Dementia and Skilled Nursing Expansion
August 2, 2016
WindsorMeade will hold a ground-breaking announcement Wednesday on a planned expansion for dementia and skilled nursing facilities.
Along with a similar project at Williamsburg Landing, the WindsorMeade expansion points out how elder care is a growing sector of greater Williamsburg’s economy.
The changes at Virginia United Methodist Homes of Williamsburg, more commonly known as WindsorMeade, will go beyond additional infrastructure to changes in the care model, WindsorMeade administrators say.
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The new infrastructure, with a projected construction time of 10 months, includes:
- 11,762 square feet for a 18-bed memory care household.
- 4,979 square feet for an additional 10 skilled nursing care beds.
- 3,877 square feet of renovated space to create a “household model.”
- 1,545 square feet of new entry space to access memory care and nursing.
The investment in the physical expansion of the campus will cost $7.5 million.
“The $7.5 million physical transformation at WindsorMeade is really only part of the story,” said Marilyn Gray, executive director, WindsorMeade of Williamsburg. “Real change is occurring inside the buildings as we transform our community to a household model, which embraces a person-centered approach in a true home environment.”
The household model is different from previous approaches to long-term care because it embraces a person-centered approach in an atmosphere of a genuine home. Instead of long halls with double occupancy rooms and large dining rooms, the new model features small households of approximately 20 residents, each with its own kitchen, dining and living rooms and small cozy spaces such as front porches and patios. Each resident has a private bedroom.
“Anything you think you know about how health care is provided in a retirement community goes right out the door with this new approach,” said Gray.
Day-to-day life in a household model bears little resemblance to yesterday’s “nursing homes.” Services are highly personalized and choices are driven by the resident. Residents enjoy increased privacy, flexibility in when and what they eat, when they bathe and when they take their medications, said Kim Farlow, WindsorMeade’s communications director.
For example, a “morning medication” can be taken when the resident naturally awakens, rather than on a regimented schedule. Residents plan and prepare their meals — with staff assistance — and eat as a family at a shared dining table. Residents direct their own lives, and staff is empowered to engage residents and make certain that each resident’s personal preferences are honored.
“We believe that these improvements, both outside and in, help make WindsorMeade attractive to current and future residents,” said Gray.
Embracing “Life at Home” means the staff values home, focusing first on caring and respecting each resident’s desires.
“WindsorMeade is deeply invested in training, working as a team and engaging all residents and their families as we strive to enhance the quality of life for our residents,” wrote Farlow.
More than 200 hours have been spent during the past 18 months on team member training and preparation, including how to make WindsorMeade more homelike, how to help those with dementia lead their best lives and staff empowerment.
“One of the most remarkable things I’ve seen during this transformation is the way our team members have embraced this new approach. They are tremendously engaged, and have helped us shape and plan so that the lives of our residents are improved in every way,” Gray said.
“The goal of this expansion and all of the internal changes is to create an environment where our residents are healthier and happier, and have more control over their lives. We want our residents to live longer and for our team members to be fully engaged in this process, “she said.