My sister was a resident of the Willamette View Health center for several months before her death. She had enjoyed living in the independent level (Manor) for six years before her move to the Health Center. We were impressed with the Manor staff and were hoping for a similar quality of care in the Health Center but were disappointed, especially with the lack of licensed or registered nurses. The Health Center has 4 'units' or neighborhoods, each with about 15 residents. On day shifts, there is a Registered Nurse on duty but she is in charge of two units and also has managerial responsibilities, so has little time doing direct nursing care or assessment. Frequently the nurses on duty were from a temp agency and not familiar with the residents. On some evening shifts, an LPN is present but has to divide her time between two units. During some evening shifts and most night shifts, it was not unusual to have only nurse’s aides on duty – no LPNs or RNs. Medications (including narcotics such as morphine) were usually administered by nurse’s aides. In the last weeks of my sister's life, she often needed her scheduled medication to be ‘held’ (not given) due to risk of oversedation. This is a nursing decision which nurse’s aides are not trained for. In the last week of my sister’s life she was not fully conscious and her level of conciousness was decreasing daily. She was being given sips of water and liquid morphine but as her level of conciousness deepened I noticed that she began to aspirate on any liquid and was showing symptoms of pneumonia. She needed a nursing assessment to be made about whether to continue medication and in what form to give it. However that evening there were no nurses on duty - only nurse’s aides. As an RN, I was surprised at the lack of nursing presence on the units. Often the nurse’s aides seemed to lack the leadership and direction that would typically come from an LPN or RN in charge. In the evening or night they would spend quite a bit of time sitting, chatting together or on their phones. My recommendation would be to hire more LPNs with training or experience in geriatric and end-of-life care and replace one nurses aide on each shift with an LPN, so that every shift there is a licensed nurse to give medications, do assessment, make nursing diagnoses and decisions, and give leadership and direction to the nurses aides.
We visited Willamette View. We had the tour, and we had a couple of meals there. It was very nice. It was the type of place that we thought we could fit into. It was a CCRC, so it was independent, assisted living, memory care, and long-term care.
I have relatives and friends living at Willamette View. It has all three stages, from independent to assisted, and then the final stage. You just move to a different level as you need it. The staff is very helpful. They are very good. It is a beautiful place. It is a great place to be, and you do not have to worry about anything anymore. They take care of everything for you, and I like that. I did not see the one that I want because it is not available, but the ones that I see are very nice.
They have all kinds of stuff there. They have a lot of activities. They have exercise classes, tours for people, and entertainment. They have three libraries, and there are puzzles going everywhere, which I like. They are very nice, and my friends who live there really like it. They have a very nice dining room set up. They have three dining facilities, and a couple of casuals that you can just walk up and get something if you want. They have coffee going all day for free, and the food looks very good. I did have one meal the first time I looked at it, and the food is very nice. They have a nice selection. I have a very positive experience there.
This was the largest CCRC in Oregon. Everything seemed to be a step and quality higher than other places we saw. It was fairly expensive, but very nice. If we were looking for our first choice, it would probably be Willamette View. The staff during the tour seemed competent and professional. Everything about the place seemed a step up -- the food, the exercise facilities, and the recreational facilities. They had beautiful views of wildlife, a river, and a large natural hiking area, just a very nice setting. I do highly recommend them.
We have found the place where we would like to go eventually but we put the decision to go on hold indefinitely for now. We have friends who are in Willamette View and it's in the right location for us, it's close to family and old friends. We used to live in the Portland area so we knew about it. The people in independent living seemed very vital, active and interesting and the people in the assisted living were in small groups. They have what they call neighborhoods and I think there are only 10 people in each of those. In the independent living, they have a beautiful light-filled dining room that looks out across the river. We like the complete care that they offer. The food was very good, a lot of choices, and they can eat whenever they want to. The waiters in the dining room were very pleasant. The marketing manager was delightful and his assistant was, too. They have lectures and exercise classes. They have a piano practice room, they have a wood workshop. They have a book group and different interest groups.
We went and stayed there for 3 days and 3 nights. It's lovely, but it's too expensive for us. They definitely had everything you could ask for that's for sure! We were treated really well, I certainly can't complain about anything but let's say we just didn't fit. It's out of our price range.
Willamette View is a continuing care retirement community in Portland, OR that offers housing options for currently healthy people who want to secure their healthcare plan throughout the aging process. Contact Willamette View for more details on CCRC housing and rates.