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From the minute you pull into the parking lot you can tell that this is a very large community and that is the good and the bad about this long standing a facility. It can definitely be a maze to work your way through its multiple buildings. They do have a great set up of signs to guide you, thus eliminating the need for breadcrumbs, which is good as they are put to much better use in the dining area which is comfortable, relaxing and has very good food. The main building also has a "Main Street" design leading you to a Bistro area, library, and even more important, amble seating for those that call Chris Ridge home to gather and be social. The great thing about the size of this community is that it houses Assisted and Independent living, Skilled Nursing/Rehab and a secured Memory Care section. With Baptist Hospital basically next door its a great place for a Senior to call home for a long time. The staff are friendly and the community is well kept up and does not feel overly institutional with very attractive grounds filled with green grass and flowers.
I was very impressed with how this facility improved over the last few years. It looks like the new owners, Brookdale Senior Living, has concentrated their efforts on this place. The facility is pretty big and accommodates different levels of care but the one I focused on was assisted living. The entrance to the community and the grounds are better than before but is not the "best". The reception area looks nice and clean but dated, and Brookdale has not invested a lot of money there. However, in the rest of the community Brookdale has used different themes to spice the place up and it works really well. The common areas are furnished nicely and it gives you the feel that you are getting a lot for your money. The apartment units are a good size and have good, comfortable floor plans. The dining room is clean and I have to say the food is excellent. I have had lunch there many times. The kitchen staff accommodate all residents needs and wishes.The laundry service is exceptional and transportation to and from doctors appointments and shopping is offered when needed. Activities are offered and I did see them going on but did not participate. Price wise the place is acceptable, considering the services that are included. The downside of living at this community is the care. They are usually short staffed and many of the care givers don't have a lot of experience. It is hard to understand why resident issues cannot be resolved in a timely fashion by staff. I am not sure why Brookdale has not invested more in this area. the issue of staffing seems to come up over and over again. Just to be clear, although the staffing and care don't live up to my expectations it is still better under Brookdale management compared to before.
Chris Ridge, which is actually now Brookdale Christown, is a senior living facility I have been visiting for years. It has seen its shares of up and downs as all senior living communities do, however, they have always had a strong management team who have ensured that they always come out on top and not let the bumps along the way drag them down. I have always admired their resilience and their determination to power through tough times. Chris Ridge, while not in the nicest area of Phoenix, is a secure community where the residents feel safe. I have spoke with many residents and family members over the years who have told me that they have come to realize that no matter what, the residents are the first priority and the staff members are determined to put their needs and safety first at all times, above all costs. I have personally seen this to be true in watching the interactions between members of staff and residents. The facility is very cozy and has a homey feel to it. There are many things for the residents to do. They have a beautiful main dining room as well as a cute café for in between meals. There is also a TV in the café so the residents can sit, sip coffee and eat snacks while enjoying their favorite shows – it has always been set on news channels when I have been there – which is something I have found most residents agree on. There are also separate dining rooms on both the 2nd and 3rd floors for residents who cannot or choose not to dine in the main dining room on the 1st floor. One of my favorite areas is the fitness center. It is well-equipped with machines, TVs, scales, etc. and it is all decorated in a Phoenix Suns theme which is so cute. They call the main lobby and hallway “Main Street,” and it is actually decorated like you are walking down a typical Main Street. The rooms off to the side are labeled like any Main Street stores and businesses. You have the Village Emporium (which is a store in which you can shop for clothing, souvenirs, trinkets, etc.), the Village Café, the Post Office (SO, SO adorable), the Library (which is one of the best stocked libraries I have seen in senior living), the Fitness Center, the Salon, a Chapel, a Cinema, and more. It is a fun and very creative set up that the residents and visitors all seem to really enjoy – I know I always do! Outdoors, there are great walking paths, sitting areas, a pool and hot tub, and more so that the residents can enjoy the fresh outdoors while remaining in a secure environment. The Assisted Living apartments offer 1- and 2-bedroom options, both floorplans are spacious with full kitchens, the living areas are carpeted, which I think is so much better for residents (as it is more comfortable on bare feet and less slippery than wood or tile flooring). The Memory Care area is very secure. The memory care residents have their own section of the facility with their own dining room, activity room, common areas, private outdoor area, etc. I love how the memory care area is decorated – the walls are lined with artwork, décor, trinkets, the residents own property, and visual aids which are meant to stimulate feelings, memories, etc. The entire memory care center is very therapeutic in its design, its choice of entertainment and activities, in the way the staff members are trained and in how they interact with and care for the residents. I am always very pleased with the memory care area. I could really go on and on about Chris Ridge – or I guess now… Brookdale Christown. This community have never ceased to amaze me – in both the wonderful, loving, and patient care provided to the residents and in how they make the best of every situation – they take issues, complaints, etc. head on and they deal with them until they are resolved. Issues are never swept under the rug or left for someone else to deal with – they are taken care of as they happen which I have seen lead to higher morale among management, staff members, and residents. Please take the time to tour this community – it will not disappoint.
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