At first glance, the home on a quiet residential street near 103rd and Stateline Road seems like any other house on the block. You can hear laughter coming from the living room, see people playing games at the kitchen table, and find folks gathered around the bay window in the front room. But what makes this ranch home so special is the residents.
“It’s different than a nursing home,” says Neil Barnett, owner of Care Haven Homes—a memory care facility based in Prairie Village. “For starters residents live in an actual home with six to eight residents with private bedrooms.”
The house near 103rd and Stateline is just one of the five Care Haven Homes located in the Johnson County area.
Each one of the homes comes with a high level of care. For example, the eight-bedroom homes are typically staffed with two caregivers—either certified nurse’s aides or certified medication aides—around the clock to help residents. That’s a 1-to-4 caregiver-to-resident ratio. Barnett says this is very different than what you might find at other large care facilities where ratios tend to be 1-to-8 patients or even 1-to-15 at night.
“At Care Haven Homes, the same staff work in the same houses so they get to know residents really well,” Barnett says. “Most of the residents have had a hard time trying to find the right kind of care. Some move from other facilities because they weren’t happy.”
Barnett has two activities assistants dedicated to keeping everyone’s spirits up. From hosting sing-alongs around the piano, to playing Bingo to planning field trips to the park or ice cream parlor, there’s always something fun cooking. Speaking of cooking, the residents eat lunch and dinner around the dining room table and can even help with the food prep if they’re up for it.
“We have residents who want to cook—and they can in our kitchens,” Barnett says. “They won’t use the oven or stove, but they can help the care givers prepare food and set the table. Here they have the ability to do stimulating activities—activities that are just part of everyday life and they can really feel their worth.”
The homes also have backyards with high fences designed to keep residents safe and active. In any given backyard, you can find a variety of walking paths, gardens and fountains. Some houses even have a dog to keep the seniors smiling.
“I had a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease so I’m familiar with people suffering from dementia,” Barnett says. “It can be depressing to put it mildly.”
This is why visitors are welcome at the homes anytime, except during the nighttime quiet hours. Some family members and friends visit daily, others visit more infrequently.
“The children and spouses are going through a tremendous loss,” Barnett says. “It helps to know that their loved ones are in good care and that we’re paying attention to their needs.”
At the beginning of the process, a nurse does a physical and behavior assessment on potential residents to makes sure that Care Haven Homes is a good fit for each person. After all, Barnett says, he wants a safe environment for the seniors and the employees.
“I don’t wish Alzheimer’s disease on anybody and hopefully they will find a cure,” Barnett says. “But in the meantime, we have to look at our best options for care and I think this is a really good one.”
images courtesy of Care Haven Homes