published: Friday, February 08, 2013
Serenades by Sonata celebrates grand opening
ROXANNE BROWN | Staff Writer
Sonata Senior Living celebrated the grand opening last week of its Serenades by Sonata at West Orange memory care assisted living community in Winter Garden.
Special guest U.S. Congress-man Daniel Webster along with Stina D'Uva, president of the West Orange Chamber of Com-merce, assisted Sonata CEO and President Stuart Beebe and Serenades Executive Director Brooke Ellis in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
More than 200 guests attended.
During the ceremony, Beebe expressed his appreciation to the city of Winter Garden, the project partners, and the West Orange and surrounding communities for their support.
"Sonata is very excited about the opening of our third community, Serenades at West Orange. The unique and high quality alternative offered by Serenades at West Orange has received an extraordinary response from the community and exceeded anticipated pre-leasing goals," Beebe said, adding that its first residents will be moving in today.
"We look forward to demonstrating our commitment to service and raising the bar in memory care with the move-in of our first residents," Beebe said.
Serenades is managed and operated by Sonata Senior Living, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonata Health Care. The Sonata team is comprised of experienced senior housing executives who have successfully managed more than 22 Central Florida senior housing communities during the past 16 years.
"Sonata Senior Living is committed to raising the bar for memory care assisted living, providing exceptional care and unparalleled service in a setting that aims to enhance each resident's quality of life," a press release stated.
Recognized by the Assisted Living Federation of America in 2011 and 2012 "Best of the Best" for its state-of-the-art programming and purpose built design, Serenades by Sonata offers an untraditional and welcomed approach to memory care.
"Many families caring for a loved one with memory impairments often need help but postpone assisted living due to the limited options available. I am excited to be part of a community that offers these families the help they need and in a setting and manner they can feel good about," Ellis said.
Serenades at West Orange boasts an on-site dementia care practitioner, licensed nurses on staff 24 hours daily, and permanently assigned licensed caregivers.
The community is comprised of three beautifully decorated and inviting neighborhoods, each containing 15 apartments offering spacious private suites and affordable two-bedroom shared suites.
From the latest safety and security features to the fully accessible interior courtyard featuring lush landscaping, a putting green, children's play area, covered porches, butterfly houses, bird baths and more, Serenades' commitment to providing an unparalleled community is evident, according to officials.
Serenades by Sonata is West Orange County's first stand-alone memory care community specifically designed and programmed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
"After taking tours of our Serenades location, many of the families are completely wowed because you don't see construction like this very often. When they see how our features are tailor made for Alzheimer's and dementia patients, they say, 'You thought of everything,'" Ellis said.
He pointed out that such things as vertical lighting strips to help gain balance and reduce falls as residents try to maneuver themselves around at night to such places as the bathroom, are important details that were included in every room.
"From 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., a vertical light strip comes on in every room, in addition to an amber cuing light leading residents to the bathroom," Ellis said. "There are also motion detectors that sense when a resident gets up and that send a page to a resident assistant, who is then alerted and can enter in to help them with whatever they may need.
"In addition, the amber light means assistants do not have to switch on any big lights so as not to startle residents and allow them to fall back to sleep much easier."
Other safety features include a completely secure building that family members can access with a swipe card but that makes it impossible for patients to wander out of.
Cameras at all exterior exits also help monitor who is coming in and out of the building.
Beyond security and building features, morning and afternoon program sessions specifically designed to keep residents "engaged" will be implemented immediately.
For instance, Ellis said there is a creative design program that will allow residents to focus on a famous artist and their work. Each participant will then work on replicating the artist's work.
Other programs will involve arts and music and one will teach residents how to do English sign language, opening up another avenue for communicating.
The key, Ellis said, is incorporating each resident's proper participation level into the lessons.
"We're excited about our programs because we believe are really going to help our residents thrive. Even in the dementia capacity, residents are still able to learn through arts and music and we are going to make sure they have that stimulation," Ellis said. "We're excited about our facility because nobody else in the industry has this type of innovative technology."
Ellis said Serenades will have three neighborhoods in all. The first is set to open today and is 36 percent occupied based on preleased agreements.
The second will open next month, and the third at a later date yet to be announced.