak was on the menu, steak knives had to be served because it was so tough a table knife couldn't cut it & this was EVERY time pork steak was served, not just once. Thanksgiving of 2010 turkey loaf was served, not real turkey...REALLY????? Many senior's enjoyment in life is the food they eat. If you are looking for placement visit the competition & don't do it just once, go back several times to see what rheir food quality is. One chef was fired after he met with residents during "Chef's Corner" & being frustrated & under the gun about putting out a quality product, revealed to the residents, that based on the current census he was alotted $3.25 per day per resident to feed them!!!!! REALLY???? Staff would frequently have to go to Raley's for staples such as milk during the tenure of our 3rd ED to get us thru til we received our weekly food delivery.
To potential employees in management...if you know anything about bonus's, don't be fooled into a low wage, thinking your bonus will make up for it. The bonus structure is set to be unacheivable. Bonus's are acheived when resident satisfaction is met. In my dept. that wasn't a problem because on nursing audits I could actually achieve a bonus but if ANY department failed, none of the managers bonused. If you are a marketer you can possibly bonus on move ins if you have met your goal but like Eileen form Idaho Falls doesn't get fired before they pay it!
As stated on this site the caregiving ratio is based on census, not accuity. If you are considering placement in assisted living or Memory Care, DO NOT...I REPEAT DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT BEFORE YOU SPEAK TO THE RN OR RCC!!! Nurses have a licensure to protect & don't bonus based on move ins like the marketer does. The liklihood of inappropriate placement is much greater if the nurse is not involved. One marketer that is now an ED in a Washington property told me I must not say "no"!!!! (meaning I was assessing to see if the resident was appropriate for placement in ALF) It's understandable that residents want to save money, but the marketer & ED are making the decision that the potential resident can self medicate. This is clearly a nursing function & there were several residents that WEREN"T capable of self medicating & were endangering themselves while under the auspices of having nursing care! Ask how many level 5 residents are on ALF. Level 5 is the highest level of care & the services portion alone, not including rent, should be around $3000 per month or more. If you yourself is a level 5 & are given a $2000 price for example...beware!!! In 30-90 days your service fee will raise to where it should be. So if you are a level 5 & came in from Oct 2009- June of 2011, you were assessed fairly because the RN or RCC was involved prior to you signing your contract. You however are sharing caregiving hours with new residents that take the same amount of care that you do for much less! Ask what the average response time to call lights currently is & ask how that compares to the previous month, keeping in mind there may be more residents this month. The point I'm trying to make here is that staffing by census is acceptable industry wide & staffing should be based on accuity for good quality care to be given! The 1st senior community that will jump out on that limb will make a real difference in the care you receive! Currently there is 1 caregiver & 1 med tech per shift for 33 residents. Don't assume the med tech is able to help the caregiver with her tasks,because she can't. Both job descriptions are full to the max. The caregiver toilets, showers, makes beds, escorts residents to rooms based of course on resident need, but pretty well by herself. The next staffing hour increase is scheduled for a census of 44. This ratio is determined by Pam Gray & in 2 yrs were reduced on both ALF & MC, The staff reduction on MC was sited by the state after an elopement . In the state of Nevada, MC residents are to have a 1:6 ratio of caregivers, so the staffing is good on that unit as the care requirements can be very high. However don't be fooled into thinking that unit is secure, because IT IS NOT!!!! the windows & doors are alarmed, but there is NO PERIMETER FENCING!!!! There has been 3 serious elopements from MC that have been reported to the state. One happened during a home office visit. The Resident Service Coordinator was fired after standing up to Pam Gray & Kelley Hamilton saying that MC is NOT SECURE & it could be potentially deadly & that Kelley Hamilton's idea that a fence wouldn't be "dreamy" wasn't realistic. It was stated between other management that you don't EVER make Pam Gray look bad in front of Kelley Hamilton no matter what the consequences may be EVEN for resident safety....How sad is that???? During my tenure I had a "work experience" program set up & was ready to go that would have provided extra staff @ ZERO cost to Bonaventure because it would be an externship for a CNA training program. It was hung up in the legal department & never implemented.
Ask if your community has an ED or administrator. It' common place to "rent a licence". An ED will be placed @ the helm of a Bonaventure property with no experience as an ED. These people are sometimes marketers or Resident Service Coodinators. They are underqualified & underpaid for the position, but are coming up through the ranks, "making their bones", so to speak. They usually don't achieve their administrators licence before they are fired or move on. This is a win-win situation for Bonaventuere because of the cost savings. They pay that person a low wage because they aren't an actual administrator & they don't have to pay for their licence if they move on or are fired...see anything similiar to the marketer in Idaho Falls or the bonus structure company wide? Someone that actually has an administrator licence for that state "rents" it, so it hangs in the building. This person is not an employee of Bonaventure, in fact they aren't even required to be in the building mentoring the ED. The ED does the day to day decision making. The administrator is basically being paid for his signature when required, usually on state documents such as surveys or answers to complaints.
Several people have addressed Pam Gray being proud of coming up through the ranks herself & with only a high school education. She's not the only one! Todd Robinson is very proud of his achievement of a GED as he was a high school drop out. The program manager in MC doesn't even have that! When considering a community to live or work in, ask what the education level is of that management team. It effects how they make decisions. Are they responsible individuals that really try to do the right thing or are they on ego trips because they landed a job they couldn't have with another company. Two management members take everyone down in their wake when they are mad & unreasonable! One manager tries to underemploy her crew so they will quit. The ED encourages this & employees are often put on shifts that they can't get childcare for & are told if they can't work that shift that day they will be fired! This is a LUDICROUS WAY TO MANAGE STAFF!! As a family member or resident, do you want the employee you love being treated this way...well, it's happening @ Sparks!!
The concept is simple Kelley Hamilton...hire good people & pay them what they are worth & hopefully better decisions will be made than what is currently happening right now instead of the managers that are mobile & on ego trips!
Former RCC @ Sparks Oct 2009-Oct2011