Eden Heights

Eden Heights resident Dora Baker (at left) tries her hand at weaving under the instruction of local fiber artist Linda Georgian Monday during one of the facility’s National Assisted Living Week activities, which is being observed through Friday.

OLEAN — For the past couple of days, residents at Eden Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care in Olean have celebrated National Assisted Living with activities that included weaving and eating apple crisp.

The facility, located at 161 S. 25th St., will continue the celebration, which has the theme “Spark of Creativity,” through the end of the week, said Danielle DeLong, community development director for Eden Heights.

“Our activities kicked off (Monday) when one of our resident’s family members came in and did loom weaving and a tutorial,” DeLong said. “From my understanding, the staff (and residents) were just captivated.”

In addition, apple crisp dessert was made Tuesday, and will be followed by an apple bake-off Thursday for the residents that will be attended and judged by Olean Mayor Bill Aiello.

Executive director Kelly Wilkins added, “Our model focuses on socialization, we can provide care, but it’s the socialization that happens in our community that brightens the lives of the residents.”

On a related note, DeLong said the facility is a licensed assisted living facility, classified as an adult home by the state. In addition, Eden Heights was recently awarded Deficiency Free Status, which resulted from vigorous inspections by the New York State Department of Health.

“There are two other facilities in Allegany and Hinsdale that are (licensed) adult homes and ALP (Assisted Living Program) facilities, DeLong explained. “Through the ALP licensing, they can be reimbursed by Medicaid. Because we aren’t licensed as an ALP, we can’t be reimbursed by Medicaid.”

With that stated, she noted Eden Heights does adjust rates when possible for its residents and accepts Veterans Aid and Attendance funding as well as long-term care insurance.

“That’s really the payment options, because of how we’re licensed,” she added. In addition, DeLong said the facility offers shared rooms, which cost less and are an option for residents.

Wilkins added, “We always seem to be able to accommodate in some way, shape or form adjusted rates based on their income. Especially when they’ve been with us for three to five years.”

Wilkins, who is only the third executive director at the three-decade old facility, said Eden Heights assists families in placing their loved ones at skilled nursing care homes in the area, when that need should arise.

“We have a healthy relationship with The Pines, and a lot of our residents do end up” at the neighboring facility, Wilkins added while noting The Pines can be reached via a walking path from Eden Heights.

DeLong said Eden Heights also has a contract with the Cattaraugus County Department of Aging and will be able to provide respite care for individuals from the area.

“We are looking forward to utilizing (respite care)when we have a room available in Memory Care,” she explained, noting the funding for respite is provided through the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We have some families that would like to use our respite and we’ll bring them in once we have the bed and room available,” DeLong stated.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)