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Sage Oak Launches Memory Care Model Focused on Personalization Rather than ‘Blended Environments’

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Senior living provider Sage Oak is reimagining its memory care offerings and executing on providing more personalized care to residents through a new program known as Curated Care. 

Sage Oak CEO Loe Hornbuckle said he views the company’s focus on memory care and assisted living as a “revolutionary approach” that combines personalized care on a granular level while being able to translate a new care model across properties and care types.

Through Curated Care, Dallas, Texas-based Sage Oak reviews resident health information and data provided by families in order to determine the best placement for residents based on their acuity level, programming preferences, social tendencies and care requirements.

“The dichotomy of either taking everyone in and making no effort to try and build a community or discharging people at the first sign of needing assistance, to me, both of those things are broken,” Hornbuckle said. “We have the luxury of having multiple houses next to one another, and we said, why can’t we have two completely separate dementia care products or more.”

That, Hornbuckle believes, will have an impact on Sage Oak’s ability to care for residents in the future by furthering the continuum of care, while also personalizing the approach to best fit residents’ individual needs.

The switch to personalized care planning came after Sage Oak saw many of its locations were “blended environments” with residents at varying levels of care and ability. By personalizing care and the environment around residents, Hornbuckle believes Sage Oak will be able to improve health outcomes and provide a stronger senior living product to future residents.

This transformation of assisted living and memory care is only possible through robust staffing models, with Sage Oak often employing “double or triple the national average” of resident to staff member ratios.

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“One thing that we never figured out until we launched our Curated Care model was that if you’re early stage dementia and you need certain things, removing the stigma of memory care and moving into a unit is incredibly important,” Hornbuckle told SHN.

While still being piloted, Curated Care could allow for Sage Oak to offer curated living arrangements seen at some affinity-based senior living communities, with some locations having cultural sensitivities or being one-gender homes to help create safe environments for all. At present the new model has been underway at Sage Oak’s Denton and Lake Charles locations. As it stands, the initial feedback is already positive, Hornbuckle noted.

“If we can create these different offerings then we can reach people sooner and avoid the stigma,” Hornbuckle said. “We have to be willing to try different approaches to things and it’s harder than lumping everyone together, but we’re focused on great outcomes.”

By connecting residents at similar care levels and with similar interests or tastes, Sage Oak can hire care staff by specialization, another step in deepening the customized and curated aspect of the new model, Hornbuckle added.

“The possibilities are effectively endless and we’re limited by our imagination and we’ve set out to … give people what they want,” Hornbuckle said. “This is going to be a transformative change in how we approach things.”

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