My mother was a resident at The Bridge at Ooltewah. It is a lovely community, and overall the care was good. It was clean and bright, and it's still fairly new compared to some in town. There are lots of windows.
There was a lot going on in the community when she first moved in; COVID kind of threw everybody. It changed a whole lot of what can be offered and done at these facilities, but her apartment was always clean and comfortable. They responded to most requests pretty promptly early on in the pandemic, but we were all learning, so I'm going to cut them a little bit of slack.
I felt like there was a lot of denial about COVID at the very beginning in general with that facility and the management company. It got better as time went on.
The staff were very, very personable. My mom made good friends with some of the staff. She enjoyed talking to them; some of the younger ones would come hang out with her a little bit when they could. There was one nurse in particular, Lisa, who was on top of the infection in my mom's leg, and that probably saved her life.
Overall, I'd give them good marks. There were some frustrating times for us as a family, especially during COVID. Its been a learning experience for everybody, but I would have liked them to have been a little bit more proactive at the beginning. But most people got through it OK. They kept the community relatively safe.
It was fun, they tried to do a little Christmas program, and they gave prizes. They tried to keep the residents engaged, whether it was decorating their door or dressing up for your favorite football team or something. They did several things throughout the year that kind of kept the residents interested, especially during COVID, giving them something to look forward to.
It was a lovely facility, and sometimes that just means a lot. You walk in and things are clean, well maintained, and updated. It kind of makes you feel better, even if it's just an appearance that makes you feel like the care is going to be good there.
They said they lose their chefs; they tend to get the least expensive amount of meat, and they cut costs on food. So, by the end the food wasn't stellar. But part of me feels like I'm judging during COVID, which changed the way a lot of places did things.
She lived in her apartment for a year without really getting out and seeing anybody, but then there was nothing there that they offered her as far as her interests go. She's trying to find a community where there are people who want to have stimulating conversations or have a book club where you read books and discuss them. Their book club at the Bridge ended up being someone reading to them and not a whole lot of discussion about the books; it lost my mother's interest.
In general, they are way too expensive.