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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 03/27/2015

More Room to Care

More Room to Care

The most essential element of caregiving is caring. To truly serve seniors and their families, an organization has to care—about individuals and their unique needs, about families and about communities.

Phoebe Ministries is a unique not-for-profit organization that has been caring for Pennsylvania’s seniors for more than a century. Over the years, Phoebe has adapted to meet the changing needs of the senior population, including an increased focus on Alzheimer’s and dementia care that emphasizes both dignity and support. Now, the organization is growing and will have more room to care for more seniors in Bucks County.

Since Phoebe acquired its Richland campus in 2000, it has seen some signifi­cant changes, including internal upgrades and the addition of the beautiful Springhouse Park. This past summer, Phoebe Richland broke ground on a dramatic new addition to the campus: a personal care facility featuring 72 studio and one-bedroom apartments, as well as four semi-private rooms. Personal care communities, similar to assisted living, provide support for activities such as bathing, dressing and taking medication. They can also assist with meal preparation or housekeeping.

Designed as an addition to the current Phoebe Richland campus, the new 75,000 square foot, two-story building will be situated to the south of the Cottage, Richland’s memory support neighborhood, with a connection to the Health Care Center. It will feature four neighborhoods, two on each story. Amenities will include a multipurpose room, chapel, rehab gym, second story patios, a salon and café area. Stained glass windows from the recently-sold Conference Center of the United Church of Christ Penn Southeast will grace the new chapel on the ­ first floor overlooking a small reflecting pool.

“Our goal is to create a very unique living environment for members of the local community who are in need of personal care,” says Lisa Fichera, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Phoebe Ministries. Tracy Roman, Executive Director of Phoebe Richland adds, “We are excited for this expansion because we receive inquiries from members of the local community weekly who are in need of services, and the expansion allows us to meet the requests of these community members.”

Phoebe Richland recently broke ground on a dramatic new addition to the campus: a personal care facility featuring 72 studio and one-bedroom apartments, as well as four semi-private rooms.

This unique model will provide much-needed care options for the Upper Bucks community.  Throughout the development process, Phoebe worked with a professional who has a Ph.D. in Gerontologic Design to create a cutting-edge model to meet the current and future needs of residents. This project will afford many local seniors an option for innovative care and services close to home.

The expansion of Phoebe Richland also meets a growing need in the Upper Bucks area for both personal care and memory support services. The building will feature a flexible design to provide the right balance of traditional personal care and memory support personal care apartments.

Initially, one of the neighborhoods on the ­ first story will serve 18 residents receiving specialized memory support personal care with country kitchen dining. The opposite ­ first floor neighborhood has been designed for ease of conversion in the event more residents need memory support care in the future. Memory support, or Alzheimer’s and dementia care, is an area of expertise in which Phoebe Richland excels. In 2010, the Cottage received the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Excellence in Dementia Care Distinction.

Enhancement of the Health Care Center

In addition to Phoebe Richland’s service expansion, renovations to the existing health care center are underway, enhancing the quality of life for current residents.

A new central kitchen will serve all of the residents on campus, replacing the existing main kitchen in the Health Care Center. Fourteen skilled nursing beds will be brought back into service in the Health Care Center. Additionally, the current café area will be converted into a multipurpose room for residents and families. The existing central kitchen will be converted into office and conference space with an employee break room. Renovations will also add an additional dining room using current conference room space.

The Gateway short-term rehabilitation wing will also receive enhancements, including remodeling of the dining and living room areas. Three additional short-term rehabilitation beds will be added to expand services. A small addition is planned off the main Health Care Center lobby to serve as central office space for employees.

Community Engagement

Already the largest employer in Richlandtown Borough, Phoebe Richland will add approximately 40 new jobs with the new facility. Phoebe Richland also serves as a community resource for educational presentations and provides free community events, such as the Upper Bucks Forum on Aging and an Alzheimer’s Support Group. This new facility will allow Phoebe Richland to host additional community events to truly integrate residents into the surrounding community.

The grand opening for the new 80-bed facility is scheduled for summer 2015. For more information, please visit www.phoebe.org/richlandconstruction or call 267-371- 4500.

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