Spring has Sprung at Elite Care

Beginning of Spring Brings Chicks & Trees

The greenhouses at each campus will soon be filled with trays of Resident-planted cool-season crops. Spring came a little early this year, showing off flowering cherries, daffodils, magnolias, and camellias. Even with the beautiful sun, grab a coat before stepping outside to see the spring blossoms.

We’ve been catching up on packaging seeds to donate to Growing Gardens. We had some leftover from previous years and donated 860 packets on March 5th. Congratulations on impacting the community!

20150410_0051New chicks have joined the Elite Care brood and Read more


March: Out Like a Lamb at Sylvan Park

SP_YM_20150312_102920-(1) Tree FaceYale & Mayfield Houses

At Sylvan Park, the walking club has always been an important part of our daily routine. Now that we’re starting to see the weather turn, Residents frequently ask if it’s time to go walking again. These outings are our time together to laugh, visit, and reminisce. One morning the Residents were given a “tree face” (eyes, nose, mouth) to hang on one of the trees. We had a great time deciding which tree to hang the face on. Now every day we laugh as we pass the tree with the face, it’s become part of our daily routine.

Being able to spend time with the Residents outdoors is something that I love to do as an ActivitiesSP_YM_20150325_143034 Coordinator. The fresh air rejuvenates the Residents, awakening their minds, bodies, and souls. We had the pleasure of visiting the tulip fields in Woodland, Washington this month and it was unanimous amongst the Residents that it was “the best outing ever”. We are looking forward to planning new adventures outdoors as the weather continues to change.

Merwin & Lacamas Houses

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Belonging, Influence, and Purpose: More than Simple Words

Jason_adjusted_600pxAt Elite Care, we use the words Belonging, Influence, and Purpose to describe our mission as an elder care organization. They’re our touchstones, and our strong foundation for an approach to care that goes beyond physical and medical needs. As we provide our Residents with opportunities to influence their environment, to make choices about how they want to live, and to contribute directly to a community, we’re meeting vital emotional needs, which are too often neglected in our industry.

If we’re doing our work properly, these words become actions and outcomes resonating in the lives of our Residents, the people who call an Elite Care house their home, every day. As I talk with our community members, I see this process happening on each of our campuses. Here’s a perfect example of the impact these three words can have:

Words in Action

Gwen is a Resident of Helens House at Elite Care’s Oatfield Estates campus. During the course of her daily walks around the Oatfield Estates grounds, Gwen often finds Jake Soika, one of our Landscapers, at work on one of his many projects around the campus. Every time Gwen runs into Jake, she asks if she can help with his work. Jake started simply by allowing Gwen to help him harvest peas from the garden.

Soon after, Jake and Gwen began planting annuals and pansies together and pruning trees. Eventually Gwen began collecting sticks and found great pleasure in meticulously cutting them all down to the same length. Jake now uses these sticks to help grow mushrooms for use in Chef-prepared meals for the house Residents. When I spoke with Jake about his relationship with Gwen, he mentioned that on a few occasions he’s left the tool shed unlocked over the weekend and when he returned on Monday, he discovered that because Gwen took so much joy in her work, she had continued to work while he was away.

It’s clear to Jake and anyone else who interacts with Gwen, that this work, which may seem menial and insignificant on the outside, holds tremendous meaning and importance to Gwen as she lives out her twilight years. As a CEO, it’s a joy to watch these powerful interactions develop so naturally as an outgrowth of our unique culture.

Real Results

At their core, the concepts of Belonging, Influence, and Purpose all support our Resident’s dignity, which can be such a fragile JH_LIthing for the frail elderly. In too many scenarios, elderly patients see their physical needs supported while their emotional needs go unmet. At Elite Care, our Resident-Directed approach is designed to bolster the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. It’s why we pay as much attention to our organic gardens as we do to our state-of-the-art medical technology.

In Gwen’s example, what I find particularly gratifying, is witnessing our mission carried out at all levels of the Elite Care organization. At other elder care facilities, a landscaper would have no contact with the residents at all, let alone influence them directly. But at Elite Care, we empower our employees, from top-to-bottom, to take an active interest in their Residents and grant them the dignity to live a life filled with Belonging, Influence, and Purpose.

If you’d like to visit an Elite Care campus, I encourage you to stop by, enjoy a complimentary lunch, and see what we’re all about. 


Elite Care Becomes Nation’s First LEED® Platinum Certified Modularly Constructed Senior Housing Community

Two Elite Care communities receive LEED® Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

As part of its deep commitment to sustainability and ongoing effort to provide residents high-quality living conditions, Elite Care EChas added two LEED® Platinum certified communities, extending its philosophy of sustainability well beyond what happens inside the walls of their buildings.

Platinum, the highest-level LEED® certification from the Green Building Council (USGBC), is based on LEED® points awarded for water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality, building materials and other factors. This high score is a result of focusing on a tighter building envelope, including thermal resistant roofing. It’s also indicative of a commitment to implement innovative construction methods that afford residents the highest possible quality of life.

Elite Care first began its commitment to sustainable building in 2006 with the completion of its Fanno Creek community, which became the nation’s first LEED® Platinum certified senior housing campus in 2009. Last week, Elite Care was awarded LEED® Platinum status for its two most recently constructed communities: Sylvan Park in Vancouver, Washington, and Oatfield Estates in Milwaukie, Oregon.

“Elite Care is devoted to green building concepts and sustainability as a business model. All of our communities will be designed with this goal in mind moving forward. One of our core philosophies is to provide our residents an environment where they can live longer, happier, healthier lives,” said Jason Hess, Elite Care CEO.

Project features that helped Elite Care achieve its LEED® Platinum certification include: Read more


The Family Portal: Another Elite Care Difference

Founders_BillReed_LydiaLundbergLittle Things Matter

This month I want to talk about the Family Portal, which is accessible through Elite Care’s home page. Many of you use it to see how your loved one is doing. Elite Care started the Family Portal many years ago as a way to bring family members into the care team for our Residents, because as practitioners of Relationship Based Care, we believe family members are an asset, not someone to avoid.

I really started appreciating all the information our family members can garner from the Family Portal especially now that my dad is in a facility with no communications from the staff or management. And it’s not just about whether or not mom has a UTI or other medical issues. The important information is often very minor.

A Small Note

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An Easy Herb Crusted Salmon Recipe

Chef Paul, Elite Care at Oatfield Estates

Potassium is an essential nutrient to maintain fluid and electrolyte balances. Deficiencies can cause fatigue, irritability, and high blood pressure. With improved health in mind, here’s an easy herb crusted salmon recipe to help keep us hydrated, improve our blood pressure, and most importantly, make us happy.


4 oz. fillet Chinook Salmon

1 sprig fresh dill

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 oz. butter

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & Pepper


Chop herbs finely, mix with salt and pepper, and sprinkle on both sides of salmon fillet. Pre heat a non-stick pan to medium, add butter, sear salmon on each side for three minutes and finish with fresh lemon juice. Serve with collard greens, and new potatoes. Enjoy!







Another Busy Month at Fanno Creek

FC_January-2015-Newsletter-002Spruce & Cedar Houses

January was a great month for scenic drives because there were many sunny days. We drove out to Scholls, Hillsboro, and Newberg to see rolling hills and pastures with alpacas, horses, cows, and sheep, all of whom were enjoying the sun as well. With the especially warm days we could see buds on the trees, crocus and daffodils coming up and some were already blooming. Beautiful views of Mt. Hood from several locations are always a treat to see, but the Resident’s favorite treat was a stop at the country store for Magnum ice cream bars.

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5 Great Portland Senior Resources

In our corporate role as a senior care provider, Elite Care works with a wide variety of vendors, non-profit organizations, and individuals who make caregiving their work. As you journey through the process of setting up care for a loved one or begin planning for your own future in retirement, it can be difficult to wade through the endless options and find the groups that really matter. In an effort to help, we’ve compiled a list (given in no particular order) of a few great Portland senior resources (and one in Seattle) you may find helpful.

LizMargin1. Aging Deliberately with Liz Taylor

We wrote about Liz back in 2013 and her blog Aging DeliberatelyLiz wrote a column about aging issues for the Seattle Times and now writes and consults on navigating the complicated process of aging. In 2000, Liz coined the phrase, “aging deliberately” in an effort to focus attention on planning for aging rather than allowing it to happen accidentally.

2. Retirement Connection

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What Makes Us Unique? Our Architecture


Thoughtful Design & Architecture Bolsters Health

Over the years I have made several presentations around the world with Dr. Eric Tangalos MD, Geriatrician, past President of the American Geriatric Society and head Geriatrician at the Mayo Clinic. We spoke on technology and environment in relation to frail elders. He would tell this story:

In a nursing home there were 2 wings. As you know, nursing homes have long hallways and it takes a while for a frail person to walk down the hallway to the dining room. In the west wing there was a caregiver we’ll call Marge. She knew that one of the residents named Berta took a long time to walk to the dining room. So as part of her work routine, she would remember to go to Berta’s room and get her going down the hallway, so she could make it there in time for dinner. Read more


A Reason to Hope Community Breakfast

A Reason to Hope Elite Care AttendeesAn Inspiring Morning

On March 19th, community members from around Portland gathered at the Sentinel Hotel for an inspiring morning filled with stories of struggle and triumph at the Alzheimer’s Association’s A Reason to Hope fundraising breakfast. Elite Care was a premier sponsor of this important event and proud to see several of its employees attend.

Jim Martin A Reason to Hope Speaker Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor Jim Martin

After an accident, Jim Martin lost much of his memory function. At the breakfast, he shared his story of recovery, learning he would no longer be able to continue his career as a trial lawyer, and acceptance of his new life. He learned that due to his injury, he’s much more likely to develop dementia. He gains support from friends and family and currently volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Kathy Meyer, Family Member and CaregiverKathy Meyer A Reason to Hope Speaker

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