Monthly Archives: June 2017

St. Joseph Residence Senior Living Construction Project

Renovations now underway in New London

Community Living Solutions broke ground recently on facility updates to St. Joseph Residence, a senior living community that has served the New London area for 50 years. The senior living construction project involves renovating St. Joseph’s skilled nursing facility and adding a new short-term rehabilitation area.

Project details

The senior living design divides the current facility into smaller communities and provides residents with private rooms and bathrooms. It also features:

  • A 10-bed short-term rehabilitation addition with a new inpatient/outpatient therapy center.
  • A renovated building wing that houses the rehab area with 20 private rooms.
  • A 30-bed long-term care unit. This unit, with a new addition of six beds and a business strategy to downsize the number of licensed beds, will allow the majority of residents to have private rooms.
  • A 6-bed CBRF assisted living memory care addition. This addition, coupled with 18 beds in a renovated area of the existing building, will result in a 24-bed memory care assisted living facility. This allows St. Joseph to meet an unfilled need for dementia and Alzheimer’s care in the community.

In designing the facility, CLS’ goal was to provide residents with a home-like, family atmosphere that would enhance their quality of life.

“This senior living construction project was designed with the future in mind,” said Vice President of Design Duane Helwig. “As baby boomers choose a senior living community for their parents—and eventually for themselves—they will be looking for a facility that offers opportunities for engagement and socialization along with the privacy of their own personal space. We believe we have achieved that for St. Joseph residents and their families.”

Construction is expected to be completed in June 2018.

Are you planning a building renovation or addition?

If you are considering a senior living construction project, such as a building expansion, renovation or campus repositioning, we can help you with every step, include master planning and architectural design. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Senior Care Technology: The Future is Now


Technology for Senior Living Communities

From robots to wearables, senior care technology is evolving before our eyes. While senior living communities struggle with recruiting a quality workforce, these technologies have some promising applications. The use of this technology and the data it gathers could reduce stress on a workforce already spread thin while providing valuable health and wellness information to caregivers.

We wanted to share just a few of the technologies we’ve read about that are already changing the way seniors live.

Health monitoring devices for elderly residents

As technology keeps pace with aging baby boomers, innovators are discovering that developing products specifically for the burgeoning elderly population is lucrative business. In fact, the senior care technology market is now estimated at nearly $280 million. The health monitoring devices already worn by people of all ages are giving way to products that not only monitor an individual’s health but can also collect data on specific conditions to provide life-saving feedback.

Here are just a few of the latest tech trends in health monitoring:

  • Smart clothes that monitor health and prompt medication reminders now make up the largest share of the smart textile industry. It’s expected this industry, which is fast replacing smart watches and other devices, will grow to $843 million by 2021. Among the smart clothes on the market are socks that diabetic patients wear to warn them of a pending risk of foot ulcers.
  • Smart eating utensils and cups now collect data on hand tremors, specifically for those who live with Parkinson’s disease. They also are programmed to remind users to drink plenty of water, for instance.
  • Finally, while many may worry that robots will replace people in jobs (or, in some cases, are replacing), robots may be a welcoming reality in senior care. It’s expected that the 65+ population will increase 181 percent by 2050 while those ages 15 to 65 will increase just 33 percent. That leaves no doubt senior living communities will need to find staffing alternatives. The answer may be robots that measure vital signs, answer basic health questions, send alerts about people who have fallen and provide general assistance to care staff.

Assistive technology for the elderly

Health monitoring devices for elderly residents are also doubling as assistive technology for the elderly.

For example, some smart clothes are equipped with sensors that send a vibration to the blind or visually impaired to warn them of upcoming obstacles—the closer the obstacle, the stronger the vibration. Clothing also can detect imbalance, warning people of a potential fall risk. Some wearables are even equipped with airbags that deploy to cushion a fall, lessening the chance of broken bones.

As seniors move less and have poorer circulation, they often complain of cold hands and feet. Digitsole® is an interactive shoe insole that keeps a person’s feet warm. The temperature can be changed with use of a smartphone app.

Technology exists for ALS and MS patients, whether they are elderly or not, to control lights, TVs, window shades, heat and air conditioning, and more with the blink of their eyes. It’s expected this is the future for assisted living and skilled nursing facilities caring for residents with mobility issues.

And while robots are expected to work side-by-side with caregivers, they are already providing needed mental stimulation to those in long-term care. These social assistive robots interact and communicate with residents, providing therapy, entertainment and companionship.

  • A robotic dog used in a memory care facility in Durham, N.C., brought great relief to residents, increasing their engagement and reducing stress.
  • PARO® has garnered much press in the industry. The adorable baby seal responds to residents who speak and pet the robot.

How to benefit from senior care technology

As tech savvy baby boomers —in relation to their parents—enter senior living communities in coming years, they will expect facilities to be connected for easy access to laptops, mobile devices and cloud-based apps. But, the future of senior living communities also depends on how other technologies can be used to offset labor shortages and improve the bottom line. In fact, many of the technologies discussed may open the door to new opportunities to differentiate yourself and add a new revenue stream by offering services to the greater community outside your doors.

If you are looking to update your facility to accommodate new technologies or if you’d like to build a new technologically advanced community, contact us for a free consultation. Or, call Terry McLaughlin at 920-969-9344.

Establishing Remembrances of Deceased Loved Ones at Senior Living Communities

Helping families honor someone after death

By Troy Ann Kasuboski, Director of Business Development

My family and I recently said good-bye to my father, a proud family man and U.S. veteran who lived his final days in an assisted living community due to Alzheimer’s disease.

As we planned the funeral, we took great care in recognizing his legacy of military service with a 21-gun salute and flag folding ceremony. And, we asked friends and relatives to remember him by donating to Alzheimer’s research to help end the disease that took his life.

All of these plans were made prior to the funeral while my mother, siblings and I were in the throes of grief. It was at the funeral where I realized we missed an opportunity to establish another remembrance for our deceased loved one.

A way to thank my father’s final caregivers

I had written about my parent’s individual health issues in my blog on “Acceptance by choice or circumstance.” These health issues left them separated in different senior care communities. My mother healed and returned home; my father remained in assisted living, being treated by a wonderful team of caregivers.

When the family who owns the assisted living facility where my father was cared for came to the funeral to pay their respects, they were full of praise for my dad. I was so touched they took the time to express their condolences in person that they stayed in my mind long after the ceremony was done. That’s when I realized our family had recognized his military service and the disease that took him, yet we didn’t recognize those who cared for him in the end.

Given the chance to recast the family vote, I would have pitched establishing a memorial fund at Dad’s assisted living community. The facility is in dire need of improvements, and our contributions could have made a long-term impact.

Helping families pay tribute to a loved one who passed away

Many long-term care communities don’t have a memorial giving program, and I suspect many feel that asking for donations is an imposition during a time of grief. But, having just gone through the grieving process, I know I would have welcomed information on how to leave a lasting legacy to Dad’s caregiving team. Our funeral home provided resources on contributing to Alzheimer’s research. Why couldn’t a senior living community do the same?

Giving families a simple packet that includes ways to honor someone after death is an unobtrusive way to make an ask. Appeal to the family by talking about your facility’s needs that will boost the quality of life for residents who remain and those who are yet to arrive. The ask goes beyond the memorial bench or tree we see so often at our long-term care communities. It needs to educate the family on the most fiscally responsible, long-term way of leaving a legacy that benefits others on a local level.

Millions of people are in long-term care, and about one-quarter of them remain there for more than three years. During that time, you often bond not only with the resident but with his or her family. The work you do in providing care and safety to loved ones is a blessing to these families. If you don’t already have a giving program in place, I encourage you to start one. You may be surprised at how willing these family members may be to contribute to the place that brought their parents or loved ones comfort during their final days and years.

If you’ve established a memorial program at your long-term care facility, I’d love to hear from you. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

– Troy