St. Charles Herald-Guide

All staff members at Luling assisted living center trained to care for Alzheimer's, dementia

By Jonathan Menard - January 25, 2013

More than 100 dignitaries, executives and guests showed up for the official grand opening of Ashton Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care, a brand new assisted living community in Ashton Plantation.

Built from the ground up by Schonberg & Associates in partnership with St. Charles Parish Hospital, the new community is the first-of-its-kind residential Alzheimerís and dementia care facility in the Luling area.

Ashton Manorís entire staff is specially trained in the care of those with Alzheimerís and dementia, and memory care programs designed to enrich each residentís life and enable them to function at the highest possible level are also offered.

"Our community offers an unparalleled level of support for people with memory loss, and their families," said David Schonberg, owner and managing partner of Schonberg & Associates. "Every inch is designed around our residentsí physical and emotional security, and our programs incorporate the latest research and memory care methods."

Schonberg, a Luling native, said that approximately 100 activities will be offered each month. Some will be in-house activities, such as exercise, mental awareness games and book clubs, while others will involve off-site excursions, such as shopping trips and visits to the senior Olympics.

Schonberg said that all activities will be tailored around the seniorsí interests.

"We are going to take an individualized approach to the activities and find out what our residents like to do," he said. "If they enjoy gardening, we will try to have a garden club. If they like to cook, they will be able to participate in cooking."

Assisted living communities differ from nursing homes in that they are based on a social model versus a clinical model. This social model facilitates the continued development and overall well-being of each resident, Schonberg said. Assisted living residents typically have had a slight decline in health in some way and need assistance performing one or more activities of daily living.

"A lot of people as they age and are by themselves get lonely, and a social atmosphere is where they thrive," Schonberg said. "Instead of sitting at home by themselves waiting for visitors, they get to enjoy fun activities with others in a safe environment."

Apartments at Ashton Manor are available in a variety of floor plans, including studios and one-bedrooms. All of the units include a kitchen area, bedroom and large bathroom. The one-bedroom apartments, which also have a living room and a kitchenette, average around 600 square feet, while the studio apartments are around 400 square feet.

A glass memory case in front of each room will allow residents to display memorabilia from throughout their lives, including photos of family and friends. Schonberg said that the memory cases will allow caregivers to get to know the residents on a deeper level.

Ashton Manor is divided into three neighborhoods based on the level of care each resident needs. Each neighborhood has a kitchen area where food will be served family style near a fireplace. Two of the neighborhoods are separated by an outdoor courtyard that will have a large rose garden. All of the neighborhoods have a porch area where residents can gaze at sights nearby, such as the Hale Boggs Bridge.

The main building will have a home theater room that will double as an area for religious services, a beauty shop and a large activities room. All apartments receive weekly housekeeping and residents are provided three meals a day. Ashton Manorís cuisine will be one of its most welcoming attributes, with a focus on the regional, Louisiana food the residents know and love, according to Schonberg.

Schonberg was joined by Jay Tipton, executive director of Ashton Manor, Fred Martinez, CEO of St. Charles Parish Hospital, and hospital staff at the grand opening.

St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre, members of the Parish Council, Economic Development Director Corey Faucheaux and others also attended the grand opening event on Jan. 9.

Schonberg & Associates first property is the Suites at Sugar Mill Point in Houma, which was developed in 2001. In the years since the Suites were built, Schonberg & Associates has developed the 44-resident Alden Pointe Assisted Living in Hattiesburg, Miss., and acquired three Assisted Living and Memory Care communities in South Carolina. Vista Shores, a private luxury assisted living community on Bayou St. John in New Orleans opened in March of 2012.

Schonberg & Associates newest project is Mandeville Memory Care set to open in 2014.