A Letter from our Founder, Michael Schonbrun

It began with a simple question: what would mother want?

Choosing the right place for a loved one is a deeply personal and sensitive decision. When I think about my mother Madeline, the answer was simple: a place where she could just be herself and be at home.

This is what happens when you decide to build a place for your own mom.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I began planning Balfour while researching retirement communities for my mother—a fashionable, well-traveled and fun-loving native New Yorker who loved a “Four Seasons” experience. She wanted to move closer to family after my father passed away. I went through the same anxiety and confusion so many others do looking for the right place for a parent. It inspired me to put my health care knowledge to work (I had been the CEO of National Jewish Hospital for ten years) and build a vibrant community where people could thrive and live life to the fullest.

Along the way, I’ve developed a few thoughts about senior communities. As important as a high-quality physical environment is, I’ve found the single most important attribute of a successful community is an engaged, energized, well-trained staff of caregivers and conscientious and compassionate managers.

A great team of employees—that’s at the top of my list. And at Balfour, putting such teams together is our number one priority.

MKS_From Founder2

Often there are no clear dividing lines between independent living, assisted living, memory care or even skilled nursing. So a cornerstone of The Balfour Way is offering a continuum of care. This allows our residents to age in place and maintain relationships with friends and staff members through different levels of care without leaving their community.

And unlike many traditional CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities) that require a large entrance fee, Balfour is entirely a rental community. Therefore, we must earn your trust every single day. This distinct advantage allows our residents to preserve their assets and pay only for the services and levels of additional care if and when they actually need them. This is another way Balfour delivers true value to its residents.

For me, this is quite personal. I think back at what my mother Madeline wanted and needed when we brought her here to Colorado. She was never much of a cook, but she loved books, art and auditing classes at NYU. Hence, our emphasis on numerous programs and activities—a well-stocked library, remarkable attention to interior design, and a great culinary and dining program. When I ask myself, “What would Madeline want?” I know she would have been right at home at Balfour.

We look forward to speaking with you and encourage you to visit us and see first hand why Balfour is truly “a new generation in retirement living.”

Michael K. Schonbrun
Founder and CEO

Michael Schonbrun. Balfour Senior Living

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