Vashon Community Care broke ground the new memory care “neighborhood.” About 40 people attended the event, including many passionate supporters. It was a happy day for all involved because it marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in VCC’s history.
Why is this an important milestone? Because–from assisted living and respite care to memory support–VCC can now provide a better continuum of care with a wide range of services to meet the diverse needs of the island’s fastest growing population: people over 65. It’s a new model, one that allows us to customize care for individual residents as they age. What’s different than before? When we closed our skilled nursing unit last summer, we simultaneously acquired a new license that allows us to provide many of the same services as skilled nursing, as well as some we were not providing before. This “heavier care” is available no matter where residents reside, either in assisted living or memory care. Working with families and outside support services, we can fill gaps, like physical therapy and hospice, so that residents can live out their lives here.
The memory care neighborhood–a renovation of VCC’s old skilled nursing wing–is scheduled to open early in 2020. We call it a neighborhood because it’s part of our community which includes both assisted living and memory care.
Funded in large part by generous donations from Vashon residents, the renovated wing will be bright and homey—with 16 comfortable studio apartments, cozy communal spaces (see images above), and a lovely garden space—for people who struggle with significant memory loss. VCC already has a five people on a waitlist.
Memory care is different than assisted living in that it focuses on each resident in the moment as their attentions demand. With a smaller ratio of residents to nursing assistants, residents will get individualized attention from caregivers.
Vashon Community Care has been on the island, in one form or another, for more than 90 years. While our model changes with the times, our commitment to provide a caring, and compassionate home for Vashon’s seniors, remains the same.
In December of 2017, Vashon Community Care affiliated with Puget Sound-based, Transforming Age. Transforming Age is a leading not-for-profit organization committed to improving the lives of older adults through community housing and services, technology development, research and advocacy. Founded in 1956, the organization operates communities in the Seattle area, Minnesota and Nebraska. Transforming Age is formerly known as Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest (PRCN.)
The affiliation is a partnership between two non-profit entities in which Transforming Age has taken on the leadership role, managing day-to-day operations and restructuring VCC’s business model to increase revenue while continuing to provide the highest level of care. Under the affiliation, VCC retains its separate 501 (c)(3) status while the Transforming Age board of directors maintains fiduciary, strategic and governance oversight.