Whether you’re selecting a retirement community or skilled care center for yourself or a loved one, it’s a significant decision that requires research, site visits, questions and time.
It’s why offering peace of mind to residents and their families is top priority at both The Evergreens in Moorestown and the nonprofit parent organization with which it is affiliated, Acts Retirement-Life Communities (Acts). As an affiliate of Acts since 2018, The Evergreens works closely with Acts to deliver a thoroughly individualized balance of freedom and a full continuum of health care options to the residents who call The Evergreens “home”.
“The benefits of being affiliated with Acts—the third largest not-for-profit owner-operator-developer of continuing care retirement communities in the U.S.—are tremendous,” confirms The Evergreens’ Executive Director Thomas Burke. “We have the ability to draw upon Acts’ considerable resources and expertise. … We also receive the benefit of the organization’s ‘buying power’ for many of the goods and services we need to operate.”
But those benefits go well beyond the operational level. Working with Acts ensures that meeting residents’ unique, varied and changing lifestyle needs is not just satisfied but exceeded.
“As a not-for-profit organization, Acts is mission-driven (not profit-driven) and is deeply committed to providing security and peace of mind to its residents by responding to their individual, social, personal, health and spiritual needs,” Burke explains. “Acts’ culture of loving-kindness permeates every part of the organization. Residents help each other, and staff are deeply committed to their work.”
That “culture of loving-kindness” is a mission that both Acts, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, and 1919-founded The Evergreens share, and is the driving philosophy that informs every decision the organizations make.
“It’s hard to describe but it’s a palpable feeling the moment you walk into any Acts campus,” says Burke. “The residents are there for each other, and it's not just a job for the employees—I would equate it almost to a “calling,” and I saw that quite clearly during the pandemic.”
With COVID-19 indefinitely, agonizingly separating families from their loved ones, the Acts’ teams stepped up without hesitation to be there for residents. And it has provided a catalyst to increase The Evergreens’ investment in technology.
“When the pandemic began, we had to take some very difficult steps in terms of restricting access to our campus,” Burke says. “There were a lot of emotional challenges just by virtue of that isolation. Early on, we assisted residents with video chats, with our own staff bringing iPads to the apartments, skilled nursing rooms and assisted living apartments so residents could see and speak with their loved ones. Now that we're a year and a half into the pandemic and we have the opportunity to figure out how we can make residents’ lives easier in the event this happens again, we are investing significantly in technology to make that task easier.”
Those technological investments aren’t the only improvements underway at The Evergreens. A roughly $10 million, two-year renovation and expansion project began its initial phase in March and includes an array of improvements and additions: a renovated clubhouse, lobby area and front entrance, with the clubhouse getting a new bistro, coffee shop, theater, wellness center, hair salon and rehabilitation space, plus an expanded fitness center and renovated main restaurant, library and game room.
“This renovation project—the most ambitious in our history—is part of a master plan that has been carefully developed with the next generation of retirees in mind,” Burke notes.
The new offerings will expand the “maintenance-free living, transportation services, restaurant-style dining, frequent social interactions with peers and on-site health care” that Burke says residents already have access to.
Health care options include the on-site skilled nursing center WillowBrooke Court, which received The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ highest honor—a five-star rating—based on health inspections, staffing levels and quality of care measurements.
“We are an attractive destination for seniors who desire the retirement lifestyle experience, as well as health care security,” says Burke. “Our continuum of care, where residents live independently in apartment homes and, as their needs change, can move into on-site assisted living and skilled care residences based on their individual health care needs with no increase in their cost based solely upon that need for care, is a distinguishing feature compared to 55-and-older communities and stand-alone assisted living facilities, neither of which offer on-site skilled nursing care. The tax advantages of this plan, called Acts Life Care, are also a true benefit to seniors and their families”
Because, in the end, it is all about providing loving care to residents while their families are afforded the confidence of knowing their loved one with changing needs is in good hands.
“Those transitions are always difficult but they are far less difficult when you are in a community where you already have a support network,” Burke notes. “I think that really does create a peace of mind for residents and their families.”
The Evergreens/Acts Retirement Life Communities
309 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown
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