A walk through the Splendido resort-style continuing-care facility

About 40 EFA attendees and I went on the afternoon tour of Splendido at Rancho Vistoso, a resort-styled retirement community with 246 independent apartments/villas, 36 SNFs, 12 assisted living apartments, and 12 dementia care units.

The presenters at the facility focused on owner Mather LifeWays’ philosophy of wellness. Wellness at Splendido requires a paradigm shift from paternalistic care to self-directed care, from medical to holistic, from labels like disabled to referring to people as people, and so on. The presenters stressed the importance of designing facilities with this new positive paradigm in mind.

The six dimensions of Mather LifeWays’ whole-person wellness include:

  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Vocational
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional

I like the fact that they include the vocational dimension. Splendido considers resident activities such as volunteering, counseling, helping new residents adjust, and improving and expanding on skills healthy parts of the vocational dimension. I personally feel that these types of activities will always be important at any age; they may just take different shapes as we age and mature.

The facility has outdoor and indoor pools, a spa, gym, billiards room, a 12-seat theatre (Raiders of the Lost Ark was playing), an intimate wine tasting room, among the other conveniences and entertainment.

We couldn’t take too many photos out of respect for the residents, but here’s a couple I snapped.

A Splendido view looking east to the Santa Catalina Mountains from the main living room.

The facility is spread out in “arms” to maximize the views for all bedrooms. From what I saw, in the cases that an activity room or a bedroom didn’t have a view to the mountains, beautiful desert landscaping could be seen directly outside the window. You can also see the 18-hole putting course here. (Up is east.)

The facility’s roof harvests water, which is stored in a cistern for use mostly on the greens. Also, a drip network distributes water to the desert landscaping. According to one of the tour guides, although last year the harvested rain fell shy of their landscape watering needs, they predict this year’s precipitation will cover them.

Cork wallpaper in a private dining room at Spledido. Cork, which can also be used for flooring and ceiling tiles, is considered a sustainable building product because it is harvested from a layer of bark without destroying the tree.

These built-in memory cases can display personal items that serve as reminders for residents living in the dementia care wing. I think that designing the layout with these cases in mind looks much smoother than installing them as an afterthought.

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