Penick Takes New Approach on Elder Care
Penick Village has taken a progressive approach to meeting the needs of elders by implementing a new small-home model of care it is calling the Garden Cottage Project.
Inspired by the Green House model developed by Dr. William Thomas, the Garden Cottage Project is intended to de-institutionalize the aging experience by eliminating the large hospital-like nursing care facility and creating a person-centered social setting that more closely mirrors an at-home living experience, a news release said.
Penick Village's first Garden Cottage is currently under construction.
When completed it will be a free-standing home to 10 assisted-living residents and one of the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina.
Future plans include several more cottages to completely replace its current skilled-nursing care facility.
This first cottage is named the Blanche Robertson Garden Cottage in memory of the mother of Mr. Julian Robertson Jr., who gave a $1 million gift to get this first cottage built.
The Garden Cottage caters toward improving the quality of life for elders based upon their living arrangements, a news release said.
The floor plan of the Garden Cottage was designed with consideration of mobility, functionality, comfort and quality of life.
Each resident will have their own spacious private room that is large enough to fit a queen-sized bed, furniture and a bathroom with a shower. The cottage features easy access and short distances to all areas of the house, including the living room, kitchen, dining room, and outdoor patio. Even the materials to build the cottage were considered.
The design of the Garden Cottage also includes construction initiatives that provide not only a healthier environment for the elders, but are also aimed at achieving a LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency Design) Silver Certification award level, the news release said. Upon completion, it will be one of the first of assisted-living small homes in the United States to have taken this progressive going "green" step.
The design for the Garden Cottage was selected for Design for Aging Review 10th edition (DFAR10). This is a national competition put on by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). This publication is considered the most sought-after award in Retirement Community Design, a great achievement from the aspect of architectural design.
With the ultimate goal of improving the overall quality of life and well-being for its elders, Penick Village's Garden Cottage will be staffed with caregiver work teams that are trained to use efficient and collaborative teamwork to provide excellent care in a holistic approach encompassing the entire needs of the elder, according to the news release.
The emphasis of the staff is to provide an environment that is more focused on emotional well-being, social interactions, and quality of life along with their medical needs, the news release said.
The staff is guided in how to create opportunities for the elders to have the freedom to make personal choices and less bureaucracy in allowing these choices to take place.
This concept of care is a radical change in the way staff is organized as well as the physical and cultural environment.
"We vision that the residents and staff of the Garden Cottage will be a tight-knit family and it is a family that makes a house a true home," stated Jeff Hutchins, Penick Village's CEO.
The Blanche Robertson Garden Cottage is anticipated to be open and residents moving in by next spring.
Funding is in its final stages with "the goal to open this first Garden Cottage completely debt free," said Mary Petersen, community relations and development director for Penick Village.
"Through the generosity of people who believe in the vision of providing the best care and environment for our frailest elders in society, we are closer now to doing so," Petersen said.
Anyone needing further information about the Penick Village Garden Cottage Project or to contribute toward this cottage can contact the Development Office at (910) 692-0428.
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