By Deb Silverthorn
The Legacy Midtown Park’s Helen S. Shalom Assisted Living, William & Sylvia Zale Foundation Memory Support and its Andrea & Richard Skibell and Leslie Rudd Healthcare Center are celebrating more than a year of serving the community.
“We are honored to provide a continuum of care for our residents so they can feel secure about their future,” said Chip Brownlee, LMP’s executive director. “In the last year we have filled many of our residences and every day we are made aware of how much people appreciate the care, the staff and the atmosphere. We couldn’t be prouder of the culture we have developed and all that we have accomplished to meet the needs of the community.”
Those in assisted living, memory support and healthcare have dedicated calendars of activities that include nightly movies, Judaic studies, gardening, movies, music, games, art, fitness and other programs as well as trips off-campus. Recent sailing trips, a day at the State Fair of Texas and a trip to the Dallas Arboretum all made the recent schedule.
“We make sure to have a variety of events in order to accommodate all residents regardless of how active they may be. It is our goal that everyone has the opportunity to be engaged and to create a fulfilling lifestyle through the many activities we offer,” said Kathryn Harp, LMP’s lifestyles director who oversees programming with Andrea Dupuis in assisted living, Mimi Le in memory support and Alexandreia Henderson in the healthcare center.
“Our programs all include something that will help our residents keep their minds active, their bodies moving and to help them be excited about something or many things, going on each day,” said Harp. “I came to senior care by accident, but I have fallen in love with this industry – something I can say about everyone who works here, and I know our residents feel that.”
The 51 units of the Helen S. Shalom Assisted Living Building are currently occupied with studio, one- and two-bedroom units with pricing starting at $7627 and companion rates are available for residents living with a spouse. When space allows, there are also opportunities for respite support in a furnished room from two weeks to two months.
Cheryl Weitz first worked as a part time volunteer coordinator at The Legacy at Preston Hollow, following her mother Florence Kramer’s lead in that role at The Legacy Willow Bend.
“The most important thing we offer is togetherness and a sense of belonging,” said Weitz, now LMP’s assisted living and memory support director, who is honored to serve so many people she’s known for much of her life. “The resident lifestyle is well-rounded and offers holistic wellness including balanced nutrition, access to on-site therapy, socialization, spiritual support and a helping hand when needed.”
Sarah Yarrin, who moved to The Legacy Midtown Park last year, says “it is fabulous, I can’t shout it loud enough. The Legacy has exceeded my every idea of what it could be, and it really is like living on a cruise ship without waves. The conversation that happens at dinner, the friends I’ve made and the friends I’ve had for decades here in Dallas that are now my neighbors — it’s really something else.
“My room, the people who work here and the activities — I’m busy from morning until night. I’m signed up for everything and it’s all terrific,” Yarrin said.
For Yarrin’s daughter, Jackie Waldman, watching her mother transition so smoothly has brought great peace of mind.
“Happiness can be fleeting while joy is a state of mind. And, let me tell you, complete joy is Mother’s state of mind in a whole new way. As a daughter, who could be worried, I’m not because the staff is so incredible,” said Waldman.
She added, “Mother has always been a caretaker for her family and friends. Now, it is she who is being cared for and she’s accepting it and appreciating it not just from her family but also from the entire staff at The Legacy and the medical professionals who come to her. She doesn’t ‘have to’ go anywhere.”
There are 36 units in the William & Sylvia Zale Foundation Memory Support Residences with monthly fees starting at $6479 for a companion suite and $9402 for a studio.
“My parents enjoyed independent living at Willow Bend and, since my father’s passing, the move has been phenomenal. The staff is amazing, caring, kind and they have made this home for Mom without any disorientation for her,” said Karen Zucker, whose mother Charlotte Benson moved to Midtown Park earlier this year. “The care has allowed us to be hands-free of the worry for her safety and we can be her family again.”
At The Legacy Midtown Park and The Legacy Willow Bend, technology and training is ever evolving.
Residents of both campuses’ Memory Support are welcomed to their apartments with a digital frame of rotating photos of family, friends and times gone by. Midtown Park residents have access to “BirdSong” digital tablets that allow for no-phone needed video chats, senior-friendly TV, movies and music, word games, travelogues and virtual museum tours as well as spirituality resources. Willow Bend residents use IN2L, a similar program, which includes a large touch screen, engaging residents with each other, their caregivers, family members and areas of interest. Residents of both communities enjoy pet robots and music therapy along with many other activities for stimulation and entertainment.
In an exclusive partnership with Toi Labs, The Legacy Senior Communities has introduced the company’s TrueLoo smart toilet seats in its memory support and skilled nursing restrooms. The toilet, which offers a new level of monitoring by digitally tracking bowel movements and urinations has shown 100 times more accuracy than manual tracking.
The smart toilet identifies potential health issues such as UTIs, dehydration, bleeding, infectious diseases and more, in the privacy of the resident’s home, and eliminates uncomfortable conversations with residents about their toileting habits.
The Legacy’s Dementia Aware certification program was created in collaboration with renowned gerontologist, Dr. Tam Cummings. Cummings’ training is required by every LSC employee. It’s an intensive course exploring how dementia affects the brain and provides hands-on methods for how to best support residents including ways to communicate, redirect, calming techniques and manners of physical touch.
The rooms supporting 54 residents in the Andrea & Richard Skibell and Leslie Rudd Healthcare Center are supported by private pay and numerous private insurance policies with 15 of those spots reserved for Medicaid clients.
The Healthcare Center supports short and long-term needs for those needing post-hospitalization rehabilitation and those needing physician-driven skilled nursing benefits including occupational, physical or speech therapies, IV antibiotics, wound care and other more complex nursing care. The community provides outpatient rehabilitative services and also accepts respite patients for up to five days.
For Andrea Sunga, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and the resident care manager for LMP’s assisted living and memory support, came to senior care after caring for her own father. “I realized how difficult it was for family members to trust caregivers and I knew I could give what I hoped my own father would have. I am passionate about our residents and their families.”
In just its first year, the Healthcare Center is one of nine, out of 55 skilled nursing facilities within a 10-mile radius, to receive a five out of five stars rating by the Center for Medicare Services.
“There are some difficult times in aging, and we accommodate whatever our residents need,” said Sunga. “Our residents come to us from wonderful lifestyles, many connected from within this local community and we do our very best to continue the quality of life they are used to.”