Summit At New Port Richey

Summit At New Port Richey

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Summit a New Port Richey

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The cozy Florida community of New Port Richey regales residents with its offering of culture, history and scenic charm so beautifully supported by the Gulf of Mexico and a tributary in the Pithlachascottee River.  In accounting of New Port Richey’s origin, Historian Elroy Avery notes the legendary Spanish explorers and native tribes once affiliated with the area, but credits the town’s development to a man who arrived from the East Coast in 1911. Avery claims his characteristic “foresight and Yankee optimism” helped design the community’s layout, and writes “only a born pioneer could have conceived the thriving little town of ten years later.” With such in mind, it demands note that New Port Richey is also home to a respected assisted living  and memory care facility equally inspired from a blend of foresight and Yankee optimism. Known as Summit at New Port Richey, the facility is a by-product of a thriving health system conceived by pioneering professionals in senior care services.

New Port Richey offers quaint and quiet contrast to its neighbouring city of Tampa, but with community festivals, nature outings, shops, restaurants and recreational pursuits, there is still plenty to do, which all helps drive its popularity among retirees longing to embrace a lifestyle uniquely nuanced as Florida. As a respected assisted-living and memory-care facility, Summit at New Port Richey provides exceptional short-term and long-term residential care. They are a leader in the elder care industry and have earned a reputation for comprehensive and responsive service.

Summit at New Port Richey is owned by the Premier Senior Living Group, LLC, which was founded in 2006 after opening their first location in New York.  Co-founder and managing member Wayne Kaplan, has more than 30 years of extensive experience in senior housing. Kaplan focuses on the optimization of the company’s day-to-day operations to ensure efficiency, quality, service and cost-effective management of resources, while Premier’s other Co-Founder and Managing Member, Bob Borsody, heads the company’s acquisitions and financial operations.

Kaplan’s path to a career in seniors’ housing actually began with his family’s involvement in the motel industry. Years ago, his family owned two motels along a busy main road in Long Island, only a quarter-of-a-mile apart from each other.

“My brothers and I grew up in the business. We changed sheets, cleaned toilets and cooked the food. We literally grew up in the business,” recalls Kaplan.

The emergence of larger brands in the hospitality industry slowly impacted smaller operations that lacked the budgetary resources and brand recognition to compete, and little by little, business started to slow at Kaplan’s motel. Struck by an idea, on one night in 1972, they put a sign in the window that read “Retirement Hotel” – this not only drew the attention of local residents, but actually started attracting new tenants.  In time, demand became so great that the family opted to convert their one-story, 45-room motel into a dynamic two-story complex that exclusively catered to the needs of its senior residents. The family became so proficient in this practice, demand for their services increased and operations expanded, which ultimately led to a company known today as Premier Senior Living Group, LLC.

“It was like an ‘a-ha’ moment,” Kaplan says. “That’s how we got into the assisted living business.”

Running a senior care facility is not so dissimilar to running a motel, Kaplan explains. “With the exception of the personal care and assisted living services, you get many of the same services that people get in a hotel. Residents get an apartment, three nutritious meals a day, a variety of recreational programs, housekeeping and maintenance services.”

Enhancing Lives

Life at Summit at New Port Richey is designed to enhance the lives of its residents by providing a home-like atmosphere, with all the advantages of living in an active community. Kaplan compares the facility to a “quality hotel that gives healthcare services, as opposed to an old, stale, institutional nursing home.”

“That’s the way we approach it and that’s the way we treat our residents,” he says. “Independence is a really big thing. You can do what you want, when you want and eat what you want. If you want go out, go out, or if you want to stay in and enjoy the activities in the community, you can do that too.”

From concerts, holiday celebrations and parties to trips to local restaurants and Nintendo Wii bowling tournaments – residents of The Summit at New Port Richey are constantly stimulated with activities of their choosing. “If we have ten activities a day and you want to do all ten – you can do them,” Kaplan says. “If you want to do zero, you don’t have to do any. Everybody is treated as an individual. This is their home.”

Residents are also offered a wide-range of other living necessities and services including assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, medication management, nutritional management, transportation to doctors, housekeeping, and laundry.

The Summit at New Port Richey is not just committed to their residents’ enjoyment. They are also committed to their safety and health, and provide 24-hour personal care and supervision. In addition to the Executive Director, an on-site “Manager on Duty“ remains engaged at the facility seven days a week – which most facilities don’t have, Kaplan says.

“A spouse or a loved one may visit on a Saturday or Sunday, or on a holiday, and we’ll always have a Manager on Duty on site. It’s not just Monday to Friday and 9 to 5 because this is a 24/7 business. In addition, we are able to admit new residents twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”

 It is not only just their personalized care that sets The Summit apart – it is also their open and transparent communication with residents.  “We like to communicate because it’s a way for us to learn what programs and services in the community are working and what improvements or modifications we can make to serve our residents better,” Kaplan explains. “We’re always striving to improve the services we give to our residents.”

One way the organization communicates effectively with residents is through a regular resident council meeting held once a month, where residents can address any issues to the facility’s management. For example, they may be uncomfortable with room temperatures and want it adjusted, or want to add a new activity.

“Whatever our residents want to discuss, it’s an open session,” Kaplan says. “Notes are taken and everybody can refer to them later. We look at these sessions as ways to improve the services to our residents because it’s their home.”

“We’re in business to make our residents happy, whether it’s the hospitality end of the business or whether it’s the healthcare end of the business,” he adds. “If something could be made better, we do what we can to improve it.”

Summit at New Port Richey also offers a memory care wing, where they provide a safe and secure environment for those who have more advanced dementia. To better serve residents in memory care, the facility offers specialized training for staff and special programs for these residents.

The facility’s memory care program is critical to the services being offered because most seniors today may either have some memory-care issues, or may develop them later on. It is only fitting for Summit to address the problem head-on, Kaplan says. The secure unit at the facility even has extra precautions in place to prevent residents from eloping.

“Dealing with dementia takes special programs that are different than the programs regular assisted-living residents get, and it requires specially trained and compassionate employees – which we have at Summit at New Port Richey.”

Looking ahead to the longer term, Summit at New Port Richey is going to continue to evolve along with the industry, in order to meet the ever-changing needs of its residents. “The residents today are much more demanding than they were 10 or 20 years ago. When the baby boomers hit in another 20 years they’re going to be even a lot more demanding,” Kaplan says.

While the industry and market dynamics undergo change, Kaplan affirms that some aspects of Summit at New Port Richey are unalterable. “Our passion and our commitment to care for our residents will never change.” Borrowing a line from the facility’s motto, he says – “Getting older means getting better.”

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