Behind the scenes: A day in the life of a senior living community’s maintenance director

For Dragoslav Lukic, director of facilities management at Parkway Place senior living community in Houston, every day on the job is different.

Today he’s sharing a sample day in his life as part of our “behind the scenes” look at what makes a Buckner senior living community run in tip-top shape.

8 a.m. Arrive at Parkway Place

I arrive to work by 8 a.m. Once I arrive, my first task is always to walk through the community. I do this multiple times a day, but the morning walk is one of the most important to make sure everything is still in order from the night before.

8:30 Director meeting

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the directors from across the community gather to meet with our executive director, Susan Phelps. These meetings are short, but crucial to help me know what’s going on in every area of the community. As facilities manager, I need to know what activities are going on or what concerns team members are facing so my team and I can assist in any way we can.

8:45 a.m.

After director meeting, I do another walk through the community. This is a prime opportunity for me to interact with residents and listen to any maintenance concerns they may have. Oftentimes, we just talk! It’s one of my favorite parts of the job.

9:30 a.m.

The rest of the morning’s structure depends entirely on what’s happening. If there’s an immediate need, I’ll help with that. I also run through all our work orders every morning to get status updates on each and make sure my team is responding quickly.

Mornings are the best time to take care of paperwork, so I often use this time to go schedule any repairs, make sure all inspections are up to date and maintenance schedules on time.

12 p.m.

Before you know it, it’s time for lunch! Our lunch break is officially from 12-1 p.m., but I never take the whole hour. I don’t want to have a whole hour of doing nothing!

1 p.m.

After lunch, I do another walk through the building. Because Parkway Place is currently in the middle of a renovation, nearly every area of the community is under construction. My afternoon walk is a good time for me to touch base with the construction crews and see if they need anything.

2 p.m.

Some afternoons I’ll lead safety meetings or other general meetings with teams throughout the community. These meetings are important so that every Parkway Place employee knows how to maintain a safe, welcoming environment for residents.

3 p.m.

In the late afternoon, I always review all our maintenance work orders one more time. My team receives 30 to 40 work orders a day, so it’s important we stay on top of them and respond in a timely manner!

Our maintenance crew includes me, three full-time maintenance men and one porter.  These guys do it all! Work orders can be anything from plumbing to painting to helping with computers. We do 95 percent of the work around the community and almost never use contractors.

5 p.m.

Time to head home! Even when I’m not at the community, I’m on call 24/7 Monday thru Friday for any emergency needs. These are rare, but it’s important to me that residents have peace of mind should something ever happen. On the weekends, our team rotates so there’s always someone available.

Overall, my job is very rewarding! Getting to work with senior adults and help solve concerns they have is the best part of what I do every day.

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