Wind Crest Retirement Community rolled out the red carpet for the first nine residents of its brand-new continuing care neighborhood this past week.
The four-story Mill Vista Lodge, set for its grand opening Oct. 10, features 144 spacious suites and apartments, with one secure floor dedicated to memory care, two floors for residents in need of assisted living and a ground floor that is dedicated to short-term rehabilitation, long-term care and nursing services.
Fred Krey, 95, and Hazel Vicenec, 93, became two of the first to call the lodge home, moving into their new assisted living apartments on Sept. 16.
“My bed and bathroom, according to my bed, are on the wrong side of the room, but I’ll get that straightened out,” said Krey, who has lived at Wind Crest for six years. “It’s going to be pretty nice once I get used to it. I’ve just got to get situated.
“They have a lot of nice places you can come sit when you have company.”
Krey, who moved to Wind Crest from Kansas to be closer to his son, two granddaughters and four great-grandchildren, expects a lot of visits from family. Vicenec, meanwhile, hopes the friends she made in her old building at Wind Crest make good on their promises to come visit regularly.
“They say ‘we’ll come visit,’ but I’ve got to see that first,” Vicenec said. “I’m excited about meeting new people too. People always say, ‘Hazel, you make friends everywhere you go,’ and I do.”
About Mill Vista Lodge
“When it comes to architectural design, every space and paint color has a purpose,” said Micah Peterson, continuing care director at Mill Vista. “There was so much forethought put into how residents can use each space to best suit their needs.”
The new facility has eight common areas, two on each floor, that feature a large, comfortable living room space, a kitchen and a dining area. And while there are set meal times, the residents have the flexible option to get meals served to them throughout the day, and also have the ability to use the kitchens themselves 24/7.
Other common areas include outdoor garden spaces, enclosed porches on the upper floors, and the lodge also boasts a small movie theater, a physical therapy gym, multiple salons and a massage room. On the memory floor, there is an art studio with panoramic city views, memory stations throughout, and hallways are color-coded.
“We have simpler apartment rooms on this level with more comfortable common areas to encourage socialization,” Peterson said. “Socialization is key for people with memory issues. It helps to keep them energized and keep their minds sharp.”
In addition to encouraging socialization among seniors, Peterson said Wind Crest also empowers staff to spend time sitting with residents and sharing meals with them, making for a much more familial environment.
“We’re all about proactively taking care of people,” he said, adding that the opening of the Mill Vista Lodge allows residents who are developing a need for a higher level of care to stay on the 85-acre campus and not have to look for a new facility to live in.
The lodge, which will welcome its residents in slowly, so that staff doesn’t get overwhelmed and can provide optimal care through the transition phase, has also had a significant economic impact on the community, bringing 100 new jobs.
About 60 of those positions will be medical-related, Peterson said, with the rest being either service-oriented, maintenance, housekeeping or administrative.