It is hard to believe that we have seen another year come and go in the midst of a pandemic. With so much growth, the team at Castle Senior Living wants to take a moment to share with our residents, families, friends and care partners a bit about our year in review and what we hope to accomplish in the coming new year.
It goes without saying, COVID-19 continues to bring about new and challenging experiences for everyone. It is surreal to think that in a few short months, we will be reaching the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, Castle Senior Living has led the charge against COVID-19 with top-tier infection control practices, vaccination support, staff retention programs, and a leadership team with the tenacity to protect our residents and staff, while simultaneously adapting to the ever-evolving challenges presented by this pandemic.
We enter 2022 with a new tool to support our communities and the Greater Milwaukee/Waukesha County areas in this area. Castle Senior Living has partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and our local health departments to operate as a community outbreak testing resource for COVID-19. This enables us not only to conduct PCR testing for our own senior living environments, but also for other local organizations in need of outbreak testing resources. For more information on COVID-19 testing opportunities through Castle Senior Living, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the beginning of 2021, Castle Senior Living was excited to announce that the foundation was being built for a Medicare-Certified home health hospice program as a part of the Castle Senior Living line of services. This was no small undertaking by any means. Our hospice team, led by Yvonne Ward, APSW, ACHP-SW, has worked tirelessly since August of 2020 to bring this program to fruition. In July of 2021 we accepted our first patient under our provisional license and began preparation for accreditation. As of December 15, 2021, our hospice program has completed its accreditation survey and is awaiting final certification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The introduction of hospice services into our portfolio significantly expands our continuum of care at Castle Senior Living. With the ability to oversee and manage this independently, should a resident or loved one elect to use our services, we can streamline communication between the hospice and community clinicians, thus providing more effective, efficient, and engaged care to our residents and families. Furthermore, offering hospice services allows us to reach and support local individuals wherever they call home.
Birchrock Castle Community Expansion
Anytime an organization grows, it must be for a purpose. At Castle Senior Living, our purpose is always to better serve our residents, loved ones, and staff. In November of 2021, the plans for an expansion at the Birchrock Castle Community in Mukwonago were finalized, and construction of an additional 20 suites next to the existing Assisted Living community broke ground. This project is scheduled for completion within the next 6-7 months and encompasses multiple updates to the existing assisted living and independent living communities.
At the completion of this project, we will see a restructuring of services offered at the Birchrock Castle Community and a renewed purpose for the 17-acre site. Our independent living community, known as the Birchrock Apartments, will offer refreshed and vibrant amenities. The existing Birchrock Castle will be upgraded to create a safer environment for our “A Smile to Remember” Memory Care program. The new construction will boast beautiful views of nature, spacious studio and 1-bedroom apartments, and will feature inviting communal areas, designed to bring people together.
Castle Senior Living Training Academy
One of the key differentiators within Castle Senior Living is our staff and their longevity. This starts with supportive training and continuing education that sets our team up for success. The result of an investment in training is better staff retention and quality care for our residents. Through the collaboration of our internal team of healthcare experts, including nurses, social workers, dementia care practitioners, and human resources specialists, we completely redesigned our orientation and continuing education program at the start of 2021. In May of 2021, we introduced Samantha Brenner-Carr, EMT-B, an experienced clinical partner and CBRF leader, as our Lead Instructor for the Training Academy.
This is where things got fun, and FAST! In just a few short months, we not only had our redesigned internal training program, but also began offering CBRF, Dementia Care, and Basic Life Support training to individuals outside our organization. This is such an awesome service to be able to provide to our own staff, other healthcare professionals, and the community at large. We know we are making a difference by enhancing clinical skillsets in healthcare settings throughout our community and offering life-saving skills to the general public.
As we move forward into 2022, we will continue to offer opportunities for learning and growth and plan to develop a Wisconsin State Certified CNA training program.
A Message of Gratitude
As a home grown, family-owned healthcare organization, we recognize that our accomplishments in 2021 and plans for the future would be nothing without the love and support of others. This starts with our residents, patients, and their loved ones. With the trust that is placed in us to provide care and support for all we serve, we are given the opportunity to demonstrate our passion as health care professionals. A final thank you goes to the staff of Castle Senior Living. It is with their combined years of education, experience and expertise, that we are stronger than ever and are moving into the new year full steam ahead!
Everything comes back to our Mission: To provide compassionate care to seniors in a home-like environment that encourages independence and focuses on improving physical and emotional well-being.
Wishing you and yours the warmest of holiday seasons,
The Team at Castle Senior Living