When reality sets in that a loved one would be better off with the benefits of assisted living, Alzheimer’s or memory care, there is usually a time of panic for the family or caregivers.
There are so many questions to answer. Where is the best location? Which amenities are important? How friendly, knowledgeable and well-trained is the staff? With so many choices, where do you even begin?
One step inside The Charlotte Assisted Living & Memory Care, and most of those questions can be answered within minutes.
Guests are quickly greeted with a grandiose interior featuring a large, meticulously decorated main room centered around a grand piano, access to a large outdoor courtyard and a bar that serves beer and wine, but mostly to the family members, Executive Director Ashley Parrish said.
“A lot of time it’s stressful,” she said. “You have your family member in assisted living or in Reflections (what they call their memory-care and Alzheimer’s care unit) and it’s hard to see them like that. When you go home, you would have a glass of wine to cool down, and they can do that here with people experiencing the same type of thing.”
The Charlotte wants there to be a very personalized experience, and the staff goes out of its way to make guests feel welcome and at home.
That starts with Parrish.
When she meets a potential new client or a family member of an existing one, Parrish said she likes to take them into the main room or library, which is equipped with a gas fireplace and comfy couches, because the spacious area with round tables is better than talking to clients from behind her desk.
Parrish is a veteran of the industry, having served in various capacities and in all ranges of facilities. She’ll meet as long as guests have questions.
Once the tour begins, it’s clear to see why the newly decorated amenities and everyday options for the residents are what separates The Charlotte.
That starts with the food.
There is an industry standard most facilities follow for how much money is allotted to foodservice. At The Charlotte, Parrish says, that allotment is nearly doubled.
There is an on-site executive chef who prepares up to 12 options for each meal of the day, and the restaurant is open seven days a week. There is never a buffet or cafeteria-style meals.
“If you had to go to the same restaurant three times a day and they had the same menu every day, you’d eventually get sick of it,” Parrish said.
All residents are encouraged to participate in daily activities, and there are some good ones.
Residents have been uptown to sightsee. They’ve been to the movies, to the pool at their sister location in Tega Cay, to get ice cream and too many other places in between.
Some days they have events in the courtyard, but it’s all resident-driven, Parrish said.
Not only do the residents have daily input in both the menu and the activities they take part in, once they are ready to settle down for the night, their rooms offer a great sense of security.
Every room is single occupancy, Parrish said, unless there are married couples. That way residents don’t have the added stress of sharing a room with a stranger.
Inside each one-bedroom suite is a large, fully equipped bathroom and spacious bedroom area, an additional sitting room and a dining nook space. Each unit is large and fully renovated.
As nice as the rooms are, residents are encouraged to visit with friends and family often and take part in the other amenities that include a workout room, and many areas around the facility to socialize, read a book or talk with other residents.
For Alzheimer’s and other memory care residents, Reflections has its own wing. All of the rooms and amenities are newly renovated.
Parrish said most Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities will get a few top managers specific patient training for memory care patients, but at The Charlotte, it’s a prerequisite for all staff to becoming hired.
That’s just one example of the thoroughness Parrish and her staff exudes on every aspect of The Charlotte.
Another huge selling point is no-haggle pricing. Unlike most facilities, Parrish said the price that is set today is the price residents will pay for the length of their stay regardless of changes in their needs, medications or living arrangements.
“It’s just the peace of mind,” Parrish said. “You know if you are taking two meds or 100, the price will always stay the same. That’s comforting.”
Want to learn more?
The Charlotte Assisted Living & Memory Care is located at 9120 Willow Ridge Road, Charlotte. Call 704-815-7362 or visit them on the web at https://charlotte-living.com.