Making a safe haven for memories
Published 10:01 am Friday, September 19, 2014
FRANKLIN—A little more than a year after the ground-breaking ceremony, visitors on Thursday got to tour the new memory care center of The Village at Woods Edge.
Looking around at the 16 rooms and commons area, they blend seamlessly with the rest of the retirement village. That look — and attitude — inspired the name Asa’s Neighborhood.
When the project was announced in mid-June 2013, the VWE board declared that the facility would be named for board chairman Asa B. Johnson, himself a resident in the independent living section of VWE.
“It’s a wonderful place,” Johnson said looking around. “I would not hesitate to recommend it.
“Rhonda and her staff deserve special thanks and did a great job planning…a magnificent job with little or no help from me.”
He added, “I’m tickled to death. They have a great support staff, and I’m very proud of it.”
The woman to whom he was referring is VWE Executive Director Rhonda Stewart. She said during the reception that the state inspectors came through earlier that day. They gave the place a thumbs up.
“Everything is clear for licensure,” Stewart said, adding that process could take up to 60 days, but she is hopeful that it won’t be that long after all.
She also said Johnson is deserving to have the memory care center named for him.
“He’s a long-time board member and supporter of the Village. It’s fitting to honor him for all the hard work he’s put in over the years,” Stewart said.
Working to make “Asa’s Neighborhood” a comfortable and secure place for the 16 residents is Billie Turner, director of Memory Care.
When she began working at VWE seven years ago, Turner said she started out as an administrative assistant in the front office. Later she moved up to resident services for five years.
Then the decision to create the space for people with memory impairments was made. With it came the opportunity for her to expand her abilities and responsibilities in overseeing the new facility. That involved taking several classes.
“So here we are,” Turner said. “I’ll oversee the staff, work with the families and residents for programs and activities, and coordinate with doctors for day-to-day care.”