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About JEA Senior Living
Since 1972, Jerry Erwin, founder of JEA Senior Living, has been involved in the development and management of one of the first independent retirement living facilities in the state of Washington. For the past 35 years he has developed, owned and managed nursing homes, retirement facilities, assisted living, and Alzheimer's special care centers. In 1986, Erwin and his partners decided to sell their nursing homes and focus completely on retirement and assisted living and in that same year he formed his own management company, Jerry Erwin Associates.
Up until 1990, the focus remained on these two forms of residential care but when Erwin's own mother began struggling with Alzheimer's disease he realized it was time to change his focus and hone in on quality Alzheimer's care. At the time there was a shortage in quality housing for seniors with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and memory loss and Erwin's goal became to honor the "experience of aging" by providing sensitive and supportive care for those with memory loss. The first Alzheimer's Special Care Center was opened in Tumwater, Washington in 1994 and to date, 35 locations throughout 12 states in the Midwest and West Coast (Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana) have opened. About 95 percent of the facilities are strictly Alzheimer Care Centers with a few assisted living and/or independent living communities.
Thirteen years after forming Jerry Erwin Associates, the company was renamed JEA Senior Living to reflect their commitment to the senior housing sector. Over the past two decades the company has seen a steady growth rate due to the unsurpassed quality in management care and their building prototype.
The company's mission is one that is simple and straightforward; they're committed to being the leader in providing quality care and personal services for their residents while honoring the experience of aging. All of the programs offered are designed by professionals and take into consideration the needs of different individuals. Residents suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia, or any other form of memory loss require specially trained and compassionate professionals, therefore JEA's philosophy of care relies on a simple thought; to treat each individual with dignity and respect. It's the attention to residents that serves as the foundation, and as a company, JEA supports its staff by providing the training needed to enhance the quality of care their residents receive.
Alzheimer's Special Care Centers
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another related memory loss is not only heartbreaking but a difficult and challenging experience. The decision to place a loved one in the care of others is perhaps one of the hardest to make. The special care centers are specifically designed to provide focused care to those suffering, and dedicated and highly trained staff help ease families through the process of making such a choice. At JEA's special care centers, the philosophy of thinking is that in order to provide the best and highest quality of care to those who suffer from memory loss in whatever capacity, the staff must be aware of the changing facets of Alzheimer's and dementia and the impact it has on a person's ability to comprehend what's going on around them.
While ensuring a calm and comforting environment for their residents, the staff works closely with family members to implement a care plan for the residents' health and well-being. Providing an atmosphere filled with warmth and support, the goal is to make sure all residents feel secure while going about their daily routines. At JEA, it's very important residents feel a sense of purpose and belonging. The struggle with loss of memory is a difficult one and JEA strives to create that homelike environment to help ease the overwhelming changes.
Meaningful Moments is JEA'a distinctive dementia care program, designed specifically to honor the life story of each individual while addressing his or her needs throughout the aging experience. Knowing the residents personal life stories, preferences, and interests allow the staff at JEA to create moments in their days that are "meaningful" to them personally. Highly trained, the staff engages residents in their day based on past routines and preferences. Serving as a tool, each center gathers a life story and personality profile right from the beginning and the information gathered permits the program director to create activities based off of what they've learned. For example, if a resident was a farmer, staff members might take him/her into the courtyard to tend to the garden. Keeping with past routines can help when a resident is having a difficult day; staff members can use this knowledge to find an activity the resident will find soothing. The goal is to allow them to keep their independence and preserve their dignity.
Lifestyle Living Options
Upon entering one of JEA's communities the feeling of home is present. Each community employs a designer to create that home-like feel and ensure personal touches that give the residents that comfortable and cozy reminder of home. Decorated with pieces throughout to remind residents of their past, the designers scour the stores and flea markets to bring that original flare to their locations. All of JEA's facilities are on one level and fully carpeted, ensuring their residents never have trouble getting around.
JEA communities offer three different types of rooms, which they refer to as "apartments." Private, semi-private, and shared rooms are decorated to give residents that sense of warmth. Furnished with full-sized beds, beautiful headboards and nightstands with lamps, residents can bring pieces from their home if space allows and are encouraged to decorate their living space with personal photos and knickknacks. For some, a shared room is welcomed company, giving residents a sense of comfort by having someone with them, although with all the communities have to offer, residents don't spend all that much time in their apartments. Because there are different levels/stages of memory loss, residents are grouped accordingly by their abilities.
In addition, all JEA special care centers have 24-hour nursing along with assistance for those residents on medication whether it's daily or on a needed basis. Although a physician is not located on premise, the facilities work closely with the residents' local doctors and if allowed by the provider, doctors will come to the communities to see their patients, allowing them to be seen in the comfort of their own living space.
While the majority of JEA's facilities are geared towards those with Alzheimer's, they do offer a few assisted and independent living facilities. The assisted living communities are set up similar to the special care centers and residents enjoy most of the same amenities; in addition their apartments are equipped with small kitchenettes. Residents participate in activities with others, enjoy their meals and snacks in the dining room, and have access to the nurses if needed. For those in the independent living facilities, the only difference from assisted living is some apartments feature a full-size kitchen and there is no medical care (i.e. nurse) available. This is more of a lifestyle for those seniors who need minimal assistance.
No matter what stage of memory loss a resident falls in, the staff at JEA has designed activities for everyone at different levels. While there are structured activities planned daily, most are created based on the resident and what they enjoy doing. Since the staff at JEA wants to create "meaningful moments" they will find activities that give their residents a meaningful day. The caregivers are encouraged to spend time with the residents doing things they enjoy and engaging in conversation.
For those who might like to venture out on their own, the communities feature living rooms equipped with game tables, TVs, couches with plenty of seating to visit with family and friends, separate activity rooms, and outdoor courtyards that feature patio furniture and walking paths. Whether a resident wants to enjoy an outdoor meal with loved ones, or stay active by walking, JEA has it all. Families are encouraged to participate and can visit at any time of the day. Barber and beauty salons are also located right on premise. The communities are close knit and the staff at JEA believes that they are all one big, happy family.
When it comes to dining, residents at JEA can expect to eat well and often. In addition to the three meals a day residents can enjoy in one of the two, spacious dining rooms, snacks are served daily. All the menus are created by JEA's food service directors, and residents can expect delicious entrees, anytime meals such as burgers and sandwiches, and breakfast selections such as bacon, eggs, sausage, all reminiscent of a home-cooked meal. Each dining room features a grand piano and when not in use for dining, will house larger scale activities. In an effort to provide those with Alzheimer's the care they need, one of the dining rooms is dedicated strictly for those residents that need a little extra assistance during meals.
At JEA Senior Living, residents and their families can expect the highest quality of service, whatever their needs. JEA knows that everyone is different, and with a focus on Alzheimer's, dementia, and other memory loss, each person's needs vary, that's why every resident receives an assessment prior to moving in. Conducted by one of their highly trained, licensed nurses, assessments are not only given beforehand, but residents are evaluated 14-30 days after move in and then every 90 days or sooner if there is a change in condition. By conducting these assessments often, staff members are able to gage whether a resident might be in need of additional care. Especially with Alzheimer's, change in memory loss can differ from person to person so it's important to monitor closely.
Residents can expect to pay a basic monthly fee that covers all expenses, which includes meals, housekeeping, laundry, and activities. In addition, there are four levels of care based on a resident's health and needs (prices vary for each level and with each community). As with many retirement communities, fees are on a month-to-month basis and JEA does not require long-term leases or buy-in fees. Private pay, long-term care insurance, and VA benefits are all accepted. JEA does not have contracts with either Medicaid or Medicare.
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