By Richard Asinof
By Richard Asinof
Rhode Island is considered a national leader in health care innovations – in adoption of patient-centered medical homes, in the creation of a office of the health insurance commissioner, in its coverage of children with both health and dental insurance. And, now, with the opening of Tockwotton on the Waterfront, one of the most innovative senior communities.
Providence Business News asked Kevin McKay, Tockwotton’s executive director, to share the latest news about the project and when it will open.
PBN: Are you all set for the opening of Tockwotton on the Waterfront? What needs to be done?
MCKAY: The walls are up and finish work has begun. We’re aiming to get our certificate of occupancy in several weeks and then we’ll be busy decorating and completing the landscaping. Our current residents will celebrate the holidays in their existing home and will move on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, into Tockwotton on the Waterfront.
PBN: Are residents excited to be moving to the new location? What is the occupancy rate?
MCKAY: That’s an understatement! Residents have been intimately involved with the construction and design of this building. They’ve attended the groundbreaking and the topping-off ceremonies. They’ve watched the progress of the construction from our Solarium here on the East Side and have visited the site to select their new apartment. For several of our residents, this will be the first time that they ever have lived in a newly constructed home; those individuals are particularly excited.
We’re pleased that 100 percent of our current residents will be moving to private apartments at Tockwotton on the Waterfront.
However, our new building will be larger and offer a more comprehensive array of amenities and services. Those factors, combined with the reputation for compassionate, quality care that we’ve been delivering for more than 150 years, has created strong demand for the additional apartments.
We are 90 percent occupied, and are encouraging seniors and their families to come in for a tour if they’re contemplating surgery and anticipate needing rehabilitation, if they are considering memory care or nursing care for a loved one, or are ready to make the move to assisted living for themselves.
PBN: What are the plans for the older building?
MCKAY: It’s up for sale through Cushman & Wakefield and we’re hopeful that it will do well because of its prime location near Brown, RISD and Providence’s Knowledge District. There’s a green space, shopping, restaurants and world-class institutions of higher learning all within walking distance.
PBN: How have other nursing homes and assisted living facilities looked to learn from your newly designed approach to care?
MCKAY: Thankfully, for us all, medicine is an evolving field. In the past 50 years, elder care has moved from a clinical, institutional-type setting to back to a more dignified, residence-based approach.
We’re affording people a better quality of life with no nursing stations, individual apartments, private bathrooms, a fitness room, a state of the art silent nurse call system and so many other amenities that were unheard of even 20 years ago. For example, our memory care residents will be able to shut their door and have privacy or walk outside and look at the stars and still be safe.
No wall or window, corridor or doorway was placed without careful consideration of its function and purpose and how it could best serve those living nearby. Tockwotton on the Waterfront will definitely be the most innovative senior community when it opens in January.
However, for future seniors we’re hoping that the evolution continues and that other innovative residences will open in the near future. Collaboration and research, observation and change are always welcome in our field when the outcome is better quality care for our seniors. We’re hoping that the culture change efforts in senior care made at Tockwotton will be a springboard for future senior communities.
PBN: What special activities are planned to go along with the opening?
MCKAY: After the formal ribbon-cutting in February, we will focus on our residents and getting them settled during the winter months. After everyone is comfortable, we’ll roll out a calendar of welcoming events in the spring. We have a water view pub, a meeting room and a theater room in our new community, along with a generous parking lot, so we’ll be opening our doors to the community in 2013.