This video was created by, and produced by Assisted Living Directory.
I had the very nice opportunity this month to visit Ed and Melinda Nava at Safe Harbor Assisted Living in beautiful Longmont Colorado. I asked them if I could videotape their facility for our website, and they agreed. I believe that video is one of the most under-utilized tools used by assisted living facilities nowadays, and I want to show people how relatively easy it can be to produce a quality, and engaging video, or virtual tour for an assisted living facility. I recommend looking at our blog post immediately preceding this one about the process (for creating videos) that we (Assisted Living Directory) uses to produce our facility videos, and why video is so important for any facility’s marketing effort.
I visited Safe Harbor on a warm, but beautiful morning recently, and was immediately impressed with how beautifully landscaped Safe Harbor is on the outside. It is very apparent that Ed and Melinda put a great deal of effort into the ‘curb appeal’ of their facility – with gorgeous flowers and foliage surrounding the facility, as well as fountains, a beautiful sandstone display in front engraved with “Safe Harbor Assisted Living.” One of the most striking, yet functional features of the front of the facility is the long, wooden ramp leading up to the front door that obviously makes the facility handicap accessible. The ramp is beautifully constructed, and really sets this house apart in the neighborhood to indicate that it is for a special purpose – being a home for the elderly.
I was first greeted by Melinda, who is very energetic, very clearly passionate about being a caregiver her residents. She welcomed me in, and was a very gracious host. The interior of the home, at first glance, is very, very clean and elegant – peaceful would be a good word. The furnishings and decorations are all very tasteful, and of very high quality. The main living room is adorned with oil paintings, luxurious drapes, and lots of natural light. I imagined it would be a wonderful room to sit and read a book, or to find some quiet time.
Within a few minutes, Ed (Melinda’s husband) greeted me. They are co-owners of the facility, and Ed was also very welcoming and gracious to me. Ed took over from there, and we continued our tour of the facility. We first looked at the several bedrooms for the residents. Safe Harbor offers single, as well as double occupancy rooms, and each is very appropriately and tastefully decorated, and each room seemed very, very comfortable. The beds all had very high-quality linens and comforters, and the rooms all had a nice level of natural light available to them. There is a master bathroom, and master shower/bath area that is set aside for the residents, where the staff and caregivers will assisted them in their daily hygiene and bathing routines. The bathrooms and shower areas are all equipped with the necessary safety features, and were all spotlessly clean.
Ed then led me into the main ‘family’ or common room, where a few of the residents were sitting at the time, watching TV. The were both in their 90’s if I remember right, and seemed very content, and comfortable. The main family room has a large TV, a fireplace, and a couch with several comfortable chairs, which makes it a very inviting environment for residents to spend time in to socialize, play games, or watch a movie.
The family room and the kitchen area are separated by one of the two dining areas in the house, offering residents a choice of areas to enjoy their meals. The dining areas are very inviting, and each having it’s own character or ‘personality.’ One of the dining areas is decorated almost like a small bistro, with large wine-bottles in view as decoration, and a more elegant feel to it. The dining area that looked to be the more ‘common’ eating area was more functional looking, and bright (due to it’s being next to the back sliding door), but was equally inviting, clean, and lovely in it’s own right.
As Ed and I were touring, and chatting, Melinda was busy in the kitchen preparing lunch (I believe) for the residents. I really had the sense that Melinda loved being in her kitchen, creating treats and meals for her residents. Ed mentioned that she is truly a gourmet cook!
Throughout our tour, and visit, it was very apparent to me that Ed and Melinda take a great deal of pride in what they do, and what their facility offers. Listening to Ed speak in a very detailed manner about the facility is very telling about how Safe Harbor assisted living is managed and maintained – with a high degree of, and attention to detail. I took notice of the many ‘small things‘ that make this facility very homelike – and un-facility like. The smell of the facility was somewhat of a mix of something delicious that had been cooked recently, mixed with the fresh breeze that was coming into the living room windows. The lush and well-cared for plants inside and outside of the facility really help to create a sense of vibrancy, or life in and around the facility. In the gardens, if you look carefully, you might see a small, stone turtle. If you were to look up, you might see a calming wind chime dangling in the breeze. If you were to close your eyes and listen, you will hear the trickling water from the yardscapes and water features in the backyard, or the birds chirping in the trees nearby. There is very little traffic, or external noise in this neighborhood. I imagined that it would be very easy to take a mid-afternoon nap at Safe Harbor assisted living!
As our visit came to a close, Ed and I were chatting on the deck in their extensive and spectacular back yard. I asked ed to comment on what a smaller, home-like facility might offer over a larger, more corporate-feeling assisted living facility (small vs. large facilities). Very convincingly, Ed described the benefits, or the uniqueness of a ‘home-setting’ for the elderly. Many of the larger facilities can be very imposing for residents with the linoleum floors, the hospital-type setting and environment with multiple beds in one room divided by a hospital curtain to divide the beds – making it easy for a resident, or prospective resident to feel lost, as Ed described. Many of the larger facilities offer more cafeteria-style meals and cooking, and a more impersonal feel to many of the services and amenities they offer. Safe Harbor Assisted Living, as well as other home-like assisted living facilities can offer a more ‘bed and breakfast’ type of feel to them, with highly personalized care and attention – a personal touch, a sense of warmth, and a personal attention to detail when it comes to menus, creative approaches when it comes to fielding the needs of our seniors and elderly; working closely with the doctors, families, and relatives of the residents; having an intimate knowledge of the medications needed by each resident.
The caregiving staff at Safe Harbor Assisted Living are all CNA-certified and highly qualified and experienced. Ed talked about the importance of their staff and caregivers having a ‘heart’ that reflects theirs (Ed and Melinda). In addition, Ed and Melinda live on property, offering another aspect of 24-hour care, accessibility and availability to the residents. This, Ed mentioned, goes a long way to providing daily ‘familiar faces’ to their residents, as opposed to a rotating staff of caregivers and administrators that one might find at a larger facility. Each day, the residents know exactly who will be attending to, and caring for them, which goes a long way towards minimizing anxiety and confusion with their residents.
As I was leaving Safe Harbor Assisted Living, Melinda wanted to share with me that they have a dream of opening a larger, 35-bed facility sometime in the future. This would be a facility that, although it has increased capacity in terms of the number of residents – would retain the personalized care, attention, and detail that Ed described to me, and that I experienced on my visit to Safe Harbor Assisted Living.
Once, completed, Ed and Melinda asked if I would come back to their future facility for a visit. I look very forward to this day, and I anticipate that Ed and Melinda will be extremely successful in their new venture. I wish them the best of luck, and I am thankful and grateful that they invited me to meet them, and experience the gift of Safe Harbor Assisted Living!