During the COVID-19 pandemic infection control has been more important than ever and our assisted living residences have taken that need to heart. Our entire family of assisted living residences, including twelve across the state of Kansas, have received zero deficiencies as a result of infection control surveys. Surveying is a standard process that is intended to verify that licensed senior living homes are taking proper infection control measures, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A zero deficiency survey means that all plans, protocol and resident care were observed by surveyors to be at or above expectations as regulated by the State of Kansas.
Diane West, Co-Founder and CEO, said of the sweeping results, “Our teams have come together during the COVID-19 pandemic in exactly the way that I knew they would. They have risen to the challenge and done an excellent job during such an unprecedented time. I am proud of their dedication and hard work to keep our residents happy and healthy!” In addition to having deficiency free surveys, our residences have had zero cases of COVID-19 amongst staff and residents.
We listen to music regularly in our residences. Each building has either a baby grand piano, as is the case in our Senior Living residences, or an upright piano in our Memory Care residences. We encourage any and all to play and, when played, they fill our residences with beautiful music. When we don’t have someone to play a piano the stereo is on regularly. You will hear jazz, big band, gospel, country and festive music during the holidays. This, of course, isn’t music therapy, but it sets a wonderful atmosphere when music is in the air. To narrow in on that wonderful feeling that music brings we use music therapy. Of the many therapies and activities used in Country Place Memory Care residences, music therapy is one of our favorites. This music is more targeted for the individual resident. The memory of someone living with dementia can be thought of as a file cabinet. The newest memories are stored in the top drawer with the longest, most deeply rooted memories stored in the bottom drawer. Those deeply rooted memories are from childhood or early adulthood and music is, many times, linked to those memories. Just think about how you can be taken back to a moment in time when you hear a certain song. The power of music! When we find the music that each individual prefers, magic can happen. For residents that communicate very little we have found that once their music starts they light up, they change, their toes tap, shoulders sway side to side, they hum and even singing along. Sometimes we even see a “window of clarity” open after a music therapy session. It is fantastic! We will continue to use the therapies that we see benefiting our residents and will explore new ideas as they come!
When you walk through the front doors of any Country Place Senior Living or Country Place Memory Care residence for the first time, you will experience an assisted living concept that has been decades in the making. Our founder and CEO, Jack West began his career in the senior living development industry over 30 years ago. His first development was in Wichita, Kansas where he built a large-scale senior living building. It was over 177,000 sq ft with 200+ apartments, long hallways and multiple floors. On the day of the opening of that building Jack was prepared to speak about the beautiful features of the building, the furnishings and the amenities, but just before he spoke to the crowd he learned something very valuable from his colleague…anyone can building a building, it’s the people that make the difference. As his career progressed, Mr. West kept that thought in mind. He continued developing in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa all the while fostering his concept for a senior living residence that would be more. Not just a beautiful building, but it would be that. Primarily, though, it would be a residence that was centered around the people. The staff, the residents, the family members. His concept was to provide a superior quality of life to seniors, living in rural communities, in a specifically designed, home-like environment that would foster independence, security and, of course, provide exceptional care. That concept became a reality when the first Country Place Senior Living residence opened in 2003 in Hoisington, Kansas and again in 2006 in Clay Center, Kansas and over and over again. Today, fourteen years later, our thirteenth Assisted Living residence is under construction in Independence, KS. It is expected to open its doors in fall of this year. The Country Place story continues…