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April 26, 2018

High-end memory care offered at Poet’s Walk

The staff is outstanding with keeping up with things. They know everyone’s names already — even family members.
— Ann Timmerman
Poet’s Walk
• What: “Memory care” assisted living home for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

• Where: 33 Woodlands Way, off Blackwell Road, Warrenton, just north of Route 17 Spur.

• Site: 3.33 acres; purchased for $1.8 million by Warrenton Senior Development Co. Inc.

• Building: About 38,463 square feet; two dining rooms; three secure courtyards.

• Capacity: 68 residents.

• Fees: $6,000 to $8,500 a month depending on room size.

• Rooms: 60.

• Opened: January 2018.

• Construction costs: About $5.4 million.

• Website: Click here.

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Senior citizens play a word game in the bright, spacious room that resembles a country club with comfortable sofas, chandeliers, high ceilings and plush carpet.

Families pay up to $100,000 a year for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia to live at Poet’s Walk, a new assisted living facility in Warrenton.

Since Poet’s Walk opened in January, 27 residents have moved into the building off Blackwell Road. Fifteen more will move in during the next several weeks.

The 38,000-square-foot building has capacity for 68 residents. It represents an investment of more than $7 million.

Lurty Houff made the difficult decision to move his wife Mary Lou, 84, into Poet’s Walk in February, after her dementia worsened and she fell several times.

“It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life, besides asking her to marry me,” Mr. Houff said.

After receiving advice from his daughter, he chose Poet’s Walk because of its proximity to his Casanova home and the engaging activities the facility provides.

“I like the fact that the employees are all trying their level best to engage the residents and to know them and work with them,” Mr. Houff said.

Most residents come from the Warrenton area, said Cindy Murphy, community relations counselor for the facility.

The staff at Poet’s Walk uses motion detectors and sensors to help provide specialized care for residents. Employees focus on each resident’s abilities and cater to individual routines, Ms. Murphy said.

The facility offers activities for residents from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

“We want to keep them active the whole day,” Ms. Murphy said.

Activities include painting, aromatherapy, hand massages, Bible study, pet therapy, Bingo, spelling bees and sing-a-longs. A small aviary also provides entertainment.

Residents can use different activity stations, including a general store with fake food, a workshop, a nursery, an office and a laundry area, to spark memories.

“It gives them their purpose back,” Ms. Murphy said.

On occasion, residents will go to a restaurant or take other field trips in a shuttle bus with staff members.

“I think she’s getting good care,” Rick Fields said of his mother Janice, who lives at the Warrenton home. “Staff are very conscientious, caring and patient.”

Poet’s Walk employs one nursing staff member for every seven residents, according to Ms. Murphy. The home has a registered or licensed practical nurse on staff 24/7.

When it reaches capacity, the facility will have about 55 employees.

Poet’s Walk has an on-site hair salon, two dining rooms, a 24/7 bistro and three secure courtyards.

“It’s important to have that outside access,” Ms. Murphy said. “We don’t want them to feel confined.”

Each family furnishes the resident’s room so it can feel more like home. Monthly costs range from $6,000 to $8,500, based on room size and single or double occupancy. Each room has a private bath.

“We will do everything to allow them to age in place,” Ms. Murphy said.

Poet’s Walk, however, cannot provided “skilled” nursing care for those who may require IVs or invasive medical treatment. (Virginia tightly regulates nursing homes, including the number of beds allowed in a certain region.)

Ann Timmerman’s husband Phil, who has Alzheimer’s, became one of the first residents at Poet’s Walk.

“The staff is outstanding with keeping up with things,” said Ms. Timmermans, a Warrenton resident. “They know everyone’s names already — even family members.

“He loves it, all the activities. He loves the food.”

“We are the care provider, so the family can go back to being the spouse, best friend,” Ms. Murphy said.

The town council in 2015 approved the company’s application for a rezoning and a special use permit to build the facility. Construction started in November 2016.

Headquartered in Edison, N.J., Poet’s Walk has memory care homes in Leesburg, Fredericksburg, Florida, Nevada and Texas.
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TKR1128 · April 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm
What would be so wrong with accepting seniors that are not able to afford a place like this? Why can't they accept seniors that are on Medicare or Medicaid? So very sad how our seniors are treated.
BJ · April 27, 2018 at 7:19 am
As wonderful as it may be, $100,000 per year! This is for the 1% and helps very few who live in this county. Did the BOS know how much this company charged per person for care before allowing this facility to be built?
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