Stories

The current Living Center can no longer meet the needs of our community. Families face the heartbreak of moving parents, spouses, and grandparents to other cities and towns to receive the care they need.

Our aging community members deserve it. They are the ranchers, merchants, professionals, veterans, and moms and dads who built our community. We owe it to them and their families.

The new Living Center will have a dedicated memory unit for residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Without a dedicated unit, St. John’s can’t offer the optimum environment to provide for the safety and care of seniors with advanced memory loss.

A new Living Center will better support resident-centered care. Its design will be based on a household, not an institutional model—meaning it will feel like a home rather than a hospital. Rooms and baths will be private. The common areas will be designed for activities and socialization, rather than with a central focus on nurses’ stations.

In the past thirty years the “graying of America” has led to an epidemic of dementia. Over five million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 that number is projected to be 16 million, 10 million of whom will be baby boomers. The new facility will be better prepared to care for the growing number of people who require care. The new center, once completely built out, will accommodate 50% more residents than the current facility.

What we now understand about Alzheimer’s care includes keeping patients stimulated and active. Not infrequently a Living Center is the best place for them. The staff does a wonderful job keeping residents active and engaged, but they are limited by the hospital-like atmosphere.

Organized activities, a sense of community, and an environment that respects privacy and dignity, improve the quality of life of everyone and the elderly should not be an exception.

The design of the new facility will allow for patients from the hospital who need rehabilitation from surgery or illness to have their own place without intruding on the routine of the lives of those who live there. These rehabilitation patients will be positioned to receive the best care in a facility designed for their specific needs.

Our current Living Center already has a remarkable, caring staff who will flourish in a facility that makes their work more efficient and effective. We have music therapy, bus outings, games, a devoted volunteer staff and much more. The entire staff, as well as their charges, will benefit from a new facility.

In summary, this project is an essential community need All of us in Teton County—from individuals, to families, to employers—will benefit if we are able to house and take care of our seniors in the new Living Center on the St. John’s Health Campus right in the heart of our community.

 

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