MuirWoods Memory Care, Petaluma's Comeback Kid
By: MBK Senior Living
MBK purchased the community in 2018 and immediately began the arduous task of changing the tide of negative public perception and low staff morale. To create an innovative care setting to specifically support those with dementia, MBK Senior Living utilized its 30 years of senior living expertise to with fostering a sense of community and connection within MuirWoods. That in combination with investing nearly $1 million in renovations, MuirWoods Memory Care is now not only ready to celebrate its grand re-opening on October 23rd, it is prepared to meet the growing demand for memory care in Sonoma County.
MuirWood Memory Care's comeback couldn't happen at a better time. According to the Alzheimer's Association, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's every 65 seconds. And, within Sonoma County more than one in 10 seniors over the age of 65 is living with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. According to experts, dementia and Alzheimer's is on the rise and the demand for quality memory care is expected to double in the next twenty years.
"As the only free-standing memory care community in Petaluma, area seniors needed MuirWoods Memory Care to be the best it could be – and it now is better than ever," said Gralund.
According to Gralund, it took more than a coat of paint and new carpeting to turn MuirWoods around. MBK Senior Living identified numerous ways to enhance the building, increase training and staff resources, and create a community that equally supports residents, their families and the MuirWoods team.
For starters, the community was introduced to MBK Senior Living's signature Connections for Living program that offered residents unparalleled support through personalized care plans and activities that empower and engage residents and provide a daily purpose. Next, while simultaneously hiring and training staff, MBK embarked on a year-long renovation project that included maximizing the building's unique layout, integrating art, music, and landscaping to positively affect resident's quality of life, behavior, safety and independence.
The building's unique layout already offered abundant natural light and unobstructed views to an outdoor courtyard. However, MBK augmented the ways to enter and exit the secure courtyard, giving residents a greater sense of independence and exploration. In addition, the courtyard received all new landscaping that includes plants with a variety of colors, textures and smells that stimulate cognitive function, evoke memories and calm residents with dementia.
"Nature is known to have a calming effect," said Gralund. "Every apartment at MuirWoods faces the courtyard and provides residents with easy access to fresh air, sunlight and beautifully landscaped outdoor space."
Indoors, all common areas have new carpet, paint, and furniture to promote a warm, home-like environment. Throughout the single-level building, MBK has installed interactive stations that stimulate cognitive function, encourage independence and provide natural cues to help residents stay engaged and productive.
"In addition to the physical building improvements, our well-rounded enrichment program is tailored to residents' individual abilities and interests and offers daily stimulation, interaction, and purpose through a wide variety of social, educational and fitness activities,"
"The community has come from being regarded as "a lost cause" to a caring, secure memory care community backed by the strength and experience of MBK Senior Living," said Gralund. "Residents enjoy engaged living and families now have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is fully supported."
About MBK Senior Living
MBK Senior Living (MSL) owns, operates and develops Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services senior living communities throughout the Western United States. Based in Irvine, CA, MBK Senior Living is a subsidiary of MBK Real Estate LLC which is supported by the vast financial strength and global resources of its parent company, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Since 2017, MBK Senior Living has been Certified as a Great Place to Work by the Great Place to Work Institute for two consecutive years. In 2018, the company was also ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the top 50 "Best Workplaces in Aging Services." For more information, please visit the company's website at mbkseniorliving.com or on Twitter, and Facebook.