Senior community combines design and technology to “elevate” assisted living

Construction continues at Cappella of Grand Junction, an assisted-living and memory support facility located near Horizon Drive and Seventh Street. The facility is expected to open in late September, offering 66 apartments and a variety of amenities. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)
Construction continues at Cappella of Grand Junction, an assisted-living and memory support facility located near Horizon Drive and Seventh Street. The facility is expected to open in late September, offering 66 apartments and a variety of amenities. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Sarah Winnefeld leads an impromptu tour through the large, two-story building under construction near where Horizon Drive slants into Seventh Street in Grand Junction.

As workers around her hang drywall and paint, Winnefeld walks and talks, pointing out sights along the way. There’s the large reception area at the entrance and nearby dining and community rooms. Hallways lead to apartments with high ceilings that create a sense of spaciousness. Upstairs, more one- and two-bedroom apartments come in an assortment of sizes and layouts. But there are other amenities as well, among them a fitness center, conference room and community room. That’s not to mention the courtyard around which the building wraps.

Winnefeld said it takes a bit of imagination to envision what the completed building will look like, but less as work progresses on Cappella of Grand Junction, an assisted living and memory support facility scheduled to open near the end of September.

Winnefeld, executive director of Cappella, said she’s excited about the building, but even more so about the services and resources that will be offered there and, ultimately, the differences it all will make in the lives of residents. “It’s going to be a beautiful facility, but it’s more about the passion and culture.”

Sarah Winnefeld
Sarah Winnefeld

She put it another way: “We are truly elevating assisted-living care.”

Cappella will offer 40 assisted-living apartments on the second floor and 26 memory support apartments on the first floor. A staff of more than 45 will work there.

The $10 million facility will be managed by Cappella Living Solutions, which also operates facilities in Aurora, Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs  Confluent Development, a commercial real estate development firm based in Denver,  also is involved in Capella of Grand Junction.

Cappella Living Solutions in turn operates under parent organization Christian Living Communities, a Colorado-based group with more than 45 years of experience in operating residential and skilled nursing care facilities. Christian Living Communities operates four communities in the Denver area.

Winnefeld said Christian Living Communities is known not only for its efforts at promoting the quality of life and dignity of residents, but also adapting new techniques to do so.

Christopher Connery, sales and marketing director of Cappella of Grand

Junction, said that combination also will be evident at the new facility. “We’re a for-profit operation with a nonprofit sensibility.”

Assisted-living services will include meals, housekeeping and transportation as well as individual care planning and medication management.

Memory support services will be tailored to individual residents to promote their strengths while addressing challenges and frustrations associated with dementia in a secure environment, Winnefeld said.

Design and technology will enhance operations, Winnefeld said. Employees will carry small computer tablets that offer access to electronic medical records and other information as well reminders of tasks to complete. Hearing loop systems will connect to hearing aids to reduce background noises and make it easier for residents with hearing loss to socialize. Soundwall flat panel speakers will play music that can help to stimulate appetites and alternately increase activity or create a calming effect.

Various programs also will help to enrich lives, Winnefeld and Connery said, including courses led by instructors at Western Colorado Community College in Grand Junction as well as residents themselves, a mix of outings and volunteer opportunities. The courtyard will offer opportunities for gardening.

Activities will depend in part on what residents want and how they’d like to contribute, the two said.

Monthly fees at Cappella of Grand Junction range from about $4,200 to nearly $7,000 depending on the size of the apartments and whether assisted living or memory support services are involved.

Connery is accepting fully refundable deposits. He said the response has been “great” even though construction on Cappella of Grand Junction isn’t complete. “I think the community is really excited for us to be here.”

Cappella of Grand Junction is located at 628 26 1/2 Road. For additional information, call
847-5444 or visit the website at www.cappellagrandjunction.com.