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The Willensky Residence, An Assisted Living Memory Care Pavilion

As a leader in senior healthcare for over 131 years, Montefiore in Beachwood, Ohio created an assisted living memory care pavilion in the fall of October 2012 for individuals with early- to-mid-stage dementia who need assisted living and dementia care support. Through an exterior expansion and interior renovation, this forward-thinking project will fulfill a much-needed service for the community.

By caring for those with dementia in an assisted living setting, this soothing yet stimulating refurbished and expanded space will keep individuals active and engaged in a compassionate, supportive and safe environment. A separate and secure entrance and ample parking for visitors provide direct access to the pavilion.

The space contains an open and safe kitchen with a comfortable dining room and counter area allowing residents and staff (and/or family members) to help prepare breakfast and bake together with a focus on independence. Lunch and dinner will be provided from Montefiore’s central kitchen. A beauty and barber salon and laundry room, along with cozy spaces for visiting, activities and interactive programming, reinforce its person-centered, home-like ambience. Each resident will have the freedom to choose the degree of socialization, as well as his or her daily schedule.

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Resident living spaces include six studio rooms and two suites. Each studio room has its own private bathroom with shower while each suite will have a living room, bedroom and private bathroom with shower  All eight rooms/suites were refurbished to include built-in closets, new flooring, paint, lighting, window treatments and furniture (unless the resident/family member brings or buys their own furniture and personal items). New shower, vanity, sink and faucet, lighting and decorative finishes, along with safety features, enhance the overall warmth and intimate feeling of each resident room.

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The 1000 square foot exterior expansion, adjacent to the kitchen and activity/dining room, includes a living room and multi-faceted library with computer stations. A highlight of the expanded space is a multi-sensory environment (MSE) room which offers stimulation of senses – touch, sound, smell, taste and sight – proven to help those with dementia reconnect with their environment. This type of room is based on the success of a Snoezelen® Sensory Room, an alternative treatment approach where individuals with memory impairment and other types of dementia are offered opportunities to become more aware of their surroundings and encourages better interaction with their environment and those around them.

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This relaxing and comfortable MSE room will offer soothing background music and peaceful sounds (e.g., birds singing, wind blowing, ocean waves, etc.), aroma therapy, visual displays including colorful and tactile artwork – to reduce agitation, anxiety and apathy and increase mobility and communication.

Off of the kitchen and activity/dining room are safe, secure and accessible walking path, outdoor gardens and courtyards which will be used for activities and horticulture and healing therapy.

Montefiore is working in partnership with Dr. Lori-Stevic-Rust, PH.D., ABPP, clinical health psychologist and dementia expert, as its program advisor for The Willensky Residence.  Dr. Stevic-Rust holds a doctoral degree in psychology, a master’s degree in community counseling and has been awarded a Diplomate from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in Board Certified Clinical Health Psychology. She is a contributing writer for Cleveland Business Connects magazine and is a regular contributor to Fox 8 News and WKYC channel 3.  Dr. Stevic-Rust is a national speaker on health-related topics with specialty areas in geriatrics and stress disorders.

For more information, please contact Kristen Morelli, memory care program manager at 216.910.2323.

Willensky Residence exterior - August 12-2013 (M. Golub) 001