Kingswood concludes expansion, looks toward future projects
By Brad Lucht
Photos by Kathy Feist
Kingswood Senior Living Community celebrated its 35th anniversary this past July, and has recently completed a $34.7 million redesign and expansion. New villas are being added to their expanded campus, apartments are being upgraded and nearly 50 units have been added to their assisted living, but their new focus is on education.
Beginning in November, a quarterly education series will be offered to help people understand long-term care, what a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is and how they work.
“We really are trying to help people understand, be more prepared, be more educated about the process, the care types, and what it means for mom or dad,” said Natalie Chisam, Director of Marketing. “There are so many people that come to us and have no idea where to start.”
The first class will cover veterans benefits.
“So many people that come to us are veterans and they don’t know that there is a benefit available for long term care,” explained Chisam. “There is a cash benefit available to many veterans; they don’t know how to get it, or that it even exists for them or their spouse, and so that is important for people wondering how they will pay for their future care.”
The Veterans Administration offers Aid and Attendance as part of an “Improved Pension” benefit. This is a “pension benefit” and is not dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation. Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, nursing home or assisted living facility.
Other topics cover how to navigate the continuum of coverage, downsizing and how to decide when a CCRC is the right fit.
The Choices at Kingswood
Kingswood offers numerous levels of care, ranging from independent living in villas or apartments to full time health care with memory support. Hospice care is provided at all levels.
Kingswood is expanding its independent living option by building 11 new villas. The construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Seven units have already
Each new villa has two bedrooms, with the option of adding a third. They feature stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and vaulted ceilings. All come with an oversized double garage.
Kingswood also has 150 apartments available for independent living. These units are being refreshed as each one becomes available. The updates include appliances, flooring, countertops and cabinets. Apartment sizes range from 400 to 2000 square feet.
“I’ve never had anyone tell me ‘You don’t have an apartment small enough or an apartment large enough,’” laughed Chisam.
Kingswood now has 53 assisted living units, up from 14 in just over a year. Residents in assisted living have someone to check in on them on a more frequent basis than independent living. The upgraded apartments have full-sized kitchenettes with a refrigerator, microwave, and a natural counter to sit at.
Memory care is offered at Kingswood to residents in both assisted living and health care units. Technology is used throughout the memory care floors to aid and comfort residents. For example, digital photo frames are attached to each apartment door to assist the residents in identifying where they live.
Each floor also has a “it’s never too late” machine. Residents can set up their own profile, identifying which games they like to play, their favorite music, and photos from their past. The machine also has a bicycle simulator with pedals. While watching the computer screen the resident can pedal down the street of their old home. “They can spend all day revisiting their memories,” explained Chisam.
Another innovation for memory care patients is “Shirley the Seal,” a therapeutic robotic animal that responds to the touch and voice of dementia patients.
Studies have shown animal therapy can reduce memory care residents’ stress and increase their social engagement. But live animals aren’t always logistically feasible in a care setting.
That’s where “Shirley” comes in. Shirley is modeled to look like a baby harp seal; it responds to petting and touching, and to the sound of different people’s voices. Kingswood’s therapists use Shirley to calm and redirect residents with dementia without relying on pharmacological interventions.
“Whenever a resident is anxious, upset, or aggressive, we give them Shirley and it really mellows them out,” explained Chisalm. “Only two or three senior living communities in the whole state have one.”
Health Care/Health Care – Memory Support
Kingswood also offers full time health care for those that can no longer care for themselves.
In fact, last year Kingswood was named one of the top 100 nursing homes in the country by U.S. News & World Report and was awarded 5 out of 5 stars.
Kingswood also offers outpatient rehab and has an audiology clinic on campus that is available to the community.
The community is invited to join Kingswood at a ribbon-cutting ceremony November 14th to celebrate their changes and additions. The festivities will last from 2 to 4 p.m.
Kingswood is located at 10000 Wornall Road. To learn more about care options, contact Natalie Chisam at 816.442.3267, or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.