The Sentara Rehabilitation & Care Residence in Chesapeake, Va. represents a new resident-centered care model designed to maximize self-direction and dignity and improve the resident experience.

Sentara Rehabilitation & Care Residence opens

Innovative design launches new model for senior care in Hampton Roads

Sentara Life Care has cut the ribbon on the Sentara Rehabilitation & Care   Residence on its Oak Grove Road campus in Chesapeake, Va. The 120-bed facility features an innovative "household" design with 20 residents each, and a resident-centered approach to care currently in use at just three percent of skilled nursing facilities nationwide. It is also the first facility of its kind in Virginia to move beyond a trial phase to full implementation.

“We want to offer residents greater privacy, independence and   self-direction than ever before,” said Bruce Robertson, president of Sentara Life Care. “We are replacing a 46-year-old facility on our Chesapeake campus and we seized this opportunity to create a new building design and a new model of care.”

Each household will have its own 24-hour kitchen, a secure outdoor garden and comfortable common areas for family visiting and activities.

There will also be a 40-bed "Great Bridge Pavilion" for short-stay rehabilitation patients, featuring one of the largest gymnasiums in Hampton Roads and a bistro where patients and families can share meals.

Most long-term care residents will enjoy private bedrooms with shared baths and customized meals and snacks around the clock, just like   home, versus the traditional three structured meals with a set menu.

"I might like a scrambled egg or some banana pudding while I watch the late news and I’ll be able to order that," said Irvin Land, administrator of the Chesapeake campus. "If a resident wakes up at 2 a.m. and wants some   soup and a grilled cheese, we’ll make that happen."

Land adds that liberalized diet plans are clinically shown to help long-term care residents maintain their weight  and improve their overall health. Residents will be assessed by speech therapists to determine if they are clinically able to safely choose a liberalized diet.

"We’re also going to accommodate residents’ sleep cycles and personal habits in executing care plans,” Land continued. "If Mrs. Jones is asleep at 8 a.m., we’ll wait for her to wake up before giving her her morning   medications."

The resident-centered program is focused on building relationships   of trust and affection among residents and staff and providing residents   maximum opportunities for self-direction and daily pleasures.

Other programs and services   will include:

  • In-room medication storage to eliminate medication carts trundling down the halls  
  • Out-of-sight storage for linen carts and other necessities to create a more residential look
  • A Transitional Suite where rehabilitation patients practice activities of daily living before discharge
  • A secure Garden Spring House for residents with dementia, with specialized safety features, appropriate programs, lavender-laced aromatherapy to reduce anxiety, an enclosed courtyard with comfortable seating and an absence of alarms
  • A clinic with telemedicine capabilities where physicians will be able to see   patients on site

"It’s about serving residents’ needs in the way that’s best for them, not us," Land continued. "We think this philosophy and approach will prove to be a good business model as well as a superior model of care," Land   concludes. "The Sentara Rehabilitation and Care Residence is right in line with the Sentara Commitment to always treat you with dignity and respect."