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Village Of The Heights Offers A New Beginning For Area Seniors

By Jonathan Garris

Mary McLelland says she is excited to finally be moving into her new home at the Village of the Heights Senior Assisted Living Center at 1407 Studewood.

She had first signed up for a space back in January, and said she had lived in her house in the Heights for over 60 years.

“I didn’t want to give up living in the Heights area,” McLelland said. “I’m still active at Heights Presbyterian Church and in quite a few women’s activities so I wanted to stay here.”

The newly opened facility offers plenty of advantages for seniors like McLelland, who is 89 years old. Retirees have access to libraries, living rooms, spacious activity rooms, a complete fitness center, a beauty salon and barber shop, emergency calling systems throughout the building and, of course, a full -service dining room. Meals, utilities and housekeeping services are also all included in monthly fees and scheduled transportation is provided for residents as well.

For those with a need for memory care, the center offers a special section specifically for those suffering from issues with memory.

“A lot of our spaces offer generous amounts of room and have their own private bathrooms and showers as well,” Lynn Wallace, director of marketing for the Village, said. “Our approach is a bit distinct from other places that specialize in memory care as well. We don’t want to give them too big of a space that they feel overwhelmed, so we have activity rooms where we can work one on one with our residents and create activities on a one-on-one basis.”

For those looking for a bit more independent living, there are three different floor plans available, with some featuring private balconies and one and two -bedroom suites with an emphasis on freedom for residents.

Wallace said offering plenty of options and activities for those entering retirement is an important part in breaking down barriers among people and their misconceptions regarding assisted living. The focus of the Village, along with other independent living communities, is to embrace seniors in their old age and respecting their individuality — something that can be hard for some family members to understand.

“When people think of assisted living, they think it might be a nursing home not unlike what they might have seen many years ago,” Wallace said. “Their perception is that it’s somehow a place you go to die so it’s not going to be anything like this. I think that’s something all communities are trying to correct.”

The facility is also staffed 24 hours a day with certified nursing assistants as opposed to personal care providers.

“We really do prefer the certification of CNA’s as we know they know what they’re doing and they often come with experience working previous communities,” Wallace said. “Finding that combination of the right personality and compassion is what we look for the most in the end.”

While she had reservations at first, the compassion of staff members and the amenities has McLelland excited to meet her new neighbors.

“I realized in my mind it was time, seeing as how I’m 89 now,” McLelland said. “I will be glad to see more people move in and I hope to make a lot of new friends. It’s lovely and I’m glad after the wait that we’re now here and it’s all I expected it to be. All of the people are so nice.”

For more information, call 713-802-9700 or visit www.villageoftheheights. com.