Best Memory Care Design of 2021: ‘Best of Both Worlds’ in a Small-House Design

Sage Oak Memory Treatment residences 16 beds each individual in 5 buildings, with an administrative making entrance and centre. But this Lake Charles, Louisiana-based mostly local community appears far more like a cottage community than a standalone memory care community.

By splitting 80 beds into five separate properties, the community’s designers prioritized personalized resident treatment with smaller sized structures, while protecting the logistical and money rewards of a so-named “big-box” local community.

Making a community with the benefits of both a little and a large senior living operator was the vision of Sage Oak Assisted Living and Memory Care CEO Loe Hornbuckle.

“The authentic structure was [to] build anything that was the best of both equally worlds for residents that gave them all the pros of little, all the pros of big,” Hornbuckle explained to Senior Housing News.

The best-of-both of those-worlds layout, coupled with prioritized dining and social spaces, acquired it major accolades from the judges of the 2021 Senior Housing News Architecture & Structure Awards in the “Best Standalone Memory Care” classification.

The Strategy

The improvement of The Sage Oak of Lake Charles started in 2019 with a uncomplicated, but disruptive strategy – combining the truly feel and consolation of a 16-bed local community with the performance and logistics of an 80-mattress local community.

Hornbuckle recalled he drew the primary floorplan on a napkin and handed it to the project’s architectural firm, Greenleaf Lawson.

From the get-go, “they needed this to be various,” explained Justin Greenleaf, principal architect of Greenleaf Lawson Architects.

Senior housing structure firms will typically have to choose a developer’s eyesight and propose a compromise that delivers the most effective care for the citizens within the constraints of the challenge. But for this job, the idea was generally to marry an 80-bed operation with the treatment of an personal 16-bed constructing.

“These owners genuinely trapped to what they preferred,” Greenleaf explained.

, Much larger communities have specific positive aspects, according to Hornbuckle..

“If you have 80 beds, then you have ample earnings for each situation that you need… an executive director, an assistant ED, an assistant director of nursing,” reported Hornbuckle.

So, just one main target of the venture was to redirect more of the operating spending plan to reaching a caregiver ratio of roughly 5 caregivers to each and every resident while eliminating the “institutional” truly feel of a big box. The project’s designers helped realize that by developing more touchpoints and much more chances for human interaction.

To continue to keep human conversation at the forefront of the Sage Oak of Lake Charles knowledge, every single of the 5 structures has a significant widespread area that contains a room for games, an open kitchen, and a eating location, all of which can be quickly found from a nurse’s station in the crossroads of the common region and the foyer. Among the amenities in the prevalent area are an workplace, hair salon, library and a computer system center.

Maybe the most noteworthy characteristic of each and every setting up at The Sage Oak of Lake Charles is the open up kitchen area and dining location, which lets for citizens to look at and take part in meal preparing, an exercise central to memory care programming.

“It turns into a hibachi-sort expertise for the citizens,” mentioned Hornbuckle. “So, when you appear on our campus, there are 5 meal providers taking place, not a single.”

An additional profit to this design of kitchen area is foods excellent and freshness, as inhabitants are much closer to wherever their meals are made.

Ordinarily, resident suites are intended with a popular space or sitting down spot that Hornbuckle identified to be wasted space. So, he desired to go to a additional novel notion with this design.

“The rooms are developed to be economical and modest on intent to funnel people to the widespread place as considerably as probable,” he stated.

He additional that this strategy results in operational positive aspects thanks to the simple fact that it’s less complicated to ensure resident protection if citizens are socializing and congregating in the widespread places where assistance is near by.

“We liken our scenario to a resort home in Vegas,” he said. “You do not expend a lot of time in the space – you’re out and about.”

The bed room areas at The Sage Oak are divided into four quadrants, termed wings, to preserve the intimate experience, with hallways especially designed to be as shorter as doable so as to illuminate the institutional really feel of the house.

Every single household suite differs marginally in size enabling for products and price differentiation and includes its have non-public toilet with a zero-entry shower.

The buildings use fiber optic wi-fi technologies so that citizens can just about check out with close friends and family members when they just can’t pay a visit to in-human being. The campus also has a standalone business and leasing house, allowing for safe separation from exterior website traffic – a protection mechanism in the Covid-19 pandemic.

As is common with most senior residing construction tasks, the job also had to get approval from the neighborhood group. In the finish, it won unanimous assistance from the community planning fee and praise from Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter.

The Building

Operate on the task began in 2019. Making a memory treatment local community intended to look like four substantial houses was now not an simple endeavor, but the task was also hit by some external problems that had been unprecedented in scope.

Lake Charles, Louisiana designed countrywide news in 2020 as the 1st American town to have two named tropical storms or hurricanes –Laura and Delta — make landfall in the identical hurricane year. Months later on in 2021, wintertime storm Uri wreaked havoc on the southern U.S., adopted by serious flooding in May well.

In all, the Lake Charles neighborhood knowledgeable 4 federally declared pure disasters inside of a 12-thirty day period period of time, all of which took position all through the project’s development timeline.

The Sage Oak’s special layout also offered challenges for subcontractors. In get to generate a neighborhood with adequate protection and treatment while keeping the intimate house, the style necessary pairing industrial development with household building, and that can be tough when seeking subcontractors, according to Hornbuckle.

“This venture is incredibly special because it’s a single of the few situations you will have subcontractors from distinct disciplines [of construction]coming jointly,” he reported.

All in all, the task was additional than a yr and a fifty percent guiding program, and came out over funds, in accordance to Hornbuckle.

“Between Covid and the aforementioned weather conditions gatherings, we experienced loads of adversity,” he mentioned. “We were additional than a 12 months and a half guiding program and we certainly ended up above price range.”

The Completion

That exact community survived Laura, Delta, Uri, a enormous flood, and Covid-19 alongside the builders, designers, and contractors who developed The Sage Oak of Lake Charles. That neighborhood proceeds to guidance it.

Now open, the neighborhood has 5 8,500 square-foot residences with 16 residential suites. To day, the neighborhood has not reported a scenario of Covid-19 amongst citizens or employees, and Hornbuckle credits style and design characteristics like the standalone income workplace as serving to to avert the distribute of the coronavirus.

The Sage Oak of Lake Charles is now averaging about 3 deposits for every 7 days and Hornbuckle believes the group will hit its occupancy ambitions by nine months article-opening.

Gracyn Robinson, former Sr. Designer with LWDA Design and style who is a candidate at Brown College to receive her Grasp of Science in Health care Leadership and a person of the judges involved in the SHN Architecture and Style and design Awards, gave Sage Oak of Lake Charles top accolades e.

Robinson mentioned that the group fulfills both the aim of getting a intent-made facility as very well as a affected individual-centered care model.

“There is no institutional really feel,” Robinson reported of the task. “From participatory dining … to zero-entry transitions each at the entrance and as a result of the inside, this group is very well-informed and expertly obtained.

Other design and style options, like the open up kitchen area ideas, have also compensated off. Right now, people are conversing about recipes as they check out cooks prepare their meals, discussing matters such as how community fare like roux and gumbo are designed, Hornbuckle said.

Yet another testomony to the community’s achievement is the simple fact that the huge the greater part of the latest residents of The Sage Oak of Lake Charles – Hornbuckle estimates 75% – arrived from other memory care communities in the place.

In the end, reducing the squandered in-area house and repurposing it to popular spots has also paid out off. Decreasing wasted in-space room and repurposing it as popular places has also paid out off in resident demand from customers. As testomony to that, the enterprise will before long minimize its regular monthly marketing and advertising spending budget to just $500, down from $2,000

But possibly the accurate measure of a prosperous enhancement is whether or not the firms involved will repeat the undertaking somewhere else. And in this scenario, the answer is a resounding certainly.

“We’re truly in a place wherever I consider this new products is heading to dominate the marketplace,” Hornbuckle stated.

The Sage Oak will open a identical local community in Denton, Texas this May.

You may also like