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My experience with Brookdale Westlake Village was very nice. Their apartments are very nice. For a first visit, I was very impressed with the presentation. The dining room was very nice. They have entertainment, a swimming pool, and an exercise room, which I was very interested in. Overall, I had a very good impression, that's why I'm leaning a lot toward it.
We toured Brookdale Westlake Village, and it was a very nice facility. It was very clean, nicely decorated, and had a comfortable feeling, but the memory care unit is in a whole separate building. Each resident had their own room, and it was large enough to put a bed, dresser, and a couch in, and they had their own bathroom. It was done up like a bullpen with the rooms on the outside perimeter of the building. The center was a large country kitchen. You could sit on the counter top area or the tables, they have a large community family room area, and another area where you can do crafts, arts, painting, or drawing. They had a spa room, and they had a large soaking tub that was wheelchair accessible. It reminded me of a high-end spa. They had morning and evening aromatherapy, exercises, social activities, arts and crafts, and they watch TV and movies. My husband liked the facility because of how it was structured.
My dad was in the Skilled Nursing/Rehab facility following a hospital stay in November 2016. My dad had moderate dementia at that time with sun-downing behaviors that became much more pronounced while he was there due to the added confusion of an unfamiliar place and people. They were not equipped to handle this despite their assurance that they often dealt with Alzheimer/dementia patients. When I toured the facility (which is attractive, bright, and clean) before making a decision and asked specific questions about fall prevention, I was assured that they have procedures to minimize fall risk as much as possible. This was an issue with my dad and his memory/confusion problems - he could not remember that he needed assistance to get up and get around (since just a couple weeks before he had been maneuvering independently), and we did not feel that fall risk was minimized as they had assured. Their solution for the cognitive and falling issues was to suggest that WE hire an outside private care agency to provide one-on-one monitoring around the clock while he was there - which we did - at great expense - for peace of mind and because there seemed to be no other options offered. That helped, but we were disappointed it was needed since he was already in a facility that was supposed to be caring for him. Communication and problem-solving were lacking; we felt like WE had to initiate communication in several instances and also try to come up with ideas to make some situations better - this left us scratching our heads since we were not the experts in this type of care - we thought they were! The rehab sessions were very good and progress was made, but at only about an hour per day, without follow-up the rest of the day from other staff to encourage more walking, etc. - that progress was limited. They did offer quite a few optional activities during the day which would be great for people who were mentally capable of organizing and scheduling themselves, but that was not the case here. The food was really good and helped my dad regain some much needed weight. Many of the nurses and caregivers were extremely helpful, caring, and hardworking, which we did appreciate. But if your loved one is placed here and cannot speak up for themselves well, I would suggest you have someone with him/her there most of the time - either rotating family members or hiring outside help like we did. Those weeks were very stressful, and when my dad moved from Brookdale Skilled/Rehab into nearby Arden Courts of Westlake Memory Care Community, he was much happier and we were much more at ease with Arden Court's understanding of dementia issues that appeared lacking at Brookdale Skilled.
Mom was in the independent living of Brookdale Westlake Village for the first 10 years, and it was absolutely wonderful. The apartment was very nice with full kitchen, a den, and an extra room. The price was a little bit higher, but we felt it was worth it. She enjoyed the people there and the food in the dining room, and they did a very nice job. Five years ago, we had to move her to the assisted living part of it. It started out all right then Brookdale came in 3 years ago, and I feel that it's gone downhill ever since that. The price has gone higher and higher, but the quality of service went down. They have constant change of staff, and the ones that are there long-term aren’t the ones I would like to see kept there. They are just not patient-oriented. I just feel that they are more in the business of making money than caring for the adults. The independent part of it was lovely, and it had all the things that Mom needed. The assisted living part had a nice dining room. They had redone it since Mom moved in. The community gathering room seems a little small for the number of residents they have. The activities that they offer are OK, and they have 3 or 4 a day.
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