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Culture change: New skilled services and rehabilitation center uses ‘household model’ – American Press


Culture change: New skilled services and rehabilitation center uses ‘household model’

Published 9:36 am Sunday, January 8, 2023

The New Year gets many people thinking about positive changes — from personal goals related to exercise and health to larger measures toward improving workplaces and communities. Alana LeMelle is focusing on a culture change.

LeMelle, the marketing director of the newly opened Calcasieu Community Care Center, said this culture change is a movement that seeks to transform care services for older adults based on person-directed values and practices, giving seniors the ability to express their choice and practice self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of their daily lives.

It’s purposeful living with dignity and respect.

LeMelle, who was a certified nursing assistant while in high school, earned her degree in rehabilitation counseling services from Southern University.

“It’s a big umbrella that covers independent living, assisted living, long-term care and counseling,” she said.

She’s also a certified medical assistant.

After graduation, she became a case manager for CARC.

“I’ve been in health care since I was 18, so for nine years,” she said. “I actually wanted to be a nurse, and I still think about it sometimes, but marketing is so much fun. I get to go out and meet people and I love the outreach.”

LeMelle has been at Calcasieu Community Care Center since before the doors opened.

“The building had been completed, but I was there lifting beds and massage chairs so it’s pretty cool to see it come to life,” she said.

The facility celebrated its grand opening mid-December and offers physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as long-term care.

Services include stroke rehabilitation, cardiac programs, post joint replacement, specialized skin and wound care, pain management, cognitive and perceptual retraining, respite or vacation care, ophthalmology and dental, 24-hour nursing care and on-site nurse practitioners.

LeMelle said what sets the facility apart from other senior care facilities is their use of the “household model.”

“We promote natural awakenings, residents can choose their own meals and all the rooms are private,” she said.

Residents also set their own schedules.

The open-floor plan design features four households. Each household has a kitchen, dining room, personal laundry rooms and outdoor cooking spaces with individual bedrooms surrounding the living area.

Households have their own front porch where residents can enjoy outdoor space and visitors may enter through the front porch or main entry.

“There are 120 beds available within these four households,” she said. “All rooms are private with their own showers; it’s pretty unique by design.”

CommCare, a Louisiana-based non-profit that runs the facility at 4190 Gerstner Memorial Drive, is in the process of transferring the license from St Martin De Porres — who began the process of selling the license after Hurricane Laura devastated the area — while attending to the 27 residents now living at the facility.

LeMelle said the nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:30 with a nurse for each household.

She said the facility offers both long-term care as well as rehabilitation necessary for individuals to regain strength, endurance and skills to return home successfully.

“We are a skilled nursing home that will also offer home health when you return home,” she said.

That person-centered philosophy also extends to operations — overhead pages and medical charts have been replaced by pocket pagers and less intrusive electronic medical charting systems.

“Our team of health care professionals is led by a licensed administrator and includes our medical director, nurse practitioner, consultant pharmacist and consultant dietitian. From the director of nursing and our rehabilitation staff, to the activity director and social worker, our staff works to address the special needs of each individual,” she said.

The facility accepts Medicaid, Medicare and some insurance, as well as private payment.

“It’s designed for person-centered care and provides an atmosphere that promotes resident choice and creates a more home-like setting,” she said. “The resident is the focal point by design and philosophy, the way it should be.”



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