By Oregonian Media Group Marketing Staff
on February 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM, updated February 22, 2016 at 11:03 AM
At Portland's Russellville Park retirement community, one of the goals is making life feel like a permanent vacation. That was evident last August when residents gathered for a special Arabian nights- themed event with food, drinks and decorations to put everyone in the spirit.
The evening was a thank you from the community's founders to residents for keeping good spirits as upgrades were completed at the site.
The work started out as a repair and stucco replacement project, but the effort has grown to include more upgrades as the owners want to ensure the community remains a beautiful place for residents to call home.
"They're doing it because they want to enhance the residents' experience," said Huber.
In fact, while it's common for retirement communities to be owned and operated by large corporations, from the start, Russellville Park has been owned by two Portland-area families, the Piacentinis and Rembolds. It's just one way that local pride sets this senior living community apart.
"The owners are just extremely caring and invested in the comfort of the residents," explained the site's Sales Manager, Kerrie Huber. "They're always looking for what residents need to feel at home."
With 300-plus residents now, Russellville Park has offered independent living, assisted living and memory-care options since 2004. Its local ownership makes a difference in how the Northeast Portland campus operates.
Last year, the owners reinvested in the property with upgrades that included replacing the stucco and refreshing the lobby. Plans for this year call for renovating a restaurant in the property's independent living building.
Additionally, the owners are currently investing in upgrading to top-of-the-line wi-fi so staff can use the best possible software to provide optimal care and services.
Meg Davidson, Russellville Park's General Manager, said that since 2005, there's been a partnership between the owners and LeisureCare– which focuses on senior housing property management. The community operates under a wellness based model, which she said has been very successful for Russellville Park. Davidson said the local owners appreciate LeisureCare's philosophy of holistic wellness, and as a result, the community promotes a "fun outgoing, independent lifestyle" no matter what level of care residents may need.
The community and residents are taking part in the second annual Fitness Frenzy – a LeisureCare-initiated philanthropic endeavor to encourage residents to stay active and raise money for the company's foundation, the One Eighty Foundation, as well as the local community. The nonprofit is committed to improving the lives of children and families in need. Pledges can be made atwww.oneeightyfoundation.org, enabling Russellville Park to give back to the community and One Eighty Foundation.
Davidson said the partnership between the owners and Leisure Care has been successful enough to invest in new senior housing developments in the Portland area.
One of those properties, The Ackerly at Timberland in Northwest Portland, is scheduled to open this summer. Just like Russellville Park, it's being developed by Rembold Properties and will be managed by LeisureCare.
The Ackerly will feature 147 independent living, assisted living and memory care apartment homes. In addition to LeisureCare's signature services, including PrimeFit and Travel by LeisureCare, and the company's holistic approach to wellness, the community will feature multiple dining venues, games and activity areas, a fitness center, landscaped courtyard with walking paths, a Bocce ball court, concierge and transportation services, and more. It will also be located within walking distance of Timberland Town Center.
All of those amenities were selected based on anticipating future residents' needs and wishes. "Having local owners, you have a better advantage," Davidson said. "They're present at the property, they see the residents and needs on a daily basis."
At Russellville Park, local owners continue to have a high level of involvement. They attend resident meetings, talk with those who live there and ask for feedback – all of which helps to produce a higher quality of care. In fact, the community is now in its second generation of local ownership, as the founders' children step into leadership roles, ensuring that the same way of life will continue for the residents.
"They've always been really involved in the ongoing development of the property – it will never change," Huber said. "The business is definitely very personal to them."
RUSSELLVILLE PARK AT A GLANCE
LOCATION: 20 SE 103rd Ave., Portland, Ore. 97216
WEBSITE: http://leisure care.com/russellvillepark
SERVICES: Independent, assisted-living and memory-care apartments in an inclusive retirement community that includes restaurant venues, a fully-equipped gym and swimming pool, social spaces and a free weekly happy hour.
Nearby Amenities: Convenient access to the Max Light Rail line, Mall 205, Portland Adventist Hospital and Medical Offices, Providence Hospital and Medical Clinics, the Portland Clinic, Clackamas Town Center, Lloyd Center and Glendoveer Golf Course.