Atria operates several retirement communities throughout the country, and two in Topeka happen to be located next door to each other. I toured both buildings, considered two separate businesses and facilities formally, with the same tour guide. Overall, I had many of the same impressions about each, but there are some differences.
The "East" facility is the smaller of the two, offering Assisted Living and a secure memory care neighbourhood. Each apartment has its own private patio or balcony, which is a very nice touch. The facility is located on a small street, but close to the freeway and a few major arteries with shopping and dining nearby. In addition, the grounds and facilities are very well manicured - it is a priority for this facility.
My first impressions of this facility were not very good. While the physical building is as well-maintained, manicured, and decorated as its counterpart, the atmosphere was not very warm or welcoming. I felt as though my guide would prefer to be doing something other than giving me a tour, though she insisted that tours are their first priority and they don't even require appointments. She did warm up some as the tour progressed but her insistence that customer service is what sets this facility apart did not jive with my experience.
On the other hand, the residents seemed very happy and friendly, and the facility is certainly a high-end luxury apartment complex with every amenity. The "East" building is the newer of the two, so its rooms are larger and the full-size kitchens are more updated. The facility is pet friendly, and has birds and fish tanks in the entryway. This building was much brighter and more airy than the other one of this campus, and felt much more homey. In addition, because the building is smaller, and part is closed off to form the Alzheimer's care unit, I believe it might be an easier transition for residents who prefer to see the same friendly faces each day, while the bigger building might be a bit overwhelming.
I would recommend touring this facility, perhaps a couple of times, to determine whether the prospective resident feels at home. I am confident the care quality is good, but it would probably only suit some personalities to live here. In the end my tour guide ended up giving me a gift of a whole apple pie from the facility's kitchens as proof of their interest in customer service. Unfortunately, I think she could have done better just by smiling at the beginning.