An innovative new memory care service specializing in optimizing quality of life for residents dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other forms of memory loss has been launched as part of a 38,000 square foot expansion of the acclaimed Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village facility on Bend’s westside.
The ground floor of the two-story addition to the site off Reed Market Road, with Portland-based Andersen Construction as general contractor, incorporates 32 residences in memory care “neighborhoods” with a familiar home-like feel and offering comprehensive caring through a supportive community serving the special needs of occupants in an inviting and comforting environment – deftly incorporating safety and supportive cues throughout, extending to an exterior secured courtyard and inside walking routes.
The neighborhoods feature two wings circulating around spacious, easily navigable amenities including family areas, community gathering spots and dining areas supported by a full commercial kitchen. Convivial and mindful artwork is also prominent.
Eye-catching landscapes and statuettes grace the walls and gathering areas. Tactile, “fun stuff” is placed here and there to give residents items to manipulate – not only exercising their bodies but their minds too, says Joseph Billig, AIA, vice-president of Architecture for Touchmark.
“For residents, this is their home, and because of the nature of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementia, a secured environment is necessary,” said Billig, who designed the building along with Portland’s LRS Architects.
“Thus, most of the residents’ days will be spent in their neighborhood. For that reason, it is even more important the spaces are warm and inviting and feel like home. “Home might mean prints and statuettes of cats and dogs or even hens. Birds, landscapes and trees all add a comfortable feel to the building. Specific pieces are strategically placed to guide residents to or away from spaces or exits.
“Accessories and knickknacks are chosen to be tactile and fun for residents to pick up, explore and perhaps evoke a memory or a story.”All are made of non-breakable materials.
Each neighborhood supports personal interaction and helps create a family atmosphere with its own kitchen and dining area, space for activities, living room and laundry. They also share a beauty salon/barber shop, spa baths, family meeting room and a courtyard with covered patio, walking paths and raised garden beds.
Warm colors have also been carefully selected, and colorful fabrics with advanced textiles cover chairs, sofas, recliners and gliders.
Staff training is based on Touchmark’s best practices person-centered care model, and the facility is certified as a “Best Friends” environment – an industry-leading approach representing a comprehensive philosophy geared towards caregivers suggesting that what a person with dementia needs most of all is a special friend who empathizes with their situation, remains loving and positive, and is dedicated to helping the person feel safe, secure and valued.
Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village Life Enrichment/Wellness Director Angela Stewart said: “Caregivers learn each person’s story, history, and unique needs, building trusting relationships to create physical and emotional comfort and encouraging everyone to use his or her talents and abilities, as our staff guide them through each day’s choices of enriching activities.
“The approach also teaches caregivers how to have ‘knack,’ defined as the art of doing difficult things with ease, and we strive to provide a support system that enriches quality of life and holds individuals to their highest levels of success and maintenance of independence as long as possible.”
Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village’s broader wellness and life-enrichment programs for residents also include:
- Daily exercise and physical activities, based on individual abilities and needs;
- Mindy, body and spirit classes;
- Lifelong learning experiences that expand and enrich each resident;
- Community partners meaningful connections with the larger community;
- Friendship ambassadors comprising a resident team that welcomes guests and new residents;
- Intergenerational opportunities for young people to meet with residents;
- Celebrations featuring scheduled special events;
- Growing Together programs involving nurturing plants and pets.
The upper level of the new addition features a more “attended living” atmosphere with a number of units clustered in the “Pembrook” neighborhood designed to provide a supportive and stimulating home environment for loved ones who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia illnesses but who are not yet in need of transitioning to a secured living space.
Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village Residential Care Administrator Scott Neil said: “We appreciate that this is our residents’ home and want to create protective and enriching environment, where I personally believe the bigger the challenge the bigger the reward, and we focus on supporting reaching their highest level of success and independence.
“By adding memory care and enhanced attended living services, we are providing a continuum of care and a valuable opportunity to address a growing need and introduce resources for families facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in a loved one.”
Neil added the facility anticipated adding around 30 employees to staff the expanded services.
The original Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village lodges were designed using rough hewn wooden columns, arched beams and a combination of shake and stone siding to reflect the upscale, rustic elegance of the unique location’s resort style senior housing.
An underground basement passageway connects the new building to the existing facility. The exterior includes fiber cement siding and simulated stone veneer.
Andersen Construction Senior Project Manager Brad Niles said: “It was key to continue the style and character that is very important to Touchmark.
“Over the years we have worked with them on a number of projects and had a feel for the embodiment of quality and high standards that they require for this kind of facility.”
Al Levage of Bend’s BBT Architects, who previously enjoyed a stint as project manager for Touchmark projects throughout the U.S. and Canada, also oversaw the expansion at the Mt. Bachelor Village facility.
Touchmark has over 30 years of experience and success with retirement communities and is recognized as a leader in the senior living industry. Located along the Deschutes River, Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village is an upscale senior living community providing a range of homes and lifestyles. www.TouchmarkBend.com.
Touchmark Terrace Lodge Addition
Contractor: Andersen Construction Co, Inc.
Owners Representative – BBT Architects
Architect - LRS Architects Inc.
Sr. Project Manager: Brad Nile, Andersen Construction
Project Manager: Kris Andersen – Andersen Construction
Superintendent: Bob Haynes – Andersen Construction
Civil - HWA, Inc.
Structural - Froelich Consulting Engineers
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing – DC Engineering
Kitchen Design – Curtis Restaurant Equipment
Subcontractors and Suppliers: NW Quality Construction, JKD Construction, Ultra Quiet Floors, Foxhoven Masonry, Baldwin, Baxter Builders, Dimar Siding, Cascade Interior Trim, Suburban Door, Lanz Cabinets, MVBSS, Topline Counters, McMurry & Sons, Bell Hardware, Alpine Glass, CCI Bend LLC, Schonert, Stonehard, Rubinsteins, Judsons, Aloha, Jim Zalenka – North Country Specialties, Clubline Resource, US Mailboxes, Life Rax, Fireside Distributors, Washington Automated, General Electric, Curtis, Lanz, ThyssenKrupp, Intuitive Fire, Oregon Cascade – Firkus, Bend Heating and Air Conditioning, Tomco, Taylor NW, Botanical Developments, Mike’s Fencing