On the surface, BVGT is head and shoulders above most other Assisted Living facilities. It is clean, brightly lit and attractively decorated. The staff is generally pleasant and helpful so it seems to be a perfect choice for you or your loved one.
Looking below the surface to the things that actually matter, there is little significant difference between this facility and many others. BVGT adheres to the minimum requirements outlined by government agencies. They are seriously understaffed when it comes to RAs (residents’ assistants) with only 1.5 aides on duty per floor of approximately 40 apartments.
The apartments, while meeting minimum standards, don’t have handicapped toilets with higher seats and elongated bowls instead of merely a grab bar alongside. The sinks in the kitchen and bathroom have handicapped access but are too high for shorter, wheelchair bound residents to reach effectively making personal hygiene and clean up challenging. The refrigerators in Assisted Living are so low to the ground that residents must practically bend in half to access food on the shelves making this a huge fall risk. In fact, one family member chose to purchase a more appropriate refrigerator for their parent to minimize this risk.
There is no overnight nurse on the premises and the door to the nurse’s station is almost always closed making it unwelcoming for residents needing to access the nurse. The Director of Nursing seems to have little or no connection to the residents and is generally busy with paper work. In our situation, the aides often placed food trays where our family member couldn’t access them easily and, therefore, compromised the ability to get adequate nutrition.
The dining room does not offer specialized meals for residents with specific dietary needs. While most seniors benefit from low salt meals, BV offers only NSA (no salt added) meals which, as with most institutions, are ordered from a supplier and arrive pre-salted. Residents with congestive heart failure, hypertension and other medical conditions have their health decline when healthier options are not made available to them.
So don’t be fooled by the superficial appearance of this facility. It may be as good as others but it certainly comes with a high price tag and not much to offer beyond the very basics required by law, despite their claims of going above and beyond to keep their residents safe and well. Plus, there is no further step down from Assisted meaning that residents who continue to decline must move once again to family or skilled nursing facilities.