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108 www.bus-ex.com January 08 Quality of care, both physical and emotional, makes all the difference for Silverado Senior Living. Kate Sawyer reports Silverado Senior Living’s mission is heroic and until recently was considered impossible: to give true quality of life to residents living with Alzheimer’s and other serious memory-related diseases. But through concerted effort to offer a home rather than a hospital environment, Silverado is able to do much more. With carefully laid plans, Silverado adds to and maintains quality of life for people with memory-related illnesses by optimizing physical and emotional health; having caring staff who have specialized training in memory loss care available 24 hours a day; and giving residents opportunities for appropriate natural social interaction with family, children, and pets. It’s Silverado’s philosophy that allowing residents to have moderate control and decision making ability will give them a more meaningful life purpose—and, in turn, will better help to treat illnesses that have no cure. Unlike nursing homes, Silverado is able to offer a full continuum of care, from earliest onset through end of life. Founded in 1996, with a total of 12 facilities and 1,021 beds throughout California, Utah, and Texas, Silverado is able to care for those in need of long-term, short-term, and day care services. In addition, the company offers care management, in-home care, and hospice services. Silverado stays current on all the latest news and treatment options by partnering with leaders in the field of Alzheimer’s research, such as the University of California, San Diego; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Utah; and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “The Silverado philosophy of care is exactly what separates us from other senior care communities,” said Anne Ellett, RN, MSN, NP, vice president of clinical services. “Our goal with every one of our residents is to give them the very best quality of life. In addition to our high staff-to-resident ratio, other elements include many live-in pets. Residents are encouraged to bring their pets to live with them, even when they can no longer care for the animals themselves. Silverado also believes in the value of intergenerational programs and therefore staff may bring their children to work with them. Families are encouraged to bring grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy time with their loved one.” According to a February 2006 AARP bulletin on assisted living, one Silverado facility in Escondido, The humane touch

January 08 www.bus-ex.com 109 said at the time of the award. During a career in assisted living administration, Shook learned how to make a business run well, but he also saw a great need for addressing more than just the physical needs of patients. He had a vision to create a holistic environment that brings true quality of life to seniors with memory impairment in a way that hadn’t yet been done. “As a result of the company’s humanistic care techniques,” said the Ernst & Young report about the award, “almost 900 residents have regained their ability to walk, 680 rezsidents can feed themselves again, and residents coming to them on psychotropic, behavior-controlling drugs have had their dosages reduced on average by 40 percent companywide…[all of which] have resulted in maximizing the quality of life for residents, reduction in the number of fractures and falls, and residents living life with more dignity.” SilveradoSeniorLiving California allows residents to grow fl owers in the garden, play with one of the eleven dogs or four cats that sun themselves on the grounds, and practice their putting on a golf green with a hole twice the normal size. They attend exercise, music, and art classes. No physical restraints are used, and medications are kept to a minimum. In 2005, Silverado’s founder, president, and CEO Loren Shook was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Orange County and California State region for having developed a sustainable, successful business venture. Shook attributes the success of his business and the reason for the award to his staff. “We are blessed to have a company full of great associates, supported by a solid culture, and united behind a clear vision to give all people with memory-impairing illnesses ‘life,’” he