Design Center October-2000

Brookstone Caring Households
for Seniors«
Type of Facility/Setting:
Executive Director:
Architecture Firm:

Resident Capacity:
Total Area:
Construction Cost:
Cost/Square Foot:

Assisted Living through Skilled Nursing
Cheri Mundt
Architecture Firm: Vetter Health Services, Inc.
(402) 895-3932 Mitchell Elliott, Designer
72,000 sq. ft.
$8.5 million
Cheri Mundt, Executive Director, Brookstone Caring Households for Seniors«:
“Brookstone is situated beside a lake on a beautifully landscaped site, with a brook, creek and fountain. It has six households: The three Memory Support households are for residents with Alzheimer’s or other related dementias, and the three remaining households are for residents whose care needs range from minimal to skilled nursing care. Most (76) of the facility’s rooms are private.
“Each household accommodates only 18 to 22 residents, providing an intimate, homelike living environment. The facility was designed with the ‘universal worker’ concept in mind, so that each resident assistant-who is permanently assigned to care for a small group of residents-not only provides their nursing needs, but also does their personal laundry, provides assistance in dining, does routine housekeeping chores and conducts small group activities. This concept allows the facility to provide care with a ‘family taking care of family’ approach.
“Individual curio cabinets are located beside every room to individualize each resident’s living space and also to help identify his or her room. Both the rooms and Brookstone’s four suites have individualized temperature controls. The suites are enhanced with a sitting room, a microwave and a small refrigerator. Resident bathrooms have plenty of cupboard and counter space to store toiletries and other personal items, just like at home.
“Each household has a cozy parlor where residents can gather with family or each other for socialization or other activities. One of the parlors overlooks the lake, which provides a lovely view. There are numerous patios with patio furniture, giving residents the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
“The households have their own country kitchens, where meals are served family style, allowing residents to choose not only what they want to eat, but how much. The country kitchens are also used for activities and congregating.
Each household is designed so that no resident has to walk more than 55 feet to the country kitchen, encouraging residents to walk rather than using a walker or wheelchair.
“In the secure Memory Support households, the hallways are 12 feet wide, allowing space for small sitting areas where residents can rest. Each household also has a homelike sitting area at the end of each hallway. A large picture window overlooks the walking paths and patio area, which is fenced to allow residents the opportunity to go outdoors unassisted if they are able to do so. The patio area is monitored by a TV camera, allowing staff to ensure residents’ safety.
“All three Memory Support households are designed to be aesthetically the same, so that as residents are moved from one household to another because their condition has deteriorated, they do not detect a major change in their environment and are better able to adapt.
“Visual amenities abound in this facility: The oak accents throughout, soft lighting, window treatments, beautiful wallpapers and borders, many decorative touches, framed pictures, plants, plush carpeting and numerous intimate gathering areas all add up to ‘home.’
“Brookstone also features a ‘Village Commons’ area, which houses the styling salon; a cafT where residents and guests can help themselves to coffee, freshly baked cookies and ice cream; a wellness center; and our Living Waters Chapel, which has 14 stained glass windows depicting biblical events. The Chapel comfortably seats approximately 60 people.
“Time and again we hear our guests say they cannot believe this is a nursing home. We receive frequent compliments regarding the warm, comfortable atmosphere that has been created, ending with the comment, ‘I could come here!’ This is a reflection of our mission of ‘Dignity in Life.’ After more than 25 years in long-term care, I can honestly say that if I have ever seen a building designed around a mission, Brookstone is it.”

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