At Ashton Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care, the aim is far higher than the status quo.
The goal, says Ashton Manor Executive Director Jay Tipton, is to provide residents of the assisted living community with an environment where they’re not only able to maintain their independence, but are encouraged to do so, while receiving all the support needed to accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
That environment continually evolves to anticipate and meet the unique needs of the residents Ashton Manor serves. Residents have a Town Hall Meeting each month where they make important decisions regarding day-to-day life at the community, including their menu, monthly activities, and outings to restaurants and regional attractions. Each month, a Resident and Employee of the Month is nominated and voted upon by the residents themselves.
“We truly listen to our residents,” Tipton said. “This is their home, and we want this to feel like home. We really do our best to listen to their feedback, whether it’s about the different restaurants they enjoy visiting or the activities we have here on site. They’ll tell us what they like, what they don’t like, and we adjust everything accordingly.”
He also said the listening process isn’t a “sometimes” thing.
“It’s 24-7,” he said. “We work diligently to identify personal preferences about our residents like when they like to wake up, what they like to eat, and when they like to eat… we develop a customized plan based on those preferences. Many residents acclimate to our routine, but some just aren’t morning people, and we understand that.“Aspects of our community like the Town Hall Meetings give them the ownership they deserve. This is their home, and we want them to have that ownership in their investment.”
The Luling community consists of 60 apartments and, since opening in January of 2013, has been accredited through the Dementia Care Specialists, which is the basis of Ashton Manor’s exclusive Warchol Best Abilities Approach to care.
The community was the first in the state of Louisiana to be honored with the Distinguished Provider Award, a national award that acknowledges superior resident care. The building is divided into three wings, called neighborhoods. Two of the neighborhoods are primarily for residents who are more independent in terms of assisted living, while another is for residents in need of specialized memory care.
“By offering different levels of specialized care, Ashton Manor ensures that our assisted living residents are able to make a smooth and easy transition if they find themselves in need of additional support over time,” states Tipton. “Our residents become ingrained in their routine and way of life here, and we ensure that they remain able to carry on living the life they’re accustomed to at every age and stage.”
Ashton Manor residents stay busy taking part in a robust, enriching activities program planned by the community’s full-time Activities Director, with offerings that include volleyball, card games, arts and crafts, and bingo. For holidays, the building is always cheerfully and elaborately decked out with decorations hand made by the residents. In the memory care neighborhood, Tipton noted that there are always a number of sensory activities taking place to keep residents engaged through an abilities-based approach.
“We want to focus on what they can do, and not what they can’t,” Tipton said.
Sometimes it can be difficult for seniors to accept that they may be in need of the support that assisted living provides, because it can make them feel like they are giving up a level of self-sufficiency and independence. However, Tipton said that once they arrive and experience Ashton Manor’s plush grounds and attractive, welcoming environment that includes rose and vegetable gardens, their initial wariness is replaced with excitement.
“Sometimes people come in with the mindset that ‘assisted living’ means the same thing as ‘nursing home,’ says Tipton. “That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and they truly understand the difference upon experiencing our active, bustling community.”
Assisted living means different things to the residents it serves; some simply seek convenience and security, while others need additional help with daily activities like dressing and medication administration. Ashton Manor strives to provide the customized level of support and care needed to meet each resident’s unique needs and ensure an exceptional way of life for every resident the community serves.