New Housing Ideas for Senior Care in Orange County

August 18, 2016 | By Lorenzo Mejia

New housing choices are being offered in senior care that allow a small group of elderly to remain in a home in a neighborhood. These seniors share a home with several other seniors instead of a huge industrial facility. Caregivers come in daily to help with daily living, prepare meals and make sure everyone is doing well. Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician, created the small house idea and persuaded an organization to build the first in Mississippi. One of the largest providers, Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices, is affiliated with the Methodist Church and now serves over 4,100 people annually in its facilities.

Each neighborhood is made up of five small houses built in a residential setting so that it feels like any neighborhood. Unlike traditional nursing homes, the houses have no nurses’ stations, long hospital corridors, institutional kitchens or dining rooms. There are not lights beeping over the doors or medicine carts parked in the halls. Each house is home to 10 residents with each having a private bedroom and bathroom. Each home has a large hearth circled by sofas and recliners, a nook for cards or reading, a big kitchen with a breakfast bar, a family style dining table, a house laundry room and a spa with hairstylist chair and jetted tub. Residents are encouraged to help the staff plan and cook meals. Additionally, there is a screened in porch and a garden with fresh vegetables.

Each home is staffed with certified nursing assistants who also pitch in to help with laundry, cooking and cleaning. Many of the CNA’s are more knowledgeable about their residents in this small concept facility and report more job satisfaction and low job turnover. There is also a medical director and licensed nurse who visit the houses regularly as well as dietitians, social services, speech, physical and occupational therapists as well as other medical professionals.

Call Acorn for screened in home care givers to assist you loved lines in Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and nearby areas.

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