Finest Reminiscence Care Design of 2021: ‘Better of Each Worlds’ in a Small-Home Design

Sage Oak Reminiscence Care homes 16 beds every in 5 buildings, with an administrative constructing entrance and middle. However this Lake Charles, Louisiana-based group seems extra like a cottage neighborhood than a standalone reminiscence care group.

By splitting 80 beds into 5 separate buildings, the group’s designers prioritized personalised resident care with smaller buildings, whereas sustaining the logistical and monetary benefits of a so-called “big-box” group.

Making a group with the benefits of each a small and a big senior residing operator was the imaginative and prescient of Sage Oak Assisted Residing and Reminiscence Care CEO Loe Hornbuckle.

“The unique design was [to] create one thing that was the very best of each worlds for residents that gave all of them the benefits of small, all the benefits of massive,” Hornbuckle advised Senior Housing Information.

The most effective-of-both-worlds design, coupled with prioritized eating and social areas, earned it prime accolades from the judges of the 2021 Senior Housing Information Structure & Design Awards within the “Finest Standalone Reminiscence Care” class.

The Idea

The event of The Sage Oak of Lake Charles started in 2019 with a easy, however disruptive idea – combining the texture and luxury of a 16-bed group with the performance and logistics of an 80-bed group.

Hornbuckle recalled he drew the unique floorplan on a serviette and handed it to the mission’s architectural agency, Greenleaf Lawson.

From the get-go, “they wished this to be completely different,” stated Justin Greenleaf, principal architect of Greenleaf Lawson Architects.

Senior housing design corporations will usually should take a developer’s imaginative and prescient and suggest a compromise that gives the very best take care of the residents inside the constraints of the mission. However for this mission, the idea was at all times to marry an 80-bed operation with the care of an intimate 16-bed constructing.

“These house owners actually caught to what they wished,” Greenleaf stated.

, Bigger communities have particular benefits, in line with Hornbuckle..

“When you’ve got 80 beds, then you may have sufficient income for each place that you just want… an government director, an assistant ED, an assistant director of nursing,” stated Hornbuckle.

So, one main purpose of the mission was to redirect extra of the working price range to reaching a caregiver ratio of roughly 5 caregivers to each resident whereas eliminating the “institutional” really feel of an enormous field. The mission’s designers helped obtain that by creating extra touchpoints and extra alternatives for human interplay.

To maintain human interplay on the forefront of the Sage Oak of Lake Charles expertise, every of the 5 buildings has a big widespread space that features a house for video games, an open kitchen, and a eating space, all of which might be simply seen from a nurse’s station within the crossroads of the widespread space and the lobby. Among the many facilities within the widespread room are an workplace, hair salon, library and a pc middle.

Maybe probably the most notable characteristic of every constructing at The Sage Oak of Lake Charles is the open kitchen and eating space, which permits for residents to observe and take part in meal preparation, an exercise central to reminiscence care programming.

“It turns right into a hibachi-type expertise for the residents,” stated Hornbuckle. “So, once you come on our campus, there are 5 meal companies occurring, not one.”

An additional advantage to this model of kitchen is meals high quality and freshness, as residents are a lot nearer to the place their meals are made.

Usually, resident suites are designed with a standard room or sitting space that Hornbuckle discovered to be wasted house. So, he wished to maneuver to a extra novel idea with this design.

“The rooms are designed to be environment friendly and small on goal to funnel residents to the widespread space as a lot as attainable,” he stated.

He added that this technique creates operational benefits as a result of the truth that it’s simpler to make sure resident security if residents are socializing and congregating within the widespread areas the place help is shut by.

“We liken our scenario to a resort room in Vegas,” he stated. “You don’t spend lots of time within the room – you’re out and about.”

The bed room areas at The Sage Oak are divided into 4 quadrants, known as wings, to protect the intimate really feel, with hallways particularly designed to be as brief as attainable in order to light up the institutional really feel of the house.

Every residential suite differs barely in dimension permitting for product and worth differentiation and consists of its personal non-public rest room with a zero-entry bathe.

The buildings use fiber optic wi-fi know-how in order that residents can nearly go to with family and friends once they can’t go to in-person. The campus additionally has a standalone workplace and leasing house, permitting for secure separation from exterior site visitors – a security mechanism within the Covid-19 pandemic.

As is typical with most senior residing building tasks, the mission additionally needed to win approval from the local people. In the long run, it received unanimous help from the native planning fee and reward from Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter.

The Development

Work on the mission started in 2019. Constructing a reminiscence care group meant to seem like 4 massive homes was already not a simple endeavor, however the mission was additionally hit by some exterior challenges that have been unprecedented in scope.

Lake Charles, Louisiana made national news in 2020 as the primary American metropolis to have two named tropical storms or hurricanes –Laura and Delta — make landfall in the identical hurricane season. Months later in 2021, winter storm Uri wreaked havoc on the southern U.S., adopted by excessive flooding in Might.

In all, the Lake Charles group skilled 4 federally declared pure disasters inside a 12-month interval, all of which passed off in the course of the mission’s building timeline.

The Sage Oak’s distinctive design additionally offered challenges for subcontractors. In an effort to create a group with ample security and care whereas sustaining the intimate residence, the design required pairing business building with residential building, and that may be tough when in search of subcontractors, in line with Hornbuckle.

“This mission could be very distinctive as a result of it’s one of many few instances you’ll have subcontractors from completely different disciplines [of construction]coming collectively,” he stated.

All in all, the mission was greater than a yr and a half not on time, and got here out over price range, in line with Hornbuckle.

“Between Covid and the aforementioned climate occasions, we had loads of adversity,” he stated. “We have been greater than a yr and a half not on time and we definitely ended up over price range.”

The Completion

That very same group survived Laura, Delta, Uri, a large flood, and Covid-19 alongside the builders, designers, and contractors who constructed The Sage Oak of Lake Charles. That group continues to help it.

Now open, the group has 5 8,500 square-foot homes with 16 residential suites. To this point, the group has not reported a case of Covid-19 amongst residents or workers, and Hornbuckle credit design options just like the standalone gross sales workplace as serving to to forestall the unfold of the coronavirus.

The Sage Oak of Lake Charles is at present averaging about three deposits per week and Hornbuckle believes the group will hit its occupancy targets by 9 months post-opening.

Gracyn Robinson, former Sr. Designer with LWDA Design who’s a candidate at Brown College to acquire her Grasp of Science in Healthcare Management and one of many judges concerned within the SHN Structure and Design Awards, gave Sage Oak of Lake Charles prime accolades e.

Robinson famous that the group meets each the purpose of being a purpose-designed facility in addition to a patient-centered care mannequin.

“There isn’t any institutional really feel,” Robinson stated of the mission. “From participatory eating … to zero-entry transitions each on the entrance and thru the inside, this group is well-informed and expertly achieved.

Different design options, just like the open kitchen ideas, have additionally paid off. At this time, residents are conversing about recipes as they watch cooks put together their meals, discussing matters similar to how native fare like roux and gumbo are made, Hornbuckle stated.

One other testomony to the group’s success is the truth that the overwhelming majority of the present residents of The Sage Oak of Lake Charles – Hornbuckle estimates 75% – got here from different reminiscence care communities within the space.

In the long run, lowering the wasted in-room house and repurposing it to widespread areas has additionally paid off. Lowering wasted in-room house and repurposing it as widespread areas has additionally paid off in resident demand. As testomony to that, the corporate will quickly scale back its month-to-month advertising and marketing price range to simply $500, down from $2,000

However maybe the true measure of a profitable improvement is whether or not the businesses concerned will repeat the mission elsewhere. And on this case, the reply is a convincing sure.

“We’re actually ready the place I feel this new product goes to dominate {the marketplace},” Hornbuckle stated.

The Sage Oak will open an identical group in Denton, Texas this Might.


Ninjay H Briotyon

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