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Setting a new standard

Ashby Ponds’ new continuing care neighborhood to exceed expectations

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November 26th, 2013

Aging is a series of unexpected surprises and it is comforting to know that our home will soon provide a level of care commensurate to whatever our needs may be, says Ashby Ponds community member Nancy Eisenbise. And the best part is that we will receive that care while remaining in our community amongst friends. The highly anticipated early 2014 opening of Ashby Ponds new continuing care neighborhood will not only offer the most comprehensive medical care available but also a new approach to health and wellness.

Treating the whole person

Other communities typically focus on a resident s health issues, says Janet Smith, vice president of health care sales for Erickson Living, which manages the Ashburn, Va., community. We re taking a more holistic approach. We want to get to know our residents first find out their likes and dislikes then use that information to determine the best approach for providing care. Currently, 14 Erickson Living communities across the U.S. have continuing care neighborhoods. With a proven track record, including a hospital readmission rate that s half the national average, these communities already set Erickson Living apart as an industry leader. The new continuing care neighborhood at Ashby Ponds will continue to build on this tradition of excellence. The continuing care neighborhood at Ashby Ponds will be a game changer, says Vice President of Health and Operations Gregg Colon. It promotes the idea of residents at the center of all we do. It s part of the continuum another neighborhood within the community. To that end, the new neighborhood will bring together a number of key components to provide exceptional care, including an individualized plan for each person. Services will include assisted living, memory care, and post-acute rehabilitation and nursing care. What differentiates us from any other competitor in our market is knowing how to honor our residents throughout all life phases, says Amy Grossman, director of continuing care at Ashby Ponds. It s our person-centered care that sets us apart. When a new resident moves into the continuing care neighborhood, the first order of business will be to establish a service plan. We want to find out what gives that individual joy, says Grossman. Is it art, music, playing bridge with friends? Whatever it may be, we want to incorporate those things into the resident s daily life. Whereas other communities develop a service plan based on clinical needs, the continuing care neighborhood at Ashby Ponds will offer a more personal assessment of a patient s wellness needs. The goals established in the service plan will reflect the resident s own goals for living. As doctors, it s easy to get caught up in the numbers, says Thomas Morris, M.D., regional medical director at Ashby Ponds. Yes, the blood pressure needs to be okay, and yes, residents need to be well hydrated. But it s all in the context of what they want to accomplish in their own lives, whether that s watching a grandchild s soccer game or going outside for a walk.

Consistency is key

Another powerful tool for helping residents achieve maximum independence is access to consistent care providers. For memory care and assisted living, the same nursing staff will be assigned to each shift, ensuring that residents are cared for by people who know them. I can t say enough for consistency in care providers, says Morris. When residents have the same nurses caring for them, it makes it easier for those nurses to recognize changes. They might notice that a resident is not moving his or her right side as well as the day before, or they may notice a grimace and see that a resident is in discomfort. A prompt response to these changes can help prevent a resident from going to the hospital. Ashby Ponds has physicians specializing in senior care on staff and available to community members five days a week and by phone on weekends. If a problem arises, our doctors can pull up the resident s electronic medical record and have all the information they need to make an informed decision, says Morris.

Partnering for success

Other state-of-the-art features include secure, in-room medicine cabinets; easy access to outdoor spaces; and consistent dialogue between care providers and family members. We re not just caring for the resident; we re also caring for the family, says Morris. Part of our job is to act as a medical translator, to let family members know what s going on and what they can expect. When everyone partners together, we maximize a resident s chance for success.

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