Bright House aims to be that home for 14 lucky full-time assisted living residents, offering medically-skilled care in a respectful, self-sustaining community, and offering skilled nursing care for short-term residents. On our beautiful, newly remodeled 6 acre property (the former Wayfield Bed and Breakfast) in the small college town of Middletown, CT, Bright House brings together decades of experience and innovative, alternative visions of the potential in our elderly family members’ latest years.
The aging of the Baby Boomers is a well-known and much discussed fact of our times. More and more of this population, many of whom were instrumental in creating the counter-culture of the 1960’s and 70’s, are unhappily surprised about the options available to them as they age. Fortunately, just as AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) has become a major representative of this non-traditional group, elder-care alternatives along the Eden Care model are being founded.
Our own experience, based on years of caring for elderly patients, is that people seeking assisted living care and skilled nursing care have many of the same needs:
- To be treated with respect and dignity
- To be actively engaged in a community of some kind
- To be involved in his/her own treatment and living plan
- To be cared for by skilled, medically-knowledgeable clinicians and caregivers, working as a team
You may notice that our list of "needs" seems to go in the opposite order to that of most hospital-model nursing homes; this is not an accident. Unfortunately, most of our elderly population who need care are treated with the billing system’s needs, and not their own, in mind.
Similarly, the families of people seeking caring environments have their own set of needs they are seeking to fulfill:
- Peace of mind about their loved-ones’ physical and mental state
- Relief from the time-consuming job of caring for their family members themselves
- Relief from the feelings of guilt which often overcome them when they find they do not have the physical, emotional, or intellectual resources to personally provide appropriate care for those they love
The big, unstated elephant-in-the-room for families seeking care is the feeling of being a bad daughter or son or spouse, who is not willing or able to put her life on hold to take care of a much-loved family member. At Bright House, we do not seek to dismiss this feeling, but to reassure families in everything we do that the choice to let us take care of their family member is a loving, kind, and generous act.
There are a number of different options for families seeking nursing home care, from in-hospital recovery centers, to for-profit chains, to specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s, AIDS, diabetes, and so on. The specialized care facilities, which are usually nonprofit, and offer individualized nursing care, come closest to our care model, but are usually reserved for people with a particular ailment in need of intensive medical assistance.
At Bright House, we promote the dignity and self-worth of all of our residents, and strive to give them excellent quality of life, as defined by the residents, individually and as a group. To that end, we encourage resident group decision-making through the House Councils, access to all areas of their homes here at Bright House, and self-determination in activities, socialization, and food preferences. Bright House is not just a caregiving facility—it is their home, and their community.