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By: Presbyterian Senior Living on

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St. Andrew's Village: Turning Your Health Center Inside Out

Housing & Development | CCRC

turning your health center inside outBuilt to take advantage of Pennsylvania's picturesque landscape while providing an exceptionally wholesome community in which older adults can thrive, St. Andrew's Village needed a makeover to further improve its capacity to enhance and nourish the lives of its residents. Beginning in 2013, the $10 million renovation of the village emphasized a unique design model that applies the physical and emotional benefits of home living, having immediate access to the outdoors and a cozier, family-type feel to the community.

This was driven by the household model, which incorporated the creation of four separate neighborhoods with distinct characteristics, expansive community and dining life areas and space adjustments to the size of St. Andrew's Village's rehabilitation and nursing care centers.

Creating Beautifully Functional Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Brian Parks, the executive director of St. Andrew's Village, had this to say about the strategy behind the renovation and the household model:

"We created four households to help center village community life around the living and kitchen areas, much like we all enjoy in our homes. This renovation addresses the desires of residents who want to live in a person-centered community and have a wider selection of amenities."

Created to allow residents to receive physical therapy outdoors instead of indoors, new courtyard gardens also provide spaces for residents to engage in planting flowers, watering plants and other enjoyable outdoor activities. St. Andrew's Village residents in need of memory support now have use of a "memory support household" offering aromatherapy, personalized activities and a more intimate, family-like ambience that contributes significantly to improved mental and emotional health. 

Creating Households

dapper resident at st andrews villageThe extensive renovation of St. Andrew's Village involved creating four neighborhoods centered around the "core" of the neighborhoods to give residents the close-knit feeling of living with an extended family. New resident rooms were also constructed to provide residents with an improved balance of social interaction and on-demand privacy. These rooms also have large windows offering residents with peaceful views of the courtyard, staff members and neighbors.

Creating an Unforgettable and Engaging Outdoor Experience

Lovely places emerging from St. Andrew's Village renovation were especially designed to provide five things vital to optimizing the satisfaction and well-being of our residents: accessibility, visibility, security, happiness, and health. Older adults living at St. Andrew's Village flourish physically, mentally and spiritually by engaging in outdoor and indoor activities designed to enhance all aspects of their lives. 

gardening at st andrews villageIn addition to numerous socializing opportunities and intergenerational activities, residents of St. Andrew's Village enjoy the following:

  • Outdoor therapy
  • Dining al fresco
  • Scheduled events, such as speakers, music, plays
  • Caring for the landscape, including planting flowers, watering plants, weeding
  • Birdbaths and water fountains that attract colorful birds, squirrels and small wildlife
  • Circular walking paths (especially helpful to memory-impaired seniors who may get disoriented when walking long, straight paths)
  • An exciting, diverse variety of programmed and unprogrammed activities appealing to older adults

gardening at st andrews village part 2The Five C's of Transformation

When Brian Parks decided to "turn the health center inside out", he applied the concept of the five "C's" when redesigning the St. Andrew's Village:

  • Campus renovation, to physically restructure and renovate the village for ease of use.
  • Customer relations, to provide detailed information to residents and their families about upcoming changes to the village, how they would see change, and what they could expect after it was complete
  • Care redesign, to make changes conducive to the health and well-being of the community by making it easier for residents to explore the campus and for staff to assist residents on demand.
  • Culture revitalization, to retrain employees and establish new, improved ways of communicating. Facilitating communication between residents and staff ensures residents receive the kind of attention and one-on-one care they need and deserve.
  • Community relationships, to establish long and lasting partnerships with associated hospitals, physicians, nurses and caregivers that form the broader senior health network in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

The team that led the renovation could easily create attractive buildings everyone would admire. However, they wanted to extend the vision beyond the facade of renovated buildings to established an exemplary, senior living model that gave residents everything they needed and wanted. "What we did, in essence," Mr. Parks stated, "is to create a place where our residents really want to live and enjoy life. Our additions have significantly enriched the social, intellectual, spiritual, physical lives of all the residents."

How Turning St. Andrew's Village Inside Out Benefited Residents

In addition to enhancing the lives of residents, their family members and staff, the renovation produced data-driven, measurable outcomes that reduced 30-day readmission rates and improved employee safety, reduced employee turnover by 50 percent and streamlined the Village's relationship with the Department of Health. The Village also received a higher star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In April, 2016, the Living and Learning Center opened its doors to the residents of St. Andrew's Village. Considered the project's centerpiece, the Living and Learning Center provides modern audio/visual equipment and a multifunctional area for up to 110 people for the purpose of holding community events. Additionally, the center offers community members and residents the opportunity to engage in a variety of learning and social functions.

st andrews villageSupporting the general concepts of St. Andrew's Village beliefs and perspectives on older adult living is the Masterpiece Living Program, an approach to aging emerging from the MacArthur Foundation Study on Aging.  Based on research data and rigorously tested, the Masterpiece Living Program helps senior living organizations with developing supportive environments that deliver positive influences on the ability of older adults to thrive.  Tenets supporting the Masterpiece Living Program assert that aging adults need to engage socially with others, develop a sense of meaning and purpose in life, have the ability to maintain a mentally challenging and physically active lifestyle, and live in a supportive environment.

Constructed to support St. Andrew's Village and the Masterpiece Living Program, the Living and Learning Center, courtyards and gardens are intended to motivate, challenge and mentally stimulate residents in order to spur them to find new hobbies, set goals and achieve them and lead more fulfilling, healthier lives with their village neighbors.

St. Andrew's Village Continues to Bring Life and Love to New and Existing Residents

This renovation is just one of the many "extras" residents enjoy daily while living at St. Andrew's Village. There are dozens of other amenities provided by St. Andrew's Village at different levels of living, check out their homepage for details.

Located in Indiana, Pennsylvania, St. Andrew's Village is a Presbyterian Senior Living Community serving older adults in Western and Central Pennsylvania. 

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About Presbyterian Senior Living

Presbyterian Senior Living is a not-for-profit organization, fulfilling its charitable purpose and mission by providing high quality retirement choices, healthcare services and affordable residential living options for people 55 and older for more than 85 years. Headquartered in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, Presbyterian Senior Living provides services to approximately 6,000 seniors in 30 locations in the mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.

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