“We have been treated wonderfully here at MorningStar at Arcadia, the staff giving us great respect and friendly courtesy.” (Resident)
Graciously Appointed Senior Spaces!
In January 2014, we completed the transformation of an existing four-story super-structure into a gorgeous community designed by the award-winning Phoenix firm of Thoma-Holec Design. Recently, Thoma-Holec Design, swept the Senior Living Category at the national 2014 ASID Design for Excellence Awards, winning the first Place Award for MorningStar at Arcadia.
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Dedicated to making your retirement years carefree, MorningStar at Arcadia offers 80 assisted living suites on three levels, with spacious studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom floor plans (including penthouse suites). Within our Reflections Neighborhood on the second floor, we offer 30 suites devoted to the individualized, specialized care of residents with memory impairment from Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia.
In January 2014, MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arcadia proudly opened its doors in the time-honored Arcadia neighborhood. Later in the year, the nationally reputed Phoenix firm of Thoma-Holec Design swept the Senior Living Category at the National 2014 ASID Design for Excellence Awards, winning First Place for the gorgeous, contemporary décor that makes MorningStar at Arcadia so remarkable.
In contrast to other senior assisted living facilities, MorningStar’s exceptional architecture and design will impress you from the first. Our graciously-appointed spaces are extensions of your private suite, beautiful and ready to receive your callers any day of the week.
From Grandma’s Kitchen to Ours
Our Executive Chef in Profile: Jason Chandler
While born here in the Valley, Executive Chef Jason Chandler made his childhood home in various southern states. When his folks, both of whom were soldiers, went overseas, Jason (better known as “Chandler”) spent several years with extended family, including an influential period with his Arizona grandparents.
“I was 10 years when Grandma Betty taught me how to cook. Of course, at that age, I started out as chief chopper and dishwasher, but soon graduated to three-course meals of my own invention.” It’s easy to become a Foodie after too many years of choking down the MREs (military meals in a dehydrated pouch) that come with being an Army brat.
“Grandma also taught me how to garden (and turn a fresh-picked tomato into that night’s marinara sauce. How to fold laundry the right way. Life skills.”
After high school, Chandler first studied geology. To pay tuition, he worked two jobs—restaurant jobs. With the love of cooking already so imbedded, Chandler’s career swing was inevitable. Enter Scottsdale Culinary Institute (now Cordon Bleu), and its formal four-year program.
“From there, I spent six years as a ‘gypsy chef’ in East Coast resorts (including five years under a Taiwanese chef), then ten years at Pisgah Inn on Mt. Pisgah, North Carolina.
A downturn in the economy and the death of his grandfather, brought Chandler back to Phoenix in 2008, and back to Grandma Betty’s house. “I would talk to her often, and hear about her loneliness and housekeeping struggles. So I offered to move back and move in. She loved it!”
Six months later, in declining health, Betty transitioned to a nursing home. Her grandson visited daily. “I’d spend 15 hours a day there, making sure she was being cared for.” But the food was horrible. So naturally Chandler started bringing in homemade dishes, dishes she shared. His aromatic offerings won many fans, and Chandler discovered the ultimate satisfaction in the kitchen: serving and pleasing senior palates.
“I’ve had a lot of great moments in fine dining, big competitions and prestigious venues. But nothing filled the void like the moment I came to MorningStar.” (Chandler was one of the first team members we hired before opening.)
“I saw those four senior ladies in my mind again. I fell in love with that setting again, and how good it feels to make a real difference.” Sometimes that difference is as tangible as ginger beer. When residents have digestive upset, Chandler whips up a holistic and tasty cure: ginger beer (ginger root steeped in simple syrup). When constipation strikes, there’s rice milk to the rescue. “Knock back a shot, and you’re fixed up in an hour.”
Like all great chefs, Chandler also loves to be flamboyant at his table side stations. “I love getting the oo’s and ah’s, and just seeing them happy with food and laughter and life.”
Our MorningStar menu is an exhibit in diversity, everything from comfort food to just-picked offerings from our garden to Asian fusion with a French touch.
And if Grandma could see her Chandler now? “She’d put her arms around my waist, look up from her 4’11” height, and tell me how absolutely proud she is of me!”
• Three meals daily prepared by an Executive Chef
• Dining Room with restaurant-style service
• Private Dining Room (for intimate dinners)
• Theatre (including Wii)
• Library (including a computer and newspapers)
• General Store (featuring sundry items for daily living)
• Salon (for hairstyling, manicures and pedicures)
• Fitness Room
• Spa Bath
• Massage Room
• Tropical Aquarium
• Life Enrichment Room
• Fireside Courtyard (with fountain)
• Two Enclosed Patios for Memory Care
• Wellness Programs & Activities
• 24-hour Care Staff
• Full-time Licensed Nurse
• Scheduled Transportation
Yet the feature we brag about the most, the one that attracts the most attention, is our atmosphere of love, of community, built one loving relationship at a time. By this, we can—and do—offer the very best in senior assisted living, memory care and respite care.
Our entire staff is engaged in finding ways to build that spirit of community. Even for respite care residents (here for a short recuperative stay), there’s the promise of new friendships. And for the most tender among us, our memory care residents, each day presents opportunity to stimulate the brain and find moments of spontaneous joy.
MorningStar at Arcadia is conveniently located in the heart of the Valley, adjacent to the popular neighborhoods of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Please drop in or give us a call at 480.300.4700 to schedule a tour of our assisted living facility. We certainly hope you like what you see in our gracious home.
Holistic Approach to Dementia Care
Hope is what we all crave, what we cling to. So hope is what we deliver at MorningStar. For the memory-impaired, hope comes wrapped in intentionality and creativity.
“Dementia is such a scary road for families, especially when they don’t understand the disease, says Teresa Jones, Wellness Director, MorningStar at Arcadia. “All they do know is that it’s turned their parent or spouse into someone else.”
“Central to my responsibility (and joy) at MorningStar is caring for the family members. My door is always open to them, day or night. When they come into my office, everything else stops. ‘How are you feeling after today’s visit? Was it a good moment, a bad one?’ I want to be there to comfort and advise.”
For dementia sufferers themselves life becomes a purple world, an alternative reality. The best way to reach them is to “get purple” too, go where they are in their thoughts and meet them there. “I just got back from London,” one resident might say. And we respond, “How was your trip? What did you do? Glad you’re back home.” Or in a more agitated vein, “I want to go home. I have to get home.” Our response: “Tell me about your home; what’s it like? Why do you love it so?”
“Dementia introduces a crazy rhythm and reason,” Teresa explains. “It’s our job to study each resident’s history and personality, and figure out what each behavior is trying to communicate.Read more...
Adverse behaviors are often side effects from antipsychotic drugs. Teresa stresses, “As a staunch advocate for families, I’m going to wrack my brain and exhaust every resource before I go the pharmaceutical route. My goal as Wellness Director is to have less than 10% of my residents on any kind of drug.”
Success stories from Teresa’s chapter book speak loudest…
One of our residents is a retired captain from the Phoenix Fire Department. When he came to us, Murray*, was impulsively rising from his seat and falling often. The cause was easy to finger when we learned he was on Haldol which produces hallucinations and insomnia as it robs the appetite.
Here was another situation when an antipsychotic was prescribed not to counter psychosis, but to control some other symptom. “We begged hospice to take him off. His family was in full agreement, seeing what the drug was doing to their beloved father. It took an Act of Congress, but we were successful”.
To curb the falls, especially at high-risk times of day, we made Murray a nest in one of our common areas. Reading on the floor had always been his habit. So there he was content and comfortable, with staff and residents all around. Teresa proudly reports he hasn’t had a fall in three months. Has no skin tears. And thoroughly enjoys three meals a day.
“His wife has cried many times with joy, so appreciative is she of our intervention and love,” says Teresa. “For the first time in a long time, she’s relaxed enough to go on vacation, confident in our care. That’s the best compliment we can get.”
Another story, this one incriminating Depakote, a powerful tranquilizer: “We titrated one of our gentleman off that drug,” says Teresa, “substituting a routine he’d loved throughout his life: taking leisurely walks. Now, Barry* walks our greater neighborhood 3-4 times a day, with staff.” By this, he has come back to life: engaged all day long, serving others, tidying up, joining in.
“Our team at MorningStar at Arcadia is amazing. We’re clicking on all cylinders these days, working every day to make a difference and make a connection. It’s truly a gift and a pleasure to work in memory care.”
* Names have been changed to protect resident privacy
Michael Ibarra: A Heart that Beats for Seniors
Michael started working with seniors as a 17-year-old through his high school’s DECA program. Noticing his steadfast compassion with residents, his employer offered to pay his tuition for caregiving coursework. He joined MorningStar’s Reflections staff with a year’s experience as a caregiver for the memory impaired.
“Memory Care residents just have this natural welcoming nature to them, which I thoroughly enjoy,” he remarks. His compassion is borne, in part, from losing his own grandmother to dementia.
After four months, Michael began serving in Life Enrichment. Today he leads activities for the entire community. In this role, he can spend even more time with residents and know each one even better, which he loves.
Young as he is, Michael feels a very strong connection with seniors. “I like to make them feel important—because they are.”
MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arcadia
3200 East Glenrosa Avenue | Phoenix, AZ 85018 | (480) 300-4700