Melody Living Hosts VIP Opening by Woodmen Edition

Woodmen Edition Article for Melody Living VIP Opening

See the article by Heila Rogers about the Melody Living VIP Opening here: http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/WoodmenEdition/default.aspx

North-side seniors and their families have an ever-expanding array of options when it comes to long-term-assisted living and memory care facilities, now including Melody Living, 7600 Sandy Rock Point.

Melody Living hosted its VIP grand opening reception Aug. 24. Guests had the chance to tour the new facility, which is perched on a hill above the active building sites of the Children’s Hospital Colorado and expanding St. Francis Medical Center off Powers Boulevard. Its vantage provides an unobstructed view of Pikes Peak along with stretches of additional scrubland for sale nearby.

Modern decor and furniture combine with a focus on a person-centered and team-care approach to create a safe homey environment. Executive Director Codi Thurness said Melody Living’s management style involves and empowers staff and residents in decision making when it comes to care.

As of Aug. 21, the facility had 20 depositors signed up to move in med-September, Thurness wrote in an email to the Woodmen Edition.

Several staff and others on hand for the reception milled around a large, fresh floral arrangement in the contemporary-design lobby. In the main hotel-like dining area a wide ice sculpture crowned a display with stair-stepped trays of colorful appetizer and dessert bites.

The process for a facility’s completion, from conception to design to finding the right market, has been about three years, said Laura Hester of Cedarwood Development, which built the new facility.

Hester, vice president of senior housing for Cedarwood Development, the Akron, Ohio-based company that has built other sites around Colorado Springs during the past 17 years, said that Tony Petrarca of Cedarwood was the impetus behind establishing a specific approach to assisted living. Petrarca wanted to design a faciliy that would incorporate the care style and amenities he desired for his own father, who lived to be 100.

Move-in coordinator Danielle Luna and executive chef and dining services director Jamie Kuzio expressed excitement about the facility’s opening after months of preparation.

Kusio held employee interviews in a temporary construction trailer, while trying out recipes during last-minute structural finishes on the building.

He enthusiastically mentioned a certain planned shrimp, mango and jalapeno dish when he heard Luna liked seafood.

Luna, a former certified nursing assistant, now studies business management. She said she believes the cooperative approach Melody Living espouses would deter staff burnout.

Staff members each undergo an 8-hour “Rhythms Dementia” training, which “guides care partners and families in knowing and honoring the person first,” Thurness wrote in an email. In turn, this provides the basis for creating healthy rhythms in daily life.

According to Thurness, the approach of day-to-day creativity and adaptability, giving staff freedom to use their knowledge and training to help decide on best courses of action when interacting with individuals and building relationships.

The facility features a combination theater/chapel room; two dining areas – one in the secure memory care section; a community room, complete with wall-sized Scrabble board and Wii; and onsite health services including a 24-hour onsite nurse practitioner.

Each floor has a sunroom in the corner of the building, where games and “hydration stations” will be located.

More assisted living facilities are being established across the country as an option for older adults with health issues.

In Colorado Springs, the Senior Advisor lists 29 assisted living care facilities. More are forecast on the horizon.