No Place Like Home 5

Personal Senior Care Homes Changes the Face of Assisted Living and Memory Care

It’s just like any other home on the block. The homeowner is working in the yard, watering flowers and plucking weeds. Someone’s in the kitchen, making a fresh pot of coffee. In the living room, a couple watches the news on television. Through the sliding glass door, you’ll see a woman enjoying the view of birds and trees from the patio.

This is a scene from a unique new style of assisted living and memory care homes for seniors. Set in two freshly remodeled ranch homes, Personal Senior Care Homes of West Chester brings a new alternative for senior care to Butler County. It is the first new senior care model in fifty years. There are no buttons to push to get assistance, no long hallways to navigate at mealtimes and no cookie-cutter rooms with lots of rules. Personal Senior Care Homes are in real homes, in our neighborhoods.

ALL ABOUT THE CARE

Owner Stephen Brock knows what caregiving looks like.

“I’ve been taking care of people all of my life and this is what God has led me to do,” he says. “We’re not only taking care of residents, but their families, too.”

More importantly, Brock knows how to make caregiving look even better. His vision is changing the face of senior care in West Chester and Liberty Township. While popular in the Western U.S., he is the first to bring what Ohio calls “Adult Family Homes” to the area. He secured the first two licenses in Butler County when he opened his two homes on East Senour Drive and Birkdale Drive, both in West Chester. Currently, Brock runs the two homes; he hopes to open ten.

Brock likens this living environment to that of The Golden Girls, a popular television show from the 80s, but with added 24-hour care.

“Everyone gets their own bedroom and they all share the common areas and live like housemates,” he explains.

Personal Senior Care Homes is a boutique approach to senior care. It is state-licensed by the same standards as a large institution. It accepts both private pay and long-term care insurance.

“We are all about the care,” Brock adds. “We offer a value for the private-pay senior. Our services include everything: laundry, dressing, bathing, clothing, food preparation, assistance with medications. We offer skilled care, too, for those who want or need it: visiting podiatrists, physicians, even a hair stylist comes once a month.”

IN THE KITCHEN

With a 5:1 ratio of resident to caregiver, the personalized care of this model is unparalleled. Craving a special snack? Add it to the grocery list on the fridge. Need something in the middle of the night? You’ve got it—the caregiver on duty is only one room away.

“We don’t have the strict schedules that the big facilities have to follow,” Brock says. “We don’t get our residents out of bed at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning for breakfast, we let them sleep. We go on our residents’ schedules and go with the flow.”

Breakfast and lunch are made to order, as people wake and are hungry. Dinners are prepared by a chef who personalizes the menu based on the preferences of the residents.

Brock adds, “We cater to what they like—it’s all homemade, nutritional meals. The chef goes Krogering! We don’t buy things in bulk—everything is freshly made.”

Manager Christy Butler puts together the staff.

“Christy specifically looks for a staff that has hearts for care. We don’t have the turnover other places have. The staff really gets to know the residents and communicate well with the families,” Brock says.

IN THE BEDROOM

In a previous senior facility, lovebirds Liz and Dewey Taylor, married 46 years, were forced to live apart for six months because of their individualized care. Liz requires assisted living; Dewey needs memory care. When they were apart, their health took a dive.

At Personal Senior Care Homes, they share a master suite and hold hands while they watch television. They can live together, each receiving the specialized care they require. They are healthy and happy, sharing their days side by side.

“This is a home setting,” Liz’s niece, Heidi Soloria shares. “This place meets all their needs, especially by allowing them to be together.”

ON THE PATIO

A favorite spot for resident Laura Mariol is on the patio, where she can enjoy the sounds of chirping birds and the neighborhood kids playing. The shaded patio is only steps away from the house and nurse’s aide.

In large residential homes, there’s often limited yard space, sometimes a long trek to get outside and once there, a view of a parking lot and sounds of passing traffic.

“All of the other options for senior care have to be in busy, commercial areas,” Brock explains. “Our residents sit or look outside and see grass and trees and enjoy the quiet.”

IN THE LIVING ROOM

Janet Raters stops by nearly every day to see her mom, Genette Ellis. First, she stops in the kitchen to say hello and grab a bottle of water from the fridge before she heads down the hall to her mom’s bedroom.

“Home is where your mother is, and this works well for us,” Raters says. “I don’t have to sign in, she’s just a few minutes away, and I can get to her easily when she wants me to come.”

“For my mom to go to a nursing home, probably would shorten her life,” she adds. “Not as a quality of care, but as a quality of life.”

“Think about it this way, would you rather live in a house or a hotel? This place is just so different. It’s just home, just like anyone else’s house,” Raters says. “I get to be a daughter again. I get to go visit my mom, instead of doing full-time care for her.”

BIG, HAPPY FAMILY

The residents are happy, the staff is happy and the families are happy. Personal Senior Care Homes is building a community among the family members who are sharing the experience of having aging loved ones. Earlier this summer, they gathered around the grill for a family potluck.

“All of the families to the residents are like a big, blended family,” Raters chuckles.

“We want to be an extension of the family,” Brock says.

Nestled in quiet, suburban neighborhoods of West Chester, the two Personal Senior Care Homes are just like any other home in the neighborhood, private and peaceful.

“If you don’t know it’s here, you would never know it was here,” Raters points out about the residence on Birkdale Drive, her mother’s home.

“This is the best-kept secret in care,” Soloria adds, “but it shouldn’t be a secret!”