Cel­e­brat­ing 40 years of car­ing for se­niors

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @in­dy_­com­mu­nity

Af­ter 40 years of op­er­a­tion and pro­vid­ing se­nior care for the area’s ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, Sage­point Se­nior Liv­ing Ser­vices con­tin­ues to grow while main­tain­ing its fo­cus on lo­cal ser­vice.

“We take great pride in the fact that over 40 years we have an­swered what we be­lieve to be a call to take care of se­niors,” Wil­liam M. Hol­man, pres­i­dent and CEO, said of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

To cel­e­brate the mile­stone, Sage­point will host a week­end of events be­gin­ning Thurs­day with an em­ployee pic­nic and “An Evening with Kim Camp­bell,” at Port To­bacco Play­ers in La Plata. The wife of the late en­ter­tainer Glen Camp­bell who was di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s dis­ease will dis­cuss her role as a care­giver dur­ing her hus­band’s ill­ness.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion will also host a pri­vate event on Fri­day and com­mu­nity day Satur­day on the La Plata Road main cam­pus with ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions, tours, mu­sic, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, and vir­tual de­men­tia tours that will en­able par­tic­i­pants to ex­pe­ri­ence the symp­toms of the dis­ease.

For­merly known as Charles County Nurs­ing and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter (CCNRC), the non­profit cor­po­ra­tion was founded in 1976 with the abil­ity to serve 105 pa­tients. The cen­ter was gov­erned by a vol­un­tary board of nine trus­tees ap­pointed by the Charles County Board of County Com­mis­sion­ers.

“It was so needed here,” Mary Beth Chan­dler, a Sage­point vol­un­teer and 40th an­niver­sary com­mit­tee mem­ber, said of the fa­cil­ity. “It meant so much to the fam­i­lies to have a fa­cil­ity where you didn’t need to go out of county. So every­body em­braced it. Every­body wanted it. We needed it.”

About 10 years later, the Adult Day Ser­vices Pro­gram was added ini­tially with 25 par­tic­i­pants in the Nurs­ing Cen­ter build­ing. That pro­gram grew to 38 par­tic­i­pants five years later.

In 1992, the nurs­ing cen­ter ex­panded to four units with the abil­ity to serve 165 peo­ple. Two nurs­ing units were used for long-term care, one was des­ig­nated as a se­cure unit for res­i­dents suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia and the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion unit ac­com­mo­dated 21 pa­tients for short-stay care.

The cor­po­ra­tion con­tin­ued to grow, adding an ad­di­tion to the Adult Day Ser­vices build­ing in 1995, in­creas­ing its ser­vices to care for 38 par­tic­i­pants. In 2006, the cor­po­ra­tion added as­sisted liv­ing to its ser­vices with the pur­chase of Abbey Manor —16 as­sisted liv­ing rooms within two build­ings on Mor­ris Drive in La Plata.

The county com­mis­sion­ers turned the prop­er­ties and build­ings over to CCNRC al­low­ing for a self-sus­tain­ing board op­er­ated un­der by­laws de­vel­oped and ap­proved by the board of trus­tees.

The con­struc­tion of a two-story med­i­cal arts build­ing was com­pleted in 2012 on the main cam­pus along La Plata Road. The first floor is leased to Fre­se­nius Med­i­cal Care, a dial­y­sis provider and the sec­ond floor houses a 12-bed se­cure as­sisted liv­ing com­mu­nity for adults with de­men­tia.

In 2015, the board agreed to com­pile all ser­vices un­der one name, de­cid­ing on Sage­point Se­nior Liv­ing Ser­vices. In ad­di­tion to build­ing a new as­sisted liv­ing com­mu­nity, Sage­point be­gan pro­vid­ing home care ser­vices and also ac­quired Cir­cle of Care home care agency in Prince Frederick.

“We’ve stayed the same through re­brand­ing,” Hol­man ex­plained re­gard­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s non­profit sta­tus. “It doesn’t mean we don’t make a profit, it means rev­enue and ex­penses are in­vested back into the busi­ness, buy­ing new equip­ment. None of the funds go to any one in­di­vid­ual.”

Over 70 per­cent of in­di­vid­u­als are on Med­i­caid, Hol­man said, and the cor­po­ra­tion re­ceived four out of five stars from the Cen­ter for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser­vices rat­ing sys­tem, that com­pares nurs­ing home qual­ity around the coun­try. The wait­ing list av­er­ages be­tween five and 10 in­di­vid­u­als, and the cost of care ranges from $260 a day for long-term care to $78 a day for adult day ser­vices.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion em­ploys 360 in­di­vid­u­als, pro­vides care for 165 long-term pa­tients and re­ceives help from about 175 vol­un­teers.

“Does that tell you any­thing right there about com­mu­nity in­volve­ment?,” Chan­dler said, laugh­ing re­gard­ing the num­ber of vol­un­teers that sur­passes the num­ber of pa­tients.

Ann Berg­er­stock, 49, has lived at Sage­point for the past 11 years. One of the youngest res­i­dents in the fa­cil­ity, she is pres­i­dent of the res­i­dent coun­cil and helps choose and sug­gest ideas for ac­tiv­i­ties the res­i­dents can do.

Orig­i­nally from At­lanta, Berg­er­stock said Sage­point is the third nurs­ing home she has lived in. Af­ter be­ing put in the hos­pi­tal with dou­ble pneu­mo­nia and dis­cov­er­ing a few more health prob­lems, she was put into nurs­ing homes and moved to Sage­point to be closer to her sis­ter, who lives in La Plata.

“This one’s a lot bet­ter,” Berg­er­stock said com­par­ing her pre­vi­ous nurs­ing home ex­pe­ri­ences. Her pre­vi­ous res­i­dence was nice, she said, “but not as well run as this one.” Her first home in Ge­or­gia was closed by the state she said be­cause of abuse that she wit­nessed her­self.

Un­like most res­i­dents at Sage­point, Berg­er­stock has her own pri­vate room which she said has the com­forts of a home and she can close the door if the hall­way gets too noisy.

“Forty years ago, the space was built for two peo­ple in the room,” Carolyn Core, board chair­man, said. “The goal to get all pri­vate rooms on this cam­pus in the next 10 years is go­ing to take a lot of ef­fort and it’s go­ing to be ex­pen­sive.”

The board hopes the up­com­ing an­niver­sary events will in­tro­duce more peo­ple to the ser­vices Sage­point of­fers and com­mu­ni­cate that the or­ga­ni­za­tion is more than long-term care.

“It’s about cel­e­brat­ing what we’ve be­come and rec­og­niz­ing the folks who have brought us here,” Chan­dler said.

STAFF PHOTOS BY SARA NEW­MAN

Wil­liam M. Hol­man, left, pres­i­dent and CEO of Sage­point Se­nior Liv­ing Ser­vices, Carolyn Core, board chair­man, Mary Beth Chan­dler, vol­un­teer and 40th an­niver­sary com­mit­tee mem­ber, and Kelsey Pearson, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing, re­view some plans for fu­ture ad­di­tions to the nurs­ing home fa­cil­ity. The cor­po­ra­tion is cel­e­brat­ing its 40th an­niver­sary this week­end.

Ann Berg­er­stock, Sage­point res­i­dent and pres­i­dent of the res­i­dent coun­cil, has lived at the se­nior liv­ing fa­cil­ity for 11 years. At 49, she is one of the youngest res­i­dents.

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