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Independence, wellness, and choice at Laguna Honda

March 21, 2011
by Todd Hutlock
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Colleen Riley, CMO, Laguna Honda Hospital, presented a session this morning at the Environments for Aging 2011 conference on the design and concepts behind Laguna Honda, one of the more unique facilities in California, if not the entire country. Laguna Honda Hospital had previously been featured as the Showcase facility in the August 2010 issue of HEALTHCARE DESIGN, but presented at this conference the senior-living aspects of the facility were called to the fore.

Looking at it from that side of the ledger, I was struck by the fact that this is truly a “hybrid” facility, extending far beyond the scope of the average acute-care facility, and in turn, having more acute-care functionality than the average long-term care facility, offering a fairly complete range of services: long-term care, rehabilitation, special care for Alzheimer's disease and HIV/AIDs populations, and hospice. But beyond all that, the facility is forward-thinking operationally, as well: For example, there are individualized dining, medication, and sleep/awakening schedules based on each individual, rather than assuming a one-size-fits-all technique as many long-term facilities do.

So in the wake of healthcare reform, with money being at a premium and with baby boomers aging fast, will the Laguna Honda model kick off a wave of similar facilities across the country? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure: They couldn't pick a better template to base such a trend upon.

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