Belmont Village Provides All-Encompassing Care For Seniors
Story by Mariah Kline
Photos by Kathryn Harrington
For much of the aging population, the phrase “assisted living” can prompt feelings of anxiety and despair. The thought of giving up one’s lifestyle and having to rely on the care of strangers does not, of course, sound pleasant. However, not every senior living facility has to be intimidating and not every decision has to be stressful; Belmont Village is a perfect example of a facility that strives to give people the best care possible.
The Belmont Village community opened its doors in St. Matthews in 1999. The facility is currently home to about 96 residents, all of whom have their own apartments. The staff provides personal and medical care, as well as supervision to ensure each person is always accounted for.
“We’re what I like to think of as a medical model compared to an assisted living facility, which is a social model,” says Executive Director Ted Burfict. “We have 24-hour, around-the-clock nursing care, and people feel much more secure knowing that we have a medical director and nurses on staff that can respond to an emergency situation.”
They offer programming based on a “whole brain fitness lifestyle,” allowing residents to maintain both physical health and mental fitness to encourage successful aging. Using the evidence found by scientific studies on aging and brain function, they have developed three different programs – Mind-Body-Awareness (MBA) for more active residents, Circle of Friends for those with early-stage memory loss and Person-Centered Living® for those with Alzheimer’s.
“For the Circle of Friends, we have programming seven days a week that helps them in a kind of holistic way to exercise their brains and keep them functioning at the highest level possible,” he says.
The MBA club is self-directed and helps residents make mindful food and exercise choices. The Person-Centered Living® group has adapted programming that still allows for time with friends and engaging activities and classes, making their days more enriched and purposeful.
Perhaps what is most impressive about Belmont Village is not just the standard of care, but the emotional commitment the employees makes to their residents. As Burfict walks throughout the building, he greets and speaks with each resident. He can even make some from the Memory Care group, who aren’t necessarily as aware of their surroundings, smile and say hello.
“I really try to make myself available to them,” Burfict says. “I want to be a person that they can approach, someone that can help them with any kind of concerns that they may have. I know them all by name, and I try to visit all of them on a very consistent basis. But I’m not just doing it with the with our residents; I’m doing it with our employees as well.”
The community vibe offered provides great comfort not just to residents but to their families, who must often make difficult choices when it comes to proceeding with their loved one’s care. Fortunately, the staff at Belmont Village is prepared to see family members and residents through the entire process.
“We’ll give you all of the information that will help you with some of those decisions you may have to make about placement for your loved ones,” he says. “You don’t have to go it alone. That’s why we call it Belmont Village: because it takes a village.” VT