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When Sara Qualls, Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies, talks about the Palisades at Broadmoor Park, she sees the future.
The new senior housing campus that offers independent apartments and patio homes, assisted living, and a memory unit in southwest Colorado Springs represents the latest partnership between a private developer and the university. The partnership provides the opportunity for leading-edge research in helping Americans live their lives to the fullest.
“We baby boomers are going to benefit from the work that is taking place now with our parents as they age,” Qualls. “This leading edge research that is taking place is going to affect lives now and well into the future.”
Qualls sees Palisades as a laboratory with plenty of room for university departments to apply knowledge and to create new models of older adult living. Tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. , university faculty and staff will have the opportunity to see for themselves during a community grand opening.
The Palisades at Broadmoor Park was developed by Dunn and Associates and is located at 4547 Palisades Park View, near Broadmoor Bluffs Drive and Colorado Highway 115. For directions or more information, call 226-CARE (2273).
Several university departments are actively involved in what Qualls calls an “integrated care model,” a mouthful name for a project with straightforward goals.
“At Palisades, the residents will have a full wellness evaluation when they move in – although this is a standard for Palisades, we know of no other senior housing in the US that does a thorough wellness approach.” Qualls said. “A year after moving in, the residents will have a follow up evaluation with the expectation that they will have improved physically and cognitively, or at worst, maintained well-being.”
To achieve such a lofty goal, multiple services affecting the mind and the body will be wrapped around the Palisades residents. For example, students and faculty from the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences will operate an on-site wellness clinic and conduct a multidimensional wellness program, Theaterworks will provide dinner theater-style performances, and four undergraduate students dubbed “Palisades Scholars” will provide games, arts and crafts and technology support for residents in exchange for room and board. A live-in Palisades Scholar Fellowship is also available to a student who will live on-site and observe the new model.
As Qualls is fond of saying, the image of “Uncle Joe” in the rocking chair is gone.
Palisades leases are all-inclusive of an exercise rooms, a billiards room, an internet café, and a saline pool in an effort to help keep older adults active and engaged. Those features are obvious. But Qualls sees considerable opportunity for behind-the-scenes efforts. All staff share in designing engaging activities that foster intergenerational community among staff and residents. An example of hidden benefits might be information technology systems that connect personal training data with physician and nursing records to provide early warning systems of potential physical and mental changes.
The possibilities are nearly limitless, Qualls says, and incentives exist for faculty and staff to participate. The intellectual property rights from new developments will remain with the university, allowing them to be used commercially. Additionally, Palisades will provide 1 percent of its gross revenues to UCCS. Additionally, faculty and staff (and their first degree relatives) receive a 5 percent discount in lease rates.
“This is matter of using what we know, and what we can learn, to enhance the quality of life” Qualls said. “This is a noble mission to change the standards of the entire senior housing industry.”
Images from the VIP opening:
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