Business

Alzheimers facility unveiled in South Kitsap

"With its rich carpeting, comfortable furniture and attentive staff Orchard Pointe, a new 41-bed Alzheimer's facility in South Kitsap, feels more like a home than a health care provider.That's by design.This is the last home most of our residents will ever live in, said Orchard Pointe spokesperson Jana Morrison. When we refer to it, we don't call this a facility. We call it a home, because we want it to be a home first and a health care facilitty second.Orchard Pointe, which admitted its first resident Jan. 13, concentrates on providing care for sufferers of Alzheimer's and other dementia-related disorders.We're not set up to handle people with serious medical needs, Morrison said. If someone develops a problem after they've been admitted, we'll do what we can, but if the problem is too severe, we have to transfer them to a hospital or an assisted living facility.A privately owned facility, Orchard Pointe is operated by Salem, Ore.-based SunWest Management, Inc. At present , there are 12 residents at Orchard Pointe, most of whom are receiving state subsidies to pay for their care. Morrison said the facility will operate with ratio of six patients to one caregiver when fully staffed and all beds are filled. That compares to ratios of 10 and 12 to one in conventional nursing homes.She concedes that in order to bring in enough revenue to pay for the facility's creature comforts, Orchard Pointe needs to maintain a balance between private-pay residents and state pays, for whom the facility receives less money.We take both, but we can't maintain this kind of facility with more state pays than private pays, Morrison said. We'd like to, but we have to pay our bills, too.Depending on the severity of the resident's disease, they may not even be aware of quality of Orchard Pointe's furnishings, Morrison said. But at a certain level, they do understand they're being well cared for, she said. That's what makes it nice."

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