Memory Care Center - Questions we have heard

Residents’ Interests

Is the new Memory Care Center a part of my Lifecare contract?

Yes. The new Memory Care Center is an expansion of Willow Valley Communities’ Supportive Living continuum and provided at no additional cost to Residents.

Will building the Memory Care Center increase my monthly fee?

No. Monthly fees will not increase as a direct result of our new Memory Care Center. That is why success in the fundraising for this project is so very important.

Is the new Memory Care Center for the local community in addition to Willow Valley residents?

Yes. The broader community will benefit from the research, education, and assessment components of the Center. In addition, as with our existing Supportive Living accommodations, if a room remains unoccupied by a Willow Valley Communities Resident for a period of time, it would be made available to individuals outside of WVC as a private pay. The private pay would still need to qualify financially to come to Willow Valley Communities. However, WVC is committed and required to provide rooms first for our Residents.

As a Resident, may I get involved in this project?

Yes. There are currently many volunteer opportunities and there will be a multitude of volunteer opportunities from fundraising to education to program delivery that will arise as a result of this project. We previously had hundreds attend presentations by our Architect, Perkins Eastman, and we had over 700 Residents visit our Resource Room at Lakes.

Project Plans

Is there a proposed start date of construction on the new Memory Care Center?

No. Unlike other WVC construction projects, the Center requires support from philanthropy. When certain predetermined funding (fundraising) levels are reached, the construction process may begin.

Do you have an estimated completion date for the project?

No. As noted above, construction will begin when funding goals have been reached. However, there is a keen interest in having an operational Center as soon as feasible.

What will be the total project cost of the new Memory Care Center?

The anticipated construction cost for Phase One of the project is $45 million with a $5 million endowment to help fund the Center’s operating expenses year after year.

Will the new expansion projects affect the timing or feasibility for the Memory Care Center?

No. The expansion projects will be funded largely by revenues generated. The Memory Care Center is part of the WVC Lifecare contract so no additional fees are generated to help fund this project. Philanthropy provides the necessary funding, in addition to resources provided by WVC, to make this innovative project feasible.

Do we know if the new Memory Care Center will be licensed as Skilled Care, Personal Care, or Assisted Living?

Yes. The current thinking is that the new Center will be constructed to Skilled Care building standards but licensed and operated as Assisted Living. Currently Assisted Living standards allow Residents to remain in the    household until they pass. Also, building to Skilled Care standards provides maximum flexibility for future use, should a cure for dementia be discovered.

Has Willow Valley Communities involved outside expertise in planning the Memory Care Center?

Yes. Project leadership has visited more than twenty-one “55+” and Memory Care Communities across the world, including industry innovators Hogewey in the Netherlands, Abe’s Garden, and Copper Ridge among others; each bringing strengths and weakness that we may pull best practices and create new ways of care.

The project leaders have also reviewed the latest medical and clinical research on brain health, dementia, and cognition and have consulted with world leading experts in dementia care, design, and prevention efforts – Dr. James Vickers, Australia, Dr. Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Israel, Dr. Bill Thomas, Founder of The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project

Is Willow Valley Communities considering partnering with anyone in the development of the Memory Care Center?

WVC is exploring various partnership opportunities with leading, internationally renowned universities and medical centers, currently focusing on technology, clinical practice, and research. Several educational centers have expressed preliminary interest in working with us. In addition, we will seek many partnerships with local organizations that may add value to our programming and to the Resident experience.

Staffing and Caregivers

Do you have a plan to recruit and retain Team Members?

Yes. Our Human Resources Department has launched a number of initiatives to improve Team Member retention and recruitment. With historic lows in the unemployment rate, we have made a strategic shift in our recruitment efforts to online search engines and social media platforms. This has helped us significantly reduce open positions to historically low levels.

We have also targeted specific initiatives to retain and recruit nursing Team Members. This includes developing experience-based pay scales, market rate adjustments, referral bonuses and conducting Certified Nursing Assistant and dementia-specific training programs. We have also enhanced our benefits package including accelerating our paid-time-off (PTO) schedule, more tuition reimbursement, student debt reduction plan and improving eligibility to our 401k plan.

Will the staffing model in the new Memory Care Center be the same as the current staffing model at Cedar Brook?

No. The staff to Resident ratio will be higher in the small household model as compared to the current model. We are presently evaluating front-line caregiving roles and responsibilities. (Example of caregiving staff levels: Two Certified Nurse Assistants per household; one Licensed Practical Nurse per two households and one Registered Nurse per four households.) Being licensed as an Assisted Living community will also provide more flexibility with regard to the qualifications of caregivers, maximizing their hiring potential. In Assisted Living, direct care workers are required to have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and participate in annual training specific to memory care and memory loss. Direct Care workers in Assisted Living are not required to be Certified Nursing Assistants, which is currently the requirement at the Skilled Care level. 

Will Team Members receive special training to work in the new Memory Care Center?

Yes. Current education and training modules will continue with all Team Members receiving dementia-specific training. In addition, Team Members will receive training specific to their roles/responsibilities – provided through a combination of in-house and partner-organization instructors.  Ongoing Team Member mentoring will also serve as an important training tool.

Will Team Members live at the new Memory Care Center?

No. But as is currently the case in Supportive Living, there will continue to be 24/7 nursing care for Residents.

Giving and Funding

Why has the Willow Valley Communities Charitable Foundation been established?

Residents and other family members have often approached leadership about leaving a legacy gift as an acknowledgement of the quality care and services provided by Willow Valley Communities. A charitable foundation is desirable to facilitate such requests. This seemed to be a good opportunity to create the Foundation, with the Memory Care Center as the initial campaign.

Are Willow Valley Communities and the Willow Valley Communities Charitable Foundation not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations?

Yes. Every single dollar contributed to the Foundation for this initial campaign will go to the Memory Care Center and/or the permanent endowment. Every single dollar to this project and endowment will be important – from the biggest gift to the smallest gift. All will be used well and gratefully received. No management individuals will benefit from these contributions. Cash gifts are tax deductible. Per IRS regulations, 990 Reports are submitted annually and reviewed by the WVC and WVCCF Boards.

Why can’t Willow Valley Communities fund the entire cost of the Center?

A hallmark of the success of Willow Valley Communities over the years has been prudent financial management. That is, it takes a consistently conservative approach to investment and risk.

New facilities and improvements in current ones have been carefully staged over time. The staging both

(1) meets rising needs and expectations and (2) assures a comfortable flow of funds to finance those works. This balance is best achieved for the Memory Care Center with support from philanthropy. That will enable us to fund the construction and operation of one of the finest care and research facilities in the nation.

Also, a project feasibility study among Willow Valley Communities Residents showed strong support for personal financial participation in bringing the Center to life. That has been borne out by the generosity and success of the early “lead gift” phase of the campaign.

Can Willow Valley Communities build the Memory Care Center if philanthropic funds are insufficient?

Yes. WVC can afford to build “a” Memory Care Center on its own, without philanthropy – but it would not be cutting-edge. A combination of WVC’s investment and philanthropic participation can make world-class sustainable transformation happen.

What will the $5 million endowment to be funded by this campaign be used for?

The endowment will produce annual funds, in perpetuity, to support operations and programs in the new Memory Care Center. Operations will include staffing, staff training, staff retention, Center programs, technology, adult day care, caregiver initiatives, and much more. In addition to producing annual income for the Center, it is anticipated that the endowment will grow over time.

We might want to name a feature of the Center in honor or memory of someone special. Are such opportunities available?

Yes, there are many, across a wide range of giving levels. Anyone in campaign leadership can show them to you.

May I give to the Center over several years?

Certainly. Contributions may be spread over three to five years.

Will the campaign for the Center accept non-cash contribution?

Yes. Gifts can be in many forms, including securities and other assets. To explore your best options, at no obligation to you, please call Jeff Kenderdine, Executive Director of the Foundation, at 717.464.6044.

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