Arbor Ridge set to open in Highland Park
Arbor Ridge Senior Living in Highland Park Thursday, Oct 25. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Arbor Ridge, CRL Senior Living Communities
Address: 1651 Richfield Ave., Highland Park
Specialty: Memory care and assisted living
Updated: December 5, 2012 8:25AM
HIGHLAND PARK — A new senior living facility on the Highland Park-Deerfield border will provide both “memory care” for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and assisted living for residents who need the help of an aide for routine tasks like dressing, bathing and toileting.
Memory care residents will occupy the third floor, while assisted living residents will be on the ground floor.
Why the separation?
“Memory care is a whole different method of providing care,” said Sara Sanderman, who will serve as director of Arbor Ridge, at Deerfield Road and Richfield Avenue. Sanderman noted one symptom of dementia is aphasia, a difficulty understanding and expressing language.
“You can’t just say, ‘It’s time to go to the bathroom,’ because they may not understand what that means,” she said.
But an assisted living resident may want to be involved in and direct their own care.
Assisted living residents might thrive on a current events discussion relying on short-term memory, while memory care residents do better with activities tapping long-term memory or the music-centered region of the brain.
“Memory care is very much a specialized area of care, and the methods of delivery are very important,” said Sanderman.
Of course, both groups also benefit from occasional interaction, which allows assisted living residents the gratification of helping those with memory loss.
Arbor Ridge, at 1651 Richfield Ave., Highland Park, is part of the CRL Senior Living Communities network. The firm started in Wisconsin and now has four Illinois facilities in McHenry, Morton Grove and Highland Park.
Each floor is designed to serve as its own community, with dining rooms on each floor.
“The higher-functioning residents — residents who can still feed themselves and order off the menu — are together in a community and not with someone who needs to be fed,” Sanderman noted.
Fruit smoothies are a twice-daily ritual at CRL facilities to ensure that residents stay nourished and well-hydrated. Non-alcoholic cranberry “martinis” are served each evening to combat urinary tract infections.
“It is amazing,” said Adam Zussman, a vice president of CRL. “We’ve had some residents who were not talking or doing very well at first, but after a week of proper eating, hydration and stimulation, you couldn’t shut them up.”
Zussman takes pride in the firm’s quest for continuous improvement. “We are one of the only companies we know that tracks clinical indicators like hospital visits and falls, so we can look at it month to month and make sure we are improving.”