Prime Time 2017: Local senior communities adapt to changing needs of residents

Cottonwood Village, on the western edge of Brewster Place in Topeka, will be comprised of 14 one- and two-bedroom senior independent living villas. The villas are expected to be finished by August 2018. (Submitted)

Senior living communities frequently make changes — from the building of condominiums to giving a fresh look to independent and assisted living options to expanding skilled nursing and rehabilitation units.


But they also are focused on the horizon, when they will be called upon to meet the needs of an aging baby-boomer population looking for hospitality and resort-like surroundings rather than dorm rooms when considering retirement and elder care.

Claudia Larkin, vice president and chief operating officer at Brewster Place, said the Topeka retirement community is “repositioning” itself for the next generation with the construction of Cottonwood Villas, which features a full-service spa, restaurant and lounge, cultural arts center, art gallery and other amenities.

“Brewster has always been known for quality care, but we’re heading toward a culture of hospitality,” Larkin said. “Resort-style living with services — this will be the future.”

Brewster Place has already embraced the Main Street concept, where residents can find a bistro, ATM banking, chapel, exercise room and hair salon within a short stroll.

Ben Leiker, business operations manager at The Healthcare Resort of Topeka, said that senior community has a resort-like feel with its hair salon, movie theater, patio with fire pit, golf putting green and chef-prepared meals. And while those features may be a draw for potential residents, Leiker said the goal of the community still remains the same — to create a home where seniors can feel secure and cared for.

“It’s great to have all of these amenities,” Leiker said, “but we’re really about taking care of people.”

Contact niche editor Jan Biles at (785) 295-1292.



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