Residences at Deer Creek new model for senior living

2013-01-22T15:30:00Z 2013-01-23T08:21:03Z Residences at Deer Creek new model for senior livingLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
January 22, 2013 3:30 pm  • 

SCHERERVILLE | “A little assistance … A lot of independence!”

That motto of the Residences at Deer Creek illustrates the newest business model in senior living, according to executive director Karen Ayersman.

“You don’t have a large buy-in. It’s upsetting to people to have to do that. Here you pay rent at the first of every month. You don’t sign a lease,” she said. “It’s all about choices here. You choose to stay. You choose to go.”

The three-story facility offers a variety of independent living, assisted living and memory support apartments, and Monday was moving day for the first 20 residents.

Rather than scheduled meals, independent living and assisted living residents can choose to dine anytime from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the restaurant-style dining room and order from a menu prepared by an executive chef. The bistro/coffee shop offers small meals, snacks and coffee, and other beverages. And everything is included in the monthly fee.

“It’s your home with added amenities,” Ayersman said.

Those amenities include wireless Internet; beauty salon/barber with cosmetologists from Navii Salon Spa; residential laundry rooms on each floor; a wellness, fitness and therapy center; outdoor gardens and walking paths; gathering spaces and family room-style lounges; scheduled transportation and an array of events and lifestyle programming.

Owned by a group of local physicians, Residences at Deer Creek offers wellness programs that meet the needs of each resident, said Lori McLaughlin, principal/general counsel with WestShore Advisory Services.

WestShore was hired by the investor group to oversee construction and to manage the facilities.

Everything is designed around a family concept and socializing with neighbors, McLaughlin said.

“There’s no overhead paging. You wouldn’t have that in your home,” she said. “There is a mix of healthcare and non-healthcare staff.”

Yet, residents will be able to schedule appointments with medical specialists, podiatrists and chiropractors in the facility.

“There is a dentist right across the street who will provide dental services for our residents,” McLaughlin said.

There are safe and dedicated apartments for residents with memory challenges.

“All the apartments and community features are designed to create a home for residents with memory challenges focused on their comfort, dignity and well-being,” she said.

A private secured outdoor courtyard, memory supportive services, events and therapies are part of living in the secured memory support apartments at Residences at Deer Creek, Ayersman said.

An additional restaurant-style dining room also is part of the memory support apartment facilities.

“As we age, the amount of choices gets smaller,” McLaughlin said. “We see this as a way to advance senior living for everybody.”

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