Ventana by Buckner® Opens Assisted Living and Memory Care for Admissions

Senior adults requiring help with the activities of daily living or memory care may now reside at Dallas’ 1st high-rise Life Care retirement community.

DALLAS (Jan. 16, 2020) – Assisted Living and Memory Care residences within Ventana by Buckner® are now open after being licensed by the state of Texas. Senior adults requiring more personalized, supportive care for their physical needs will find it living in The Arbors, while those experiencing memory issues, dementia or Alzheimer’s may now reside in Garden View.

“Although our Members began moving into Ventana’s amazing residences last year, it is the opening of Assisted Living and Memory Care which demonstrates the versatility of Ventana to serve seniors with exceptional levels of care regardless of their needs,” said Chuck Childress, executive director of Ventana by Buckner.

The Arbors, Ventana’s Assisted Living, offers individualized assistance with daily activities for Members residing in private and comfortable one- and two-bedroom assisted living apartments. Licensed practical nurses and experienced caregivers provide 24-hour care, as well as medication assistance, emergency response aid, wellness programs and more.

Memory Care at Ventana is a special kind of care for varying degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s symptoms. It involves creating a structured environment that has set schedules and routines in place to create a stress-free lifestyle, safety features to ensure the health of Members residing in Garden View’s private rooms and spacious common areas. Members will also have access to programs designed to cultivate and maintain cognitive skills.

Paula Woodbury recently helped her father, Maxey Abernathy move into Garden View, while her mother, Carole Jean, resides in an independent living apartment. “Memory Care at Ventana is remarkable,” said Woodbury. “The facilities, services and amenities are beyond anything we’ve seen, but it is the staff that truly sets Ventana apart. They take care of my father like he is their own family. They treat him with dignity and keep him engaged in a myriad of stimulating activities. Placing your loved one in Memory Care is not easy, but knowing he is loved and safe at Ventana made that decision easier.”

In addition to having the ability to move directly into residences in Independent Living, Assisted Living or Memory Care based on need, Members also have the option to move between the areas of care as their needs change. “By making the smart choice to buy into Life Care, Ventana Members have access to private accommodations in Assisted Living and Memory at predictable rates over the course of their lifetime,” said Childress.

Ventana is Dallas’ first and only luxury high-rise Life Care retirement community. Life Care continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), also referred to as a Type A contract CCRC, are the most comprehensive of all contracts. The Life Care benefit covers the cost of independent living, while also providing the assurance of higher levels of care, such as assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation or skilled nursing.

Ventana features adjacent 12-story towers which house 189 independent living residences ranging from 950 to 2,000 square feet. Also included within Ventana’s vertical living community are 38 assisted living residences, 48 nursing apartments, 26 memory care residences and 24 rehab suites. The community includes the full continuum of care for senior adults with assisted living, nursing care, memory care and a rehabilitation component.

The convenience of vertical living means Ventana members are seldom more than a few steps from its numerous amenities, which include valet and underground parking, multiple dining venues and lounges, spacious common areas, modern wellness and fitness centers, heated indoor pool, salon and spa, movie theater, rooftop garden terrace, multiple patios, and more.

Ventana by Buckner is located at 8301 N. Central Expressway. For more information about Ventana by Buckner, visit VentanaByBuckner.com.

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About Buckner Retirement Services:
Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving more than 350,000 people each year in Texas and six countries worldwide. Learn more about Buckner Retirement Services at BucknerRetirement.org.

Information Contact:

Christopher Ruth
Director of Media Relations
Buckner International
630-536-9139 (cell)
cruth@buckner.org

Astros’ José Altuve Visits 100-Year-Old Resident of Buckner Parkway Place

Buckner Parkway Place resident Shirley Clark celebrated her 100th birthday this week and received a special surprise birthday present: A visit with Houston Astros’ José Altuve.

As a die-hard baseball and Astros fan, Shirley was shocked and excited to see one of her favorite baseball players walk through the door to wish her a happy birthday.Prior to living in Houston, Shirley and her late husband, Charles, worked as missionaries, which included more than 30 years in Venezuela. She fondly recalls her time there ministering to those in need and forming lifelong bonds with some of her best friends. One of her favorite memories was watching Venezuelan children play baseball in the street with a homemade ball and broomstick.

Because of those treasured memories, Shirley’s favorite players on the Astros are Venezuela natives José Altuve and Robinson Chirinos. She watches as many games as she can, whether at the stadium or on TV, and her friends at Parkway Place know to come to Shirley for scores and stats from the previous night.

News of Shirley’s birthday and her status as a superfan reached Altuve, who was especially touched by her work as a missionary for more than 30 years in his home country of Venezuela. Altuve surprised Shirley in her home and gave her an autographed baseball as a birthday gift.

Conversing in both English and Spanish, Altuve and Shirley talked about her time living in Venezuela and what it was like for Altuve growing up there. She introduced him to some of her children in town for her birthday, and Altuve even did a video call with his wife and daughter so they could wish Shirley a happy birthday as well. When their conversation turned to the Astros, Shirely showed off her knowledge of player stats.

Enjoying life, eating right and staying active are what Shirley credits as her keys to a long life – that and getting out to the ballpark whenever possible.

Earlier in the year, Shirley was one of 14 Parkway Place residents that posed for portraits by photographer Mark Sandlin as part of the community’s new campaign, “Life, Experienced.” The campaign captures the varied interests and passions of residents, which is why Shirley decked herself out in her Astros apparel and modeled in front of the Astros’ Minute Maid Park.

 

Workforce Solutions and Baptist Retirement Community Partner to Provide CNA Certification Courses and Training for San Angelo CNAs

Wanting to provide certified nursing aid (CNA) certification courses and quality, hands-on training for aspiring CNA’s in San Angelo, Baptist Retirement Community (BRC), a continuing care retirement community in the Concho Valley, is partnering with Workforce Solutions to provide these educational opportunities three to four times a year. The pass-rate for these classes is exceptional, as every student has graduated. In recognition of the community’s efforts, BRC was nominated for the “Local Employer Service Award” and for “Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) 2019 Small Employer of the Year.” Mary Jackson, director of human resources for Baptist Retirement Community, has facilitated the relationship throughout her career of more than two decades.

“Providing these classes allows us to offer quality training to those interested in pursuing careers in the medical field, and many of our students use this as a stepping-stone to get into nursing programs,” said Jackson. “The classes also allow us the opportunity to let students know of open positions within our organization, and we hire approximately one-third of the students that go through each class. Even if they choose to work someplace else after receiving their certification, we hope that they might be inclined to join our team in the future. Through the clinicals and learning environment, we enjoy showing students how positive and supportive the work environment and team at Baptist Retirement Community is.”

The second course wrapped up in June, and the third course began on August 5. The courses are three weeks long and cover classroom and lab skills from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the first two weeks, followed by clinicals in the third week. Clinicals consist of three 12-hour days of hands-on experience shadowing CNA’s and serving residents in different capacities. The program is made possible by the Texas Talent Connection Grant. Baptist Retirement Community contributes by providing the space and instructor(s) for the course. Workforce Solutions has a team member who is dedicated to recruiting students before the courses start. One of the community’s recent new hires, Kevin Lord, learned of the opportunity through Workforce Solutions, completed his training in June and started his first day at BRC on July 1.

“My family has served in the medical field for a long time, and I was ready to try it out after working in the mechanic field for 10 years,” said Lord. “I was not sure where I was going to apply after getting my certification, but I ultimately fell in love with the work environment and residents at Baptist Retirement Community. The team at BRC is supportive and friendly. Everyone loves their job and walks around with smiles on their faces. During my clinicals, I got to interact with residents and found that their personalities are amazing. The three I worked hands-on with are the main reason I chose to work at BRC. Seeing the compassion that the team had for these residents also made me want to be a part of the team. It is a unique work environment that I did not want to pass up. I knew I wanted to work alongside these health care professionals every day and be here for these residents. I value delivering care with the dignity and respect these residents deserve. I am grateful for the CNA certification course, because, without it, I would not have gotten my training and learned of what awaited me at Baptist Retirement Community.”

“All of the students are very appreciative and feel the course adequately prepares them for their new role as a CNA,” said Jackson. “We have done several projects with Workforce Solutions over the years, and we greatly appreciate the partnership. Overall, working with Workforce Solutions is positive and supportive. We bounce ideas back and forth to come up with amazing opportunities that enhance people’s lives. Our goals are to provide quality training that helps people gain experience and get back into the workforce. We are both willing to try new things, and it is very rewarding to do so.”

Baptist Retirement Community also offers a summer internship program where they take in four students and teach them skills pertaining to maintenance, housekeeping, life enrichment activities for residents and clerical/admin. The senior living community also offers positions to people who need to gain experience in a certain area or have been out of the workforce for a while.

If you are interested in covering this story or setting up an interview, please contact Lauren Witt via phone at 214-378-7970 ext. 306 or email at: lwitt@thepointgroup.com”.

Residents of Buckner Westminster Place pack snacks for local students

With the school year underway, local students are busy heading to class and after-school activities. However, there are many who return home on the weekends with little to no access to regular meals. Residents at Buckner Westminster Place want to change that for the Longview community.

Twice a month throughout the school year, the residents of the senior living community gather together to prepare 50 snack packs filled with food and treats like macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, cheese crackers, apple juice and pudding that are then distributed to students of South Ward Elementary.

“This is our fourth school year to participate in the snack pack program, and it’s something that residents are always eager to join,” said Bob Webster, a resident at Buckner Westminster Place. “We’re always looking for ways to give back to the greater community, and this is an opportunity that enables our senior community to support local children and ensure their needs are met. By providing these snack packs, we know students are going home on the weekend with something to eat and won’t go hungry.”

The program began in 2012 while Melanie Wright was volunteering with Buckner Children and Family Services as part of the organization’s summer feeding program. Through the summer program, Melanie contemplated what could be done throughout the year to ensure they were continuing to meet the needs of these children all year long.

“It’s incredibly important to serve our local community and help these kids get the nutrition they need,” Melanie said. “Through this program, we’re able to show them a little extra bit of love and kindness they may not experience otherwise. We also want them to know that their community cares about them and wants them to be happy. It’s a joy to see how much the residents at Westminster Place love doing this and it’s really a win-win for everyone.”

“At Buckner Westminster Place, we believe in the importance of community and doing what we can to support one another,” said David Sims, executive director of Buckner Westminster Place. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to support local students and ensure they have everything they need to be successful, and that includes access to a meal. We hope that by sharing our involvement in the snack pack program that we can shed light on the issue of hunger in our community and inspire others to find ways they can give back.”
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Baptist Retirement Community dedicates Elsie Gayer Chapel

seniors at a funeral

Members of the Baptist Retirement Community came together with Buckner Retirement Services staff to dedicate the Elsie Gayer Chapel. On hand were members of the Gayer family, as well as members of the Baptist Memorial Ministries Board and Buckner International Board of Trustees.

The renaming of the chapel after Elsie Gayer is part of an $8.4 million renovation project to Baptist Retirement Community, announced in Oct. 2018. The planned updates include renovations to the high-rise independent living apartment building and the Sagecrest nursing building while also providing for road repairs and added curb appeal to the community, which has served seniors in San Angelo since 1951.

Elsie Gayer, RN, founded the Baptist Memorials Geriatric Hospital in 1951 and served as its administrator until 1968. The hospital later pivoted into senior living and was renamed Baptist Retirement Community.

A plaque honoring Gayer was unveiled at the ceremony, noting how her “efforts and passion persist today as an enduring symbol of senior living that is Inspiring Happiness™ in San Angelo and throughout Texas.”

“Every professional studying the history of senior care should know the name Elsie Gayer,” said Aaron Hargett, BRC’s executive director. “She was a remarkable woman who touched the lives of so many senior adults by ensuring they were loved and lived with dignity as members of a community.”

The updates and new construction to BRC are part of a long-term campus renovation and repositioning plan, which already has seen the construction of The Crest, a new assisted living memory care building, which opened in 2016 on the 100-acre campus. Buckner affiliated with Baptist Retirement Community in 2010. It is one of six Texas senior living communities owned and managed by BRS.

The digital 2018 Buckner Advent Devotional Guide is here! Get yours today!

Advent Devotional Guide

Faith is the tie that binds us. Regardless of our backgrounds, life stories or differences, it’s our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior that binds us together as brothers and sisters. And what better time to come together as a family of faith than during the Advent season?

Advent Devotional GuideThis year, Buckner would like to offer you a special way to celebrate the birth of Christ with our FREE digital 2018 Buckner Advent Devotional Guide. Inside, you will find weekly devotions on the Advent themes of hope, peace, love and joy as well as thoughtful reflection questions to help you and your family meditate on the themes of the Advent season throughout the week.

Through these devotions, we hope you and your family can have meaningful conversations and grow closer together this Advent season. Sign up today to receive your FREE digital 2018 Buckner Advent Devotional Guide as well as weekly devotional emails in your inbox during the Advent season.

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Baptist Retirement Community Launching $8.4 Million Renovation Project

two seniors laughing

Leaders at Buckner Retirement Services announced today a series of major campus renovations at Baptist Retirement Community. The planned updates represent $8.4 million in changes to key features of the senior living community and are scheduled to begin immediately, according to Buckner officials.

Areas slated for renovation include the high-rise independent living apartment building and the Sagecrest nursing building while also providing for road repairs and added curb appeal to the community, which has served seniors in San Angelo since 1951.

The plan also calls for the demolition of the Elsie Gayer nursing building while maintaining the existing chapel, maintenance and laundry buildings. The chapel at BRC will be named for Elsie Gayer at a special ceremony in December.

Charlie Wilson, senior vice president for Buckner Retirement Services, said the planned changes to the community represent “a major repositioning of Baptist Retirement Community, which will allow us to offer a greater experience for our resident members and is a real investment in San Angelo and the entire Concho Valley region.”

Aaron Hargett, BRC’s executive director, said he’s excited about the new campus plan. “Baptist Retirement Community has always had a great reputation in the Concho Valley for quality services. We’ve led the Concho Valley in the number of services we offer as the only Continuing Care Retirement Community in the Concho Valley. Now, we will offer these services in an updated, beautiful campus setting.”

The updates and new construction are part of a long-term campus renovation and repositioning plan, which already has seen the construction of The Crest, a new assisted living memory care building, which opened in 2016 on the 100-acre campus. Buckner affiliated with Baptist Retirement Community in 2010. It is one of six Texas senior living communities owned and managed by BRS.

Ventana by Buckner reaches construction milestone

Ventana by Buckner

Ventana by Buckner, a $140 million luxury high-rise community for seniors in North Dallas, marked the project’s halfway point with a topping out ceremony.

The milestone included the raising of a ceremonial beam and tree to the top of the north tower. Speakers included Charlie Wilson, senior vice president for Buckner Retirement Services; Rick Pruett, executive director of Ventana by Buckner; and Albert Reyes, president/CEO of Buckner International. The trio thanked workers with general contractor Whiting-Turner, who began construction on June 12, 2017.

“We are extremely grateful to every single person who has labored to bring Ventana by Buckner to its midway milestone in only 13 months,” said Pruett. “The high quality of work put into the construction process is representative of the high-quality of life Ventana will provide its residents with luxurious features and amenities and excellent health and wellness services.”

Ventana by Buckner is Dallas’ first and only luxury high-rise Life Care community. Its adjacent 12-story towers will house 189 independent apartment homes, including one-, two- and three-bedroom options and ranging from 800 to 1,900 square feet. Ventana includes the full continuum of care for senior adults, with assisted living, nursing care, memory care and a rehabilitation component.

The community will also include underground parking, multiple dining venues and lounges, spacious common areas, modern wellness and fitness centers, heated indoor pool, salon and spa, movie theater, rooftop garden, multiple patios and more.

Ventana was designed by Dallas award-winning architect David Dillard and his firm, D2 Architecture. It will open to its first residents by mid-2019.

Buckner opened its first retirement community in 1954. Ventana by Buckner will be its sixth retirement care property in Texas.

For more information about Ventana by Buckner, visit VentanaByBuckner.com.

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