Retirement communities – like Edgewood's – are designed to provide seniors with everything they need to lead independent and active lives as they age. It's also imperative communities do everything they can to keep residents healthy, which can become a problem if a senior needs medical treatment or attention that can usually only be found outside of the community. Yet trips to the doctor or a hospital can become tiring, expensive and a burden.
That's why Edgewood Healthcare is proud to announce their CaringEdge division, which is being rolled out across multiple Edgewood properties. The brainchild of Edgewood Healthcare's CEO, Phil Gisi, CaringEdge aims to provide home health, physical and occupational therapy, in-patient treatment and hospice options in their communities, so residents don't have to leave their buildings to get the quality care they need. Their objective is to serve their residents so that they can enjoy a comprehensive and satisfying experience with as little hassle as possible.
Here's some more information on the CaringEdge program:
Designed to reduce traveling risks, improve care coordination
More than anything, residents want to stay in their communities as much as possible. This ideal, however, is strained by the reality that many have to travel near and far distances to receive medical treatment that could theoretically be delivered on-premises. Indeed, this has led to the rise of aging-in-place, which is a progressive trend that allows residents to stay in their homes for as long as possible with as high a quality of life and level of support as they would find anywhere else.
Edgewood has aimed at making CaringEdge the standard in their communities so that centralized resources can facilitate aging-in-place. The extent of CaringEdge services provided at a community (again, ranging from physical and occupational therapy to hospice) depends on the size of the location, as well as other factors.
This inclusion of services inside the communities themselves is important for a number of reasons, said Brendan Weidler, CaringEdge Administrator. For one, the physical demands of travel can put seniors at risk, especially at the many Edgewood properties that experience harsh winters. Snow and ice heighten driving and falling risks; but there's no reason that weather should obstruct seniors from getting the care they need. Another reason is that inclusion of on-site care helps align the treatment seniors get.
"What made the most sense for Edgewood is that we incorporate and provide our own services, which would allow us to coordinate and enhance the care residents receive while living in our community," Weidler said.
Immediate results, satisfaction all around
In those communities that the CaringEdge has come to, Weidler said immediate benefits are being seen, like at the Minot community in North Dakota, which he oversees.
"Right off the bat, people were excited to hear what we were doing," he said. "Everyone was supportive and interested."
At first it was just Weidler, but soon enough a director of nursing, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist joined the ranks of the CaringEdge at Minot. Weidler said the positives could be seen right away, as not only did the presence of services in-house provide residents with convenience and quality, but also led to more direct engagement with professionals. The result was a doubling of the equipment available in the exercise/wellness room, as well as an increase in foot traffic. The number of participants nearly doubles on a weekly basis, Weidler said, and residents are active in asking questions and leveraging the help of therapists.
"They really look at it this as an opportunity to get some tips and hints as to what they can do to better stay healthy and enjoy an active lifestyle, which for many residents is one of the most important aspects to their wellness," Weidler said. "People are taking a stake in their health and that's good from both a personal and a life enrichment perspective."
More growth coming
As the CaringEdge becomes more established in Edgewood communities, Weilder predicts the breadth, quality and level of care residents can expect to take advantage of will increase. For instance, having nurse practitioners (NPs) in-house, when feasible, can have an impact on resident wellness and utilization of services.
"Being able to work really closely with clinical services, like Certified Nursing Assistants and other staff, is a valuable relationship," Weidler said. "What we saw right away was that it builds strong relationships with clinical services staff, as well as increases clinical staff engagement with residents and their health, they're looking for anything that they can do to help."
Edgewood remains committed to providing residents with the means to health and wellness in their own community, and the CaringEdge helps them progress toward that goal. As the rollout and maturation of the program continues, they look forward to helping strategize care to fit every resident's needs. Contact the CaringEdge today for more information about their communities and services.