Why I appreciate Highgate of Prescott Lakes
Following my father's discharge from a geriatric hospital unit, I was faced with the painful reality of his level of care being beyond my physical capabilities.
After looking at over 20 different assisted living homes and facilities in a 50 mile radius, I was pleased to learn of Highgate Senior Living. Having previoulsly ministered in over a dozen assisted living communities and nursing homes for 9 years, I was well aware of the dark, depressing, and hospital-like environments for which most dementia or memory care units are renowned. The Cottages at Highgate, however, is a departure from the norm and has a light and airy feel that is a refreshing and even charming setting. Moreover, while touring there I was both surprised and delighted to walk into the activity area, where many of the residents with more advanced brain disease, were happily engaged in playing community games and crafts.
But the area in which I was most impressed with Highgate's approach to care, was when I asked the staff RN if the facility's attending doctor could be contacted to lower the dosage of my father's antipsychotic drug. She said, "Sure!" And low and behold, after the doctor's approval, within 48 hours there was significant improvement in my father's physical health and mental behaviors. He went into Highgate in a wheelchair, needing help with every area of his daily life, i.e.; getting out of a chair, walking, feeding, dressing, bathing, etc. But a little over a month later, my father is home with me and is now walking without any supporting aids, talking, self-feeding, and although he still needs daily assistance in several areas, Highgate's willingness to work with the family relative to a more modest approach to dispensing medications was the first encounter with an organization I've had, that takes a conservative approach to medicating the elderly. Every other medical care setting in which my father had previously been, their goal was to "keep the patient in a wheelchair", which [sadly] is more readily accomplished by overdrugging. Not at Highgate. They seek to help keep active, this fragile, kind, and often helpless population that comprises the great generation of this country's past.
I can't promise you the kind of improvement my father experienced while at Highgate, but in many areas of ammenities and care, Highgate does stand above the rest. Most likely, as my 91 year-old father's disease process advances, I will again, have to put him into the care of professionals. However in the meantime, because of Highgate's holistic approach to care, I have the privilege of personally caring for my dad a little while longer.
Verde Valley, Arizona