By Molly Cerreta Smith
Seniors make up a large part of the Phoenix residence demographic. However, many are finding themselves in a situation where they cannot afford the growing costs of healthcare and assisted living. Particularly after the recession hit in 2007, seniors in their mid-60s to 70s lost much of their 401Ks and their home values decreased, both of which were naturally what many were relying on for retirement. Many didn’t anticipate the amount of care they would need — and the high costs associated with that care.
Bridgewater Assisting Living Deer Valley, located at 2641 West Union Hills Drive in north Phoenix, opened in 2017 to serve as a solution to this problem. Company CEO Steve Jorgenson realized that there was going to be a “tsunami of seniors” that weren’t going to be able to afford their cost of living in their retirement. “We never want our senior community to feel alone or afraid,” says Karen Kemp, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for Bridgewater, which also has communities in Avondale and Midtown Phoenix. “We are here to serve the community that doesn’t have the resources to afford the high-prices of senior living. We can help them afford the cost.”
Kemp calls the Deer Valley corridor a “prime location” for this community based on financial demographics showcased in a research study, as well as proximity to Luke Air Force Base, the freeway system and Deer Valley Hospital. The facility, built with Arizona state tax dollars, was a vacant hotel that the company retrofitted to accommodate seniors. With 166 units, which are all private studios (a rare commodity within the senior housing industry) and ADA accessible, Bridgewater Assisting Living Deer Valley also features an onsite restaurant which serves three chef-prepared meals a day, a workout center, beauty shop, movie theater (which residents are welcome to invite family and friends to for movie nights), and more. The community also brings in physical and occupational therapists and doctors for residents that don’t want to or are unable to leave their residences.
In addition, services include transportation to and from doctor and physical therapist appointments, as well as the hospital. “We also take residents out to participate in activities such as the race track, offsite bingo, dollar stores and Goodwill, and to special festivals such as the Veteran’s Day event at Indian Steele Park,” says Kemp, adding that at least twice a week residents have an opportunity to participate in activities outside the community.
Bridgewater Assisting Living Deer Valley hosts a number of fun and engaging activities at the community itself as well, so residents never have to leave to have a good time! In addition to seminars and presentations, which are offered to the surrounding communities as Bridgewater has made a name for itself as a resource in the neighborhood, Kemps says, “We have Wii bowling contests, karaoke, and we’ll host concerts, comedians and other entertainers that cater to the senior community. We also offer these to the public and surrounding community to come and enjoy.” Other activities include art classes and each month the community offers a schedule of events for seniors to get involved. On top of all these fun activities, Bridgewater offers residents multiple opportunities to remain fit and active in their Golden Years with chair yoga, musical therapy, Sit and Fit classes, and retrofitted fitness machines in the workout room that have been adapted to accommodate those with mobility issues.
The idea behind all of these amenities is to ensure that seniors are happy and engaged through their later years in life, regardless of their various stages of health. The community has a “resident-focused” approach to the services they provide so the activities and events they offer can keep residents as busy as they want to be. In addition to being built to service the specific needs of seniors, Bridgewater Assisting Living Deer Valley offers residents a modern, upscale environment with beautiful common spaces, and is centrally located around a variety of shopping and dining options, places of worship, healthcare providers and other medical services. The community also has a bistro coffee lounge, front desk concierge, happy hour bar, housekeeping services, beautiful outdoor courtyard and a library.
There are a multitude of levels of care for residents at Bridgewater. Level One offers general health monitoring for independent residents that can maintain all their activities of daily living including taking their own medications without supervision. At this level, Bridgewater offers clinical oversight including healthcare evaluations, service planning and medication oversight as required by state licensing.
At Level Two, general health supervision is provided, with care teams able to intervene as needed. The care team provides medication management twice a day as well as healthcare evaluations, service planning and supervisory oversight and health monitoring as required by state licensing.
For Level Three needs, the care team provides daily assistance with daily living activities as needed including assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming, orientation and reminder to attend activities, medication management three times daily, healthcare evaluations, service planning and health monitoring as required by state licensing.
At Level Four, the Bridgewater care team provides daily assistance with daily living activities including bathing, daily dressing and grooming, polypharmacy medication management, orientation and reminders to attend activities, escorts to meals and activities, and healthcare evaluations, service planning and health monitoring as required by state licensing.
Bridgewater also is well equipped to assist those affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease through the exclusive Equilibrium program, a science-based memory care program designed to create positive health and wellness outcomes for seniors. This program provides the care team with the training, skills and knowledge to be proactive when it comes to supporting residents that are experiencing cognitive decline. The program actually stimulates the brain, measuring how each resident is feeling so that therapies and activities can be adjusted to achieve the best functional and satisfactory outcomes. Measurable benefits to this program include enhanced communications skills via improved language and the ability to communicate, greater sensory awareness and motor function, improved memory, reduced need for pharmaceutical interventions, and decreased anxiety, restlessness, depression and wandering.
Another health and safety benefit at Bridgewater is the fact that each assisted living unit is equipped with Great Call Technology, a proactive technology designed to improve wellness outcomes for residents by allowing the care team to monitor residents in a private and non-invasive way. Great Call Technology also provides clinical data designed to help the care team deliver the best care to each resident based on their individual needs. The system’s careful monitoring allows the healthcare team to proactively identify emerging health issues and efficiently address them with less downtime and better outcomes for residents.
An important aspect of the Medicaid-certified Bridgewater is the advocacy it offers seniors to help them qualify to live there and to help them get the financial support they need to pay for it. Due to the income qualification the community has, residents must qualify to live there — and they can help seniors and their families get the information they need to afford assisted living and to help explore options to qualify for financial resources through a Community Benefits Advocate.
For more about Bridgewater Assisting Living Deer Valley, visit www.bridgewaterassistedliving.com/deervalley/ or call 602-281-9535.