Scheduled to open in February 2020, the near-completion newly-constructed The Ivy at Watertown Assisted Living Residential Community at 655 Straits Turnpike on the Watertown/Middlebury border, has welcomed Jason Rieger of Wallingford as the community’s executive director.
“The Ivy is a family-run business,” said Rieger, “so it is more resident- and employee-centered in regards to the company’s focus. With my first interview, I could tell that this company sincerely cares about every person they hire as team members.”
Officially named executive director in October 2019, Rieger has been focused on hiring the complete line of staff required in an assisted living community, from RNs, LPNs and C.N.A.’s to reception, housekeeping, activities, dining room, and maintenance personnel. “The number one thing I search for in every job applicant is that he or she is a warm and approachable person. Team members who care for residents with compassion and respect, and are willing to go the extra mile for the residents and their team members, are the individuals we seek.”
As executive director, Rieger will oversee the administration of operations including the many amenities and services such as dining, housekeeping, activities, maintenance, transportation, nursing, and wellness plus service providers such as physicians, home health providers, life enhancement professionals and entertainers from the greater local Watertown/Middlebury community.
Conveniently located with rapid access to Routes 6, 63, 8 and I-84, The Ivy at Watertown offers 89 apartments including studios, one and two-bedroom, and a specialized memory support environment called Reflections.
Rieger’s philosophy of care will be to learn what each resident needs from the community to flourish. “We will welcome people who need very little assistance and want to enjoy the amenities and live in a safe environment plus individuals who will need more hands-on care.
“Every staff members’ job will be to know each individual resident so well that they can identify any changes in their condition or activities and allow us to offer assistance wherever needed. By truly knowing our residents, we are able to insert assistance as needed and allow them to continue to thrive.”
One of Rieger’s expressed passions is memory care for elders as his mother has mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s absolutely critical for every assisted living community to have an innovative memory care component and The Ivy has Reflections, its signature memory care program. Anything we can do to heighten a person’s quality of life and bring them moments of joy is what we will strive to achieve. Our goal will be to have every interaction produce a positive emotional memory.”
Rieger has worked in senior living communities for more than 30 years. His career path has taken him through the ranks from a director of dining and hospitality services to an administrator. While working he earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration, Management, and Operations, and he developed his own philosophies regarding senior care and leadership.
When Rieger learned about The Ivy at Watertown he was excited for an opportunity to be part of growing a nurturing culture of care from the ground up. He commented that through his interview process he was impressed by the questions he was asked and the interests of the company’s leaders. “It was very clear that The Ivy’s leadership sincerely care about their team members and the residents they serve.”
The Ivy at Watertown’s elegant home-like environment amenities includes dining on local culinary favorites, a movie theater, billiards, outdoor courtyard and patio, and a pub with complimentary snacks and beverages. All of the apartments are designed with daily high-quality personal care services, walk-in showers, cable, phone and Internet service, self-service washers and dryers, plus car snow removal services for all residents.