Wesley Chapel families who want to live near their aging loved ones who require more health and daily living support than can be provided at home will have a new option when Beach House Assisted Living & Memory Care at Wiregrass Ranch holds its Grand Opening next month. Even though it’s at least an hour from the nearest beach, the name Beach House is intended to evoke memories of the many splendid summers experienced over a lifetime.
The new 93,000-sq.-ft. facility includes 100 residential units, with 67 of them available for seniors looking for assisted living accommodations and 33 suites dedicated to residents who need memory care, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Housing options for assisted living residents range from alcove-style units (basically a studio apartment with a partitioned-off area) ranging from 450-480 sq. ft. to two-bedroom/two-bath floor plans ranging from 782–796 sq. ft.
As the first full-service assisted living and memory care facility located in Wesley Chapel, the Beach House offers a number of levels of accommodations and services to its residents, ranging from assisted living (where the Beach House staff provides help with a variety of daily activities, such as shopping and medication management) to memory care programs to support memory function, including discussion groups centered on reminiscing about the past, discussing current events and studying languages and cultures.
The Wesley Chapel location joins two existing Beach House facilities in Jacksonville and Naples, FL. They are all owned by the Dallas, TX-based Prevarian Senior Living, LP, which has Assisted Living and Memory Care communities in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Arizona.
Day-to-day operations at the Beach House are managed by employees of Life Care Services, a Los Angeles, CA-based company serving the needs of more than 33,000 senior citizens at facilities throughout the U.S.
Overseeing all aspects of the Beach House at Wiregrass Ranch’s daily operations is executive director Linda Mena, who brings to her position more than 25 years of experience working in senior housing.
Mena earned her Bachelor of Health Care Administration (BHA) from the University of Phoenix, AZ. In 2015, Mena received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, with a focus on Health Care Administration, from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Prior to assuming her role in Wesley Chapel, Mena was the executive director of the Beach House facility in Naples, FL.
Mena refers to the lifestyle offered at Beach House as “resort-style senior living.”
Assisted living amenities include outstanding group and private dining options, arts and crafts, a movie theater, wellness programs, grooming/haircuts and fireplaces. Memory care amenities include a variety of personal and social dining settings and dietary options to choose from, as well as activities that focus on the patient’s remaining physical abilities, memories and capability to enjoy them throughout what Mena calls, “the attrition of life.” There also is a secure outdoor area for memory care residents.
That means assisting a wide range of residents. “We go from an independent resident to end-of-life needs,” Mena says.
The Full Spectrum Of Care
To deliver services to that wide range of residents, Beach House is licensed as an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) facility, which according to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs website (ElderAffairs.state.fl.us) certifies Beach House’s ability to cover the spectrum of needed care, from limited assistance to total help with many basic needs. According to Mena, Beach House will be staffed to provide 24/7 nursing care.
“They truly can age in place in our community and that’s important to residents,” Mena says. “With the attrition of life, their needs become much greater and they don’t want to have to move or make a transition at that frail part of their lives.”
Mena notes that 85 percent of the people she and her administrative staff will work with are adult children of prospective residents. She recognizes that many of them are knowledgeable about the process and options available, but family members also provide a clear picture of their loved one’s character and history to help in meeting daily needs and creating a meaningful program of activities for them.
“It’s really important that we listen when they come in,” says Mena, who adds that knowing as much as possible about the residents, especially those in memory care, helps the staff engage with them more effectively. As part of those conversations with residents and family members, Mena makes a commitment on behalf of her Beach House staff to those they serve at what can be a very rough time of their lives.
“There are a lot of mentoring, assisting, and bonding relationships established because it’s the trust factor that makes this transition, if you want to say, ‘smoother,’ for this caregiver,” says Mena. “My guiding principle is to just be very transparent, honest and forthright with them.”
She adds that the goal for herself and her staff of Beach House is clear.
“Making sure the needs of the residents are met in every aspect,” Mena says, ‘from the clinical to the dining experience to life enrichment; really addressing the needs of each resident as a whole.”
Beach House is a private pay operation, which means they do not accept insurance plan coverage, and the cost is borne by residents or their families. Medicaid payments are not accepted. While Beach House does not accept payments directly from the insurance companies, If residents or their families have long-term care insurance, it will, as a courtesy, send the insurance company billing information so the families can be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Mena says costs will vary, depending upon the specific support needs of each patient, which are evaluated annually.
With a location that’s convenient to many of Wesley Chapel’s commercial and cultural activities, such as the Shops at Wiregrass mall only 2.5 miles to the west on S.R. 56, a Beach House residency means families can easily embark on multi-generational excursions with their loved ones residing there.
Temporary Assistance, Too
The Beach House lifestyle also is available on a temporary basis for what is known as “respite care,” which according to the Beach House website, “is a temporary stay at a senior living community.”
Senior patients recovering from surgery or illness may find temporary support helpful in their recovery. Caregivers of people normally residing outside of Beach House may also find that respite care is a way to manage vacations or just get a helping hand with assisted living and memory care levels of support. Respite residents at the Beach House will have access to the same services as other longer-term residents with whom social interaction also is part of the routine.
Whether seniors are residing at Beach House for a short respite or to “age in place,” meals are an important part of daily living and socializing as well as supporting a healthy lifestyle.
According to the Beach House website, the chef-created recipes use “fresh, seasonal, local ingredients” and “accommodate any special dietary requirements.”
Beach House not only brings new housing and health care options to Wesley Chapel, it’s also creating jobs, especially in the areas of patient care at the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) level, as well as housekeeping and dietary workers.
Mena says the response from the Wesley Chapel area has been tremendously positive and that 30 percent of the units had deposits paid on them at our press time.
If you’re looking for assisted living for yourself or a loved one, arrange a tour at the new Beach House at Wiregrass Ranch (30070 S.R. 56). For more info, call (813) 508-6677, see the ad on pg. 31 or visit BeachHouseWiregrass.com. Beach House’s official Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce Grand Opening is Wednesday, February 21, 11 a.m., with the ribbon cutting scheduled for noon.