Looking ahead to 2020: A Q&A with Kris Kiefer

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kris Kiefer, Vice President of Castle Senior Living, and ask him a few questions. Here is what he had to say.

As we begin 2020, what are your goals for Castle Senior Living in the New Year?

One of our objectives is further enhancing Castle’s memory care program. We’re already educating and training our staff, and providing a host of effective activities, but after conducting research on the latest therapy and care, we’re adding new initiatives to create a more in-depth and robust course for our patients. We have a subcommittee of our professional team now meeting twice a month to modify and innovate our program. We are dedicated to achieving this transformation by mid-year.

The healthcare industry is known for employee turnover, so we’re continuing to scale up our efforts and remain focused on that. If we keep improving employee satisfaction and morale along with elevating a strong company culture, it’s a shift toward retaining top talent at all of our facilities.

Another goal is to grow Castle, and you are targeting development at facilities in New Berlin and Mukwonago. What are you doing to transform the landscape of senior living there?

We celebrated our first anniversary of Grand Hills Castle in New Berlin last fall and continue to look ahead for this state-of-the-art facility. Our plan is to add 53 units to the RCAC in order to offer more options for independent living and assisted living. Construction will start later this spring with opening date set for 2021.

In March of 2018, we bought Birchrock Castle in Mukwonago and are on track to improve the overall program there this year. The goal is to add 20 CBRF units and update existing rooms to specialize in memory care and assisted living. With the expansion, we’ll add a nurse, cook, activity person and housekeeper as full-time staff. We hope to be moving dirt there late April/early May and open in January 2021.

With the needs of older Americans ever-evolving, how does Castle stand out and appeal to those looking for a place to call home?

We believe people should truly love where they live. We do that by building facilities with a family feel. Our residences are properly sized and allow you to know everyone by name. We also offer a variety of attractive services to accommodate any want or need – from custom care plans to lifestyle activities – all available in a real-home environment.

We’ve seen tremendous progress with residents after they move to Castle Senior Living. You can see how their overall health improves. Families approach us and thank us for the difference we’re making here. We recognize our Castle facilities as communities, and families and residents are taking notice of the value and benefits they have to offer.

Castle Senior Living has been serving communities in southeast Wisconsin for nearly thirty years. What do you consider among the greatest successes along the way?

I think there are a lot of success stories from our individual residents, whether they came from a failing situation in their home or apartment, or their family was not able to provide appropriate care. We give them what they need.

On the business side, Castle grew organically and not too fast over the years, so that is good. Quality and customer service are always our priority. I’m proud of our accomplishments, Grand Hills is probably our greatest achievement so far because of the uniqueness of the property and building design. It all came together nicely. We are able to provide care for those with high acuity needs here. That is incredibly gratifying.

How do you like to spend your time away from work?

When I’m not fully involved in the business end, I love playing piano and singing for the residents. It’s why each Castle Senior Living facility is outfitted with a piano. My home life is quite busy with my wife and three children. We enjoy music, summers on the water near Brule, Wisconsin and winters in the snow, especially gliding across the Kiefer Ice Skating Rink.

It’s that time of year for resolutions. Is there a personal goal that you want to achieve in 2020?

I want to further enhance my skills on the piano. That is always on my goal list along with working out five days a week to stay in shape and enjoy family time. Big news for my wife and me this year? We have a baby number four on the way. All of our children are under five, so that’s a lot of little kids in one house, but we love it.

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