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Giant step forward, just steps from their door

Continuing care neighborhood to begin construction this spring

Created date

January 22nd, 2013
Tallgrass Creekis growing in more ways than one. Not only did the Erickson Living Overland Park, Kans., community welcome 51 new community members in 2012, bringing the occupancy rate close to 100%, but late last year, city officials gave Tallgrass Creek the green light to begin construction on a new continuing care neighborhood. Tallgrass Creek has seen considerable growth in the past year. With over 300 residents calling Tallgrass Creek home, the demand for a full continuum of care has increased, Executive Director Peter Crane says. Adding a continuing care neighborhood will complete the full continuum of care on the campus and will better meet the needs of many of our current residents and certainly the needs of our future residents too.

Peace of mind

Tallgrass Creek s continuing care neighborhood will include 28 assisted living apartments, 28 memory care apartments, and 44 skilled nursing rooms. The new neighborhood will connect to Tallgrass Creek via a covered walkway, making it easy for residents to visit friends and loved ones. The announcement of plans to move forward on building a continuing care neighborhood marks a big step for Tallgrass Creek. Now, residents can rest easy knowing that if they ever need additional care or skilled assistance, they can access it just steps from their current homes, making Tallgrass Creek a true home for life. Current residents have responded very positively to the news and are supportive of the growth that Tallgrass Creek is experiencing, Crane says. Many residents have commented that their decision to move to Tallgrass Creek was the peace of mind that it provides to have all levels of care on one campus. Their needs will be met no matter what assistance or additional health care services they may need in the future. Resident Bill Klasinski and his wife Virginia moved from Fairway, Kans., to Tallgrass Creek about a month after the community opened in 2007. Bill leads the resident advisory council, which serves as a liaison between residents and management. Bill commends Erickson Living for the diligence they put into planning the new continuing care neighborhood. He says they solicited opinions from residents and people in Overland Park and nearby towns, and also studied other continuing care neighborhoods before drafting plans. [They] don t allow a step to be taken until it s had sufficient study and until they know that what they re going to do is right and is exactly what is needed, Bill says of Tallgrass Creek and Erickson Living executives.

Positive buzz

Bill says his fellow residents were pleased to hear the news of plans to build a continuing care neighborhood. He says there has been a positive buzz around campus since the announcement. In fact, Bill says the results of Tallgrass Creek s annual resident satisfaction survey were even higher in 2012 than they were in 2011, which he suspects is due in part to the peace of mind people feel knowing that they will have access to continuing care. People are happy, Bill says. Now we are just waiting for that first spadeful of dirt to fall.

Lantz-Boggio, the architect

Residents won t be waiting long for that dirt to fall. Crane says they expect to break ground in early spring 2013. Tallgrass Creek has selected Colorado-based architecture firm Lantz-Boggio to head up the project. Crane says they chose the firm due to its familiarity with Overland Park and current construction projects at other Erickson Living communities. The first phase of construction will include offices, reception, a commercial kitchen, and a common-area building similar to Tallgrass Creek s Audubon Clubhouse. The first phase will also include the assisted living apartments and is expected to be completed and ready for operation by December 2013. The second phase of construction, Crane says, will include the addition of long-term care, skilled nursing, and memory care. That phase is expected to be completed a few months after assisted living opens. Crane says management will be keeping residents in the loop throughout the construction of the continuing care neighborhood. He says he will share artist renderings, floor plans, and general design with residents in a very visible way by displaying them in common areas. What is really going to be nice is that once they have the [architectural] plans, they are going to put them out where people can see them, Bill says.