Sentara Life Care has broken ground on a nursing and rehabilitation center replacement facility on its Chesapeake, Va. campus with an innovative ‘household’ design and approach to care.

Sentara Life Care breaks ground on new nursing center

New Chesapeake Nursing Center

Sentara Life Care has broken ground on a nursing and rehabilitation center replacement facility on its Chesapeake, Va. campus with an innovative household’ design and approach to care. The 65,000 square foot facility, designed by SFCS Architects and built by Vannoy Construction, will be among just two percent of current American nursing centers offering this modern design and philosophy.

“We want to create a homelike atmosphere that offers 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’re seizing this opportunity create a new care model.”

The design of the 120-bed center calls for ‘households’ of 20 residents each, with a kitchen serving each one, an outdoor garden setting and common areas for visiting and activities. There will also be a 40-bed short stay pavilion for post-acute rehabilitation patients featuring a bistro where patients and families can share meals. Long-term care residents will enjoy private bedrooms and customized meals and snacks around the clock just like home, versus the traditional three structured meals each day.

“I might like a scrambled egg or some homemade banana pudding while I watch the late news and at our new facility, I’ll be able to order that,” said Irvin Land, administrator of the Chesapeake campus. “We’re also going to accommodate residents’ sleep cycles and personal habits in executing care plans,” Land continued. “We want to create an environment that promotes relationship building among residents and staff and encourages residents to enjoy their own daily pleasures.”

Other programs and services in the new facility will include:

  • A ‘transitional suite’ where rehab patients preparing for discharge can practice activities of daily living 
  • A household for residents with dementia, with specialized safety features and appropriate programs
  • 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, which is right in line with the Sentara commitment to always treat you with dignity and respect.”